British 1848 P (RHG) 2nd Life Guard Trooper's
An exceptionally rare 1848 pattern Royal Horse / 2nd Life Guard
trooper's sabre with Battle of Tel el-Kebir provenance.
This is a) the mother of all British Victorian heavy cavalry sabres,
b) one of the rarest and most sought after sabres in the world,
and c) has Battle of Tel el-Kebir provenance, one of the most famous
British military victories ever. The pattern is a variation of the
1821 P heavy cavalry sabre originally made for the Royal Horse Guards
and soon after also adopted by the 2nd Life Guards, to which this
sabre is marked.
The massive 39 inch blade dwarfs most others; the standard 1821P
heavy cavalry version being "just" 36 inches. Made by
Hamburger Rogers & Co this trooper's sabre is of officer quality
with fishskin grip (unlike the 1821P it has "ears") and
one of the most impressive scabbards you will ever see, of course
with the tell-tale special Household Cavalry scabbard suspension
bands. Used up to 1882, a large contingent of Household Cavalry
made up of all three regiments (Royal Horse Guards, 1st Life Guards,
2nd Life Guards) went with these sabres (the 1st Life Guards had
a different pattern) to fight at the famous Battle of Tel el-Kebir;
this sabre is reported to be and has obvious signs it was one of
The blade has been sharpened along most of its cutting edge and
has several tell-tale nicks which indicate it has been used against
enemy forces. In a communique dated 24th August 1882, Lieutenant
General Garnet Wolseley who commanded the British at Tel el-Kebir
stated that the Household Cavalry "with their heavy swords,
cut men from from the head to the waistbelt"! A grim thought
to some but with the sharpened blade and nicks it means this sabre
was sure to have sent a good number of Egyptian soldiers to their
graves. The Household Cavalry were so effective and brutal in their
action, Tel el-Kebir is one of their so called Battle Honours.
The scabbard is marked to the 2nd Life Guards and sabre number
281. The inside of the hilt shows it was carried by trooper number
5 of F troop.
The blade besides the battle nicks to the cutting edge is in exceptionally
good condition and very firm in the hilt. The steel hilt has rusted
but could be taken down to the metal (personally I would leave it
as it is); I have stabilized all the rust so it is now preserved.
The fishskin grip is worn as you would expect from a trooper's sabre
which saw a long service life and is thereby a credit to the maker.
The sabre sheathes well and holds the scabbard in place when held
vertically. This is an exceptionally good condition sabre with rarity
and provenance making it one of the most desirable swords on the
market. Additional photos available upon request. Item reference
number 112 (75).