Category: cutlasses


From Instructions for the Exercise of Small Arms, Field Pieces, etc., for the Use of Her Majesty’s Ships, 1859.

British Cutlass or Lead Cutter, Mid-19th Century

An unidentified British naval cutlass, or perhaps a lead cutter. This sword has only one marking, a stamp on the ricasso which looks like a number 3. So technically it could be any nationality – however the form of the grip strongly suggests that it is British. The guard is narrower than most later Victorian cutlasses and coupled with the grip style this could indicate a pre-1845 experimental cutlass. However, the blade is unusually long for a cutlass at 31 inches. This may indicate it is a sword for Lead Cutting or other similar sword feats and indeed it has been edged and retains a fine edge, of not being exactly sharp anymore. However, the cutlass is not heavy like a typical Lead Cutter and is relatively light for the size. This is a pleasing sword in the hand and everything is solid. 

British Cutlass with Pattern 1845 Style Hilt

A mid-Victorian naval cutlass with less common straight double-edged blade. There is a visible proof/approval stamp on the ricasso, but the precise date and model of this type of cutlass is unclear. The hilt is the 1845 pattern, but that pattern usually has a 29 inch single-edged and slightly curved blade. This 29 inch blade is straight and double-edged.


British Pattern 1889 Cutlass made by Robert Mole & Sons

British Police Cutlass, 19th Century

By Parker Field & Son, London with plain guard and shaped wooden handle in original leather scabbard with belt strap, by John Ireland & Son, stamped DMP 585, approx. 61 cm (24").

British Pattern 1900 Naval Cutlasses

With chrome finishes to both, blades are marked Wilkinson and have various markings to the blades, one marked 1903 the other marked 1902.

British River Police Cutlass, 19th Century

With scabbard and wire bound shagreen grip, 75 cm in length.

Of the type used by the Thames River Police. The blade, scabbard, and locking mechanism/button are identical to those found on regular police cutlasses. The hilt is what sets this apart.


A River Tyne Police Hanger and companion truncheon

The first by “Parker, Field & Sons, 233 Holborn, London”, both circa 1870,
the first with curved fullered blade double-edged towards the point, the back-edge fitted with spring-catch at the forte, etched with maker’s details in full on one side and “Tyne River Police” on the other, regulation brass hilt, and ribbed fishskin-covered grip, in original brass-mounted scabbard, the locket with frog-stud (locking button missing), 58cm blade, the truncheon painted in polychrome and gilt with crown and cipher over a red ground cartouche, inscribed “River Tyne Police” over a natural ribbed handle, stamped to terminal, “Field 59, Leman Ste.”, 44cm.


British Private Purchase Cutlass Based on the Pattern 1889 Naval Cutlass

71 cm straight blade with clipped-back point by Wilkinson, steel guard with rolled edge, two-piece brass grips.

Nearly identical to the Pattern 1889 Naval Cutlass, but with a ribbed brass grip instead of a ribbed iron grip.

Hanger, 18th Century

This elegant ‘hanger’ probably dates from the mid-1700s and likely had a naval heritage—shorter swords like this being more effective weapons for fighting in the confined spaces of warships. Bone grips are also associated with service within the famous East India Company.

Two identical stamps can be found on the blade, one on either side, which I haven’t been able to identify. The three fullers suggest a German origin for the blade but overall the design is similar to some of the naval hangers made by the famous Birmingham sword-maker Samuel Harvey. The blade is still relatively sharp and ends in a nice clipped point, an uncommonly found feature. The stirrup-hilt has a more pleasing shape to it than most of its stablemates, being waisted across the crossguard.