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Decorative sword knot used for naval artillery volunteers

Date: c 1890
Dimensions:
Overall: 475 x 42 x 42 mm, 0.4 kg
Medium: Silver bullion, fabric thread
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Armament
Object Name: Sword tassle
Object No: 00033854

User Terms

    Description
    Sword tassel used for naval artillery volunteers. Silver bullion, fabric thread. Decorative silver sword tassle has diagonal detail of blue fabric along the main string with a single loop.
    SignificanceNaval officer's swords and their accoutrements symbolise the pomp of naval officers' dress and are an important ceremonial aspect of naval life.
    HistoryThis tassel was an accessory for swords that were designed exclusively for use at sea and developed in the late eighteenth century; by the mid-nineteenth century, cutlers and manufacturers were active in many English industrial centres, notably Birmingham. The Royal Navy produced the first regulation sword pattern in 1905, and throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century these regulations were regularly revised. Officers usually carried swords when landed, and many preferred to maintain two swords: one for ceremonial use, and one for combat. By the early twentieth-century, swords were seldom used during boarding action, but were retained for ceremonial and presentation use.

    Sword knots and tassels were originally designed to be looped around the hand to avoid losing the sword in battle. As this function faded in significance, the knots became a decorative tradition.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Decorative sword knot used for naval artillery volunteers

    Primary title: DECORATIVE SWORD KNOT USED FOR NAVAL ARTILLERY VOLUNTEERS

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