Update

Visitors ages 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more >

Sword and scabbard

Object Number: 
1949.131ab
Date: 
ca. 1813
Medium: 
Steel, brass, ivory, gilding; leather, brass, gilding
Dimensions: 
Overall: 32 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 3/4 in. ( 81.6 x 11.4 x 1.9 cm )
Marks: 
engraved: on throat of scabbard (reverse side): "Read / Sword Cutler / Portsmouth" engraved: on knuckle-bow and counter-guard: "W. P. Wallis to P. Wallis / To commemorate Shannon and Chesapeake. / June 1, 1813."
Description: 
Presentation sword with straight, single-edged steel blade with full-length fuller and etched designs on obverse and reverse; gilded brass stirrup hilt with a shield-shaped langet molded with a fouled anchor surmounted by a crown on either side, and straight quillon with disk finial with incised scroll motif on either side; knuckle-bow pierced with hole for sword knot; carved ivory grip with cross-hatching and grooves wrapped with braided and twisted wire; pommel in the form of a reclining lion, with engraved backstrap extending to ferrule at base of grip; engraved inscriptions on knucke-bow and counter-guard; leather scabbard with gilded brass mounts with engraved designs and teardrop-shaped piercing near edges; throat and middle band each with one carrying ring; tip with rudimentary drag.
Gallery Label: 
This sword was presented to 2nd Lieutenant Provo William Parry Wallis (1791-1892) of HMS "Shannon" following the June 1, 1813, confrontation between his ship and the U.S. frigate "Chesapeake," in which the "Shannon" emerged victorious. In a battle lasting less than fifteen minutes, the captain of the "Shannon" was wounded and the 1st lieutenant, George T. L. Watt, was killed, making it necessary for Wallis to take command.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dr. James Lawrence Pool and Mr. Beekman H. Pool
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group