Stirrup hilted dress sword, which belonged to Captain Sir Thomas Staines (1776-1830) and Admiral Sir Joseph Nias (1793-1879). The hilt of the sword consists of an embossed gilt stirrup guard. The sword has a lion's-head pommel and back-piece, the mane extending all the way down the back. The langets are embossed with a crown and foul anchor. The white diamond-knurled ivory grip is bound with three gilt wires. The sword has a straight quillon with upturned end. The outside of the knuckle-guard is engraved with the words 'Captn. Sir Thos. Staines K.C.B., K.F.M, K.O.C.' and on the underside of the quillon with the words 'George Gunning Esqre. to Captn. Joseph Nias R.N. 1832'. The straight, flat-backed steel blade has one broad groove to the point. The obverse of the blade is engraved with leaf decoration along with a depiction of a naval trophy of flags, a buoy, a cocked hat and a palm in the centre. The reverse of the blade is engraved with leaf decoration with a crown over the Royal cypher 'GR' in the centre. The polished black leather scabbard has two gilt lockets with rings and chape, all of which are richly engraved. The reverse of the top locket is engraved with the words 'Salter, Sword Cutler & Jeweller to H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex, 35 Strand London'.

This sword is a very well preserved example of the naval dress-sword that was adopted by senior naval officers after 1815, modelled on the 1805 Regulation Fighting Sword. WPN1009 is a very similar example but has no crown on the langets giving rise to the theory that it dates from before 1812. Salter was at 35, Strand from 1801 to 1824 and was sword-cutler to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805).

The first owner of this sword was Captain Sir Thomas Staines who was born in 1776; and entered the Royal Navy in 1790; he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on the 3rd July 1796; to Commander on the 26th July 1802; to Captain on the 22nd January 1806 and he died on the 13th July 1830. Captain Staines was knighted in 1809 and was allowed to accept and wear the insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and Merit. In April 1810, several of the principal gentlemen of the Isle of Thanet threw a dinner in honour of him and presented him with a handsome sword, now held by the National Maritime Museum (see WPN1252). Later Captain Sir Thomas Staines commanded the frigate HMS 'Briton', in the Pacific, when he came unexpectedly upon Pitcairn Island on 17th September 1814, and was the first British man-of-war to discover the descendents of the mutineers of the 'Bounty'. He became a KCB at the reorganisation of the Order in 1815.

Admiral Sir Joseph Nias was born in 1793, he entered the Royal Navy on the 19th November 1807; he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on the 26th December 1820; to Commander on the 11th November 1827; to Captain on the 13th July 1835. He became a CB on the 29th June 1841; a Rear-Admiral on the 14th February 1857; a Vice-Admiral on the 12th September 1863; an Admiral (ret'd) on the 18th October 1867; a KCB in 1867 and he died in 1879. Admiral Sir Joseph Nias, KCB served in three expeditions to the Arctic under Ross and Parry (1818-1823). He also served at the Battle of Navarino in 1827 and the First China War between 1840-1842. See also WPN1099.

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