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GRV Household Cavalry (1st Life Guards) Officer's Sword

Very good condition George 5th named 1st Life Guard Officer's sword of the British Household Cavalry.

Household Cavalry (1st Life Guards) Officer's SwordGeorge 5th Household Cavalry Officer's Sword

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Although Household Cavalry swords do come onto the market fairly regularly, these are generally trooper's or poor quality / plain bladed officer's swords. I make the point this 1st Life Guards sword is in very good condition, with clear / profuse blade etching, plus comes with provenance.

This sword was purchased by Lieutenant Robert Lambart Dunville from Wilkinson Sword in 1912, the hilt displaying entwined "L", "G" and "1" under the Royal Crown for the First Life Guards, for whom this famous pattern of sword was first made in 1834; the 2nd Life and Royal Horse Guards, fellow members of the Household Cavalry also adopting it in 1874.

At the outbreak of World War 1 Lt. Robert Lambart Dunville, having resigned his commission with the Life Guards, joined the Royal Bucks Hussars (6th October 1914). Lt R. L. Dunville was clearly still alive and fighting in 1915 as his name appears in the British Army List for that year. On the 21st August 1915, as part of the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade, this regiment suffered heavy casualties in the assault on Gallipoli in Turkey, an attempt by the British, French and ANZAK forces to open up a backdoor passage to Germany, as the Western Front was entrenched in every sense of the word. Conditions were so bad in Turkey, an offensive which ultimately failed, that fallen soldiers were left unburied in the searing heat. In 1916 the Allied forces withdrew from Turkey and what was left of the Royal Bucks Hussars was sent to the Western Front. There is no trace of Robert Lambart Dunville's name in the Army List past 1915 and I have been unable to ascertain his fate.

For information, his brother John Spencer Dunville joined the Royal Dragoons in 1914 and committed such acts of bravery was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1917; he died at the age of 21 to earn that medal and is burried at the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery

Very few swords come with this level of special provenance and / or quality of sword as these generally remain jealously guarded family heirlooms or museum pieces.

The 36 ½ inch straight blade is in very good condition, although a little aged as you would expect for something made in 1912, and firm in the hilt. The hilt has lost a little of its luster but nothing detrimental. The fishskin grip is firm although a little worn, no doubt mostly from years of faithful use during the Trooping of the Colour, etc., with the ring bindings present and correct. The sword fits the scabbard (minor dents) well; the scabbard complete with two gilt metal mounts and corresponding loose rings intact / in place.

George 5th Household Cavalry

In addition to the traditional display of battle honours, the last being Paardeberg, plus Royal Cypher and other foliate etching, the blade also bears opposing lion’s paws armorial crest, apparently an abbreviated variation of the Dunville family crest of a clawing standing lion surmounted by armour. The blade also carries the etched Henry Wilkinson logo and serial number 43500 stamped to the spine.

Dunville Family Crest

Further pictures available upon request.

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