Royal Navy Officers’ Sword – E.Thirkel/London c1890
Late Victorian Royal Navy Officers’ sword, blade length 31.5inches, with lion’s head pommel, wire-bound fish-skin grip, folding guard and bullion work dress knot, in brass mounted leather scabbard.
The first Royal Navy pattern sword was created in 1805, its elegant but impractical design being superseded by a solid-hilt design developed in 1827.
In 1846, a blade was standardised for all Royal Navy Officers. The current light, single-edged straight blade was adopted in 1929.
Carried by RN Commissioned Officers, today’s regulation Navy Sword features a gold-plated brass hilt, white fish-skin grip and a brass pommel in the form of a lion.
The Royal Navy sword incorporates a unique mechanism that often proved a life-saver. The inner side of the guard is hinged so that it can be folded down to engage with a pin on the scabbard top mount.
The scabbard is made of rawhide with gold-plated brass mounts, while officers of Flag Rank and above carry a version with more ornate, engraved mounts.