Rare Edward VIII / 8th British Naval Officer's
Seldom encountered example of an Edward 8th British naval officer's
sword with scabbard and black all weather bag, in fine condition;
original owner identified.
This is a rare sword in many ways. First, King Edward VIII only
reigned as British Monarch for under 11 months (325 days to be exact)
before he abdicated to marry American socialite divorcee Mrs. Wallis
Simpson. Second, it marked the beginning of the practice of including
the current monarch's royal cypher on British naval officer's swords;
previously only the British Royal Coat of Arms was applied to navy
swords, while army officer swords have been marked with the current
monarch's cypher since George I in 1714. Therefore, finding a British
army sword marked to Edward 8th is rare, but finding a naval sword
with Edward VIII's cypher on the blade is even rarer, as so few
sword cutlers had adopted the practice before the abdication brought
it to a grinding halt.
The Edward 8th cypher also heralded a modern and minimalist break
with the traditional cypher style never repeated to this day.
The sword came from the estate of a Mr. Gosling of Plymouth; the
family had lived in that area for generations. The only Gosling
for the entire area and at the right time who appears on naval officer
records was then Lieutenant Charles Grantham Gosling who served
during and survived World War Two to be awarded an OBE and go on
to become a Director of Officer Appointments for the Admiralty.
record can be found here. Charles Grantham Gosling died in 1980,
so it is believed the Mr. Gosling whose estate this sword came from
was the naval officer's son.
The sword is in excellent condition for its age. The 31 inch blade
is in rust free condition with the etching very good, though a little
rubbed as you would expect from when the sword is sheathed. The
blade is firm in the hilt and the hilt in fine condition, with the
very high quality fishskin grip in excellent condition with the
ring bindings tight and complete. There is no cutler's name on the
blade but it has the familiar "S" proved slug of Gieves,
so it was probably sold to the original owner by them through a
retailer / naval outfitters. The guard's folding section works smoothly
and locks well onto the scabbard, which is also in very good order.
The black all weather bag is a little creased and worn as you would
expect, but the roe skin liner still good inside. Sword knot in
good order but with some fraying to a small area near where it ties
to the hilt as is common.
Further picture available upon request. My item reference number