I offer for sale, an extremely fine, Dutch Navy Sword, which dates to around circa 1800 (Napoleonic era) and was made by premier sword cutler – John Prosser Snr. of 9 Charing Cross, London.
The sword is of the very highest quality and comes complete with it’s original wooden core and leather covered scabbard, the throat locket of which bears Prosser’s name and address and mentions that he is a cutler “to the Royal family” I.e. George III; George IV and William IV, during his lifetime.
The scabbard is in overall good condition, the brass throat locket bears a beautifully cast or engraved ‘fouled anchor’ on both sides of it and the long brass Chape has a bunch of three Tulips(?) engraved on each side of it, which ties in nicely with Holland. Both throat locket and chape have been re-glued at some time during the lifetime of the sword, due to shrinkage of the internal wooden core and the leather, but are now properly fixed in position (although some glue residue is visible which could be removed). A loose brass suspension ring is positioned either side of the locket.
The brass hilt of the sword is incredibly ornate and highly decorated. It’s a Work of Art. Constructed of a half basket-guard in the Continental style, pierced with a motif of a ‘fouled anchor’ surrounded by foliage and the odd Tulip flower here and there. The neo-classical style knuckle-guard is very stylish and has a bulbous middle-knop cast with Scallop shells thereon. The brass Backstrap is richly decorated with a line of Fish Scales, a scallop shell and Crossed Flags. Even the peened tang is covered with an ornately decorated pommel button cap, which has cast leaves and scrolls thereon.
The grip of the guard is made of wood, covered in Shagreen, which itself is nicely and securely bound is strands of bronze wire. The fishskin grip covering is in excellent condition. A brass ferrule (bearing a side ring for a sword knot) secures the front of the grip nicely. There is some movement between blade and grip, due to shrinkage over it’s lifetime of the wooden grip core and the fact that the leather washer is missing, but is to be expected for a sword some 220 years old.
The decoration on this navy sword is absolutely amazing and obviously done for a high ranking naval officer. The inside of the half dish-guard has a scroll of Acanthus foliage immediately underneath the rear quillon in the French style and the quillion itself is made to look like two Ram’s horns! Beautiful detail.
The blade is typical for John Prosser Snr. It’s quill-backed (a style of blade he helped to create), 28 inches long (or 71 cms) and terminates in a false edge of some 9 inches. This blade is undecorated, except for an ornate cartouche on one side of the blade forte, bearing Prosser’s name and business address. The blade bears the lightest of staining, is in wonderful undamaged condition and has a razor-sharp edge and a very sharp point.
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