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Gibbons, William

Sword : said to have belonged to Matthew Flinders

About this item: 

Signatures / Inscriptions: On the top locket is engraved "Gibbens Portsmouth"

General Note: It is unclear if this is a navy sword: if it was one would expect to see an anchor somewhere engraved, either on its langets or blade. It is probably not a dress sword: Philip J. Lankester, Senior Curator, Royal Armouries, London.

It has not proved possible to accurately date the sword. The geometric blind embossed design on the scabbard was considered old fashioned by 1800 (see P.G.W. Annis, Naval Swords, Arms and Armour Press, 1970 p. 44), but the design of the stirrup hilt implies a ca. 1800, or later, date.

William Gibbons was a Portsmouth sword cutler who was working at the end of the eighteenth century : see W.E. May & P.G.W. Annis, Swords for Sea Service, London, 1970 vol. 2 p. 326