~ WW1 Royal Siege Artillery Sword of Lieut. J.H. Moriarty ~
A piece with Sherlock Holmes links,
Moriarty is the arch nemesis of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, by the author Conan Doyle.
This sword was owned by Lieut. Jack. Henry Moriarty, who was a friend of Doyle - they played whist together - and lived in close proximity.
It is thought that the Moriarty character is named after his friend.
Jack belonged to the 18th Royal Siege Artillery Battalion, killed in action during the First World War in France on the 12th of October 1915, at the age of 22.
He was born in 1893 in Southsea, Hampshire, the son of James H. & Elizabeth Moriarty. His father was the Vicar of Dorney between 1914 and 1927.
He served in France with the Second Siege Battery in 1914 where he was wounded and mentioned in Despatches during his convalescence at home he sketched a design for a stained glass window. In his will he made provision for the completion and insertion of such a window in his own words "in Dorney Church, in the south wall under the gallery to contain a figure of Charles, King and Martyr".
The sword comes in a wooden display case with a metal plate on the front that reads...
'Sword of Lieutenant J.H. Moriarty R.G.A., Died in France Oct 12th, 1915, Buried, Bethune, Pas de Calais'
The edge of the ricasso is stamped with the serial number '43876', registered in the Wilkinson archives (please see the pictures).
The blade is marked with the maker's name and trade mark.
The fuller is marked on one side with the British Coat of Arms and on the other side with the Royal Artillery Coat of Arms.
Lower down it is stamped with...
'Lieut. J.H. Moriarty R.G.A., Fought in France, Wounded 1914, Killed October 12th 1915'
The sword comes with copies of different documents:
. A photo of the commemorative plate made in his honour and displayed on the Dorney Church wall
. A file with his personal details
. The 'Register of Proof Wilkinson Sword Blades'
. A photo with a commemorative cross from the church
. A copy of the '1901 England census for James Henry Moriarty' (where he lived in very close proximity to Arthur Conan
. A copy of the '1911 England census for James Henry Moriarty'
. A photo of the stained glass window he designed for the Dorney church and a reference from his will
. A copy of the 21 January 1913 census, where he is mentioned
~ Dimensions ~
The blades length is 35 inches (88.9 cm) and the overall length of the sword is 41.2 inches (104.7 cm).
The length of the scabbard is 36 inches (91.5 cm).
The case width is 44.9 inches (114 cm), its depth is 5.2 inches (13.4 cm) and its height is 12.1 inches (30.7 cm).
The set weighs 9.5 kg
~ Condition ~
The blade is in good condition with minor spots of rust on the surface.
The grip the basket and the scabbard also have some surface spots of rust.
The wooden box is excellent but its glass is missing.
~ Postage ~
UK postage is £40 or the sword can be collected from our shop in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.