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1897P Victorian Royal Marine Light Infantry Sword (sold)

Scarce Victorian 1897P etched to the Royal Marine Light Infantry and originally owned by Robert Gordon, a VIP / senior officer, together with related memorabilia.

1897P Victorian Royal Marine Light Infantry SwordVictorian British 1897P officer's sword

Sold Item Notice

OK, first, this is a pretty scarce and therefore highly collectible sword simply because the blade is etched with the Royal Marine Light Infantry emblem and motto; "Per Mare, Per Terrum" with Gibraltar for battle honours. Better still, the other side of the blade has the original owner's initials "R G" for Robert Gordon, who was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the RMLI on the 1st January 1900, so this was his first sword.

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The sword was made by Robert Mole of Birmingham, a fine sword maker and indeed the 32 1/2 inch blade is in very good condition. The nickel plated hilt has the royal cypher of Queen Victoria "VR" of course. The hilt has suffered a little from age with some bubbling / lifting of the plating and some rust. The hilt (and scabbard) could easily be replated if required and this would not look out of place / ruin the sword as the blade is in such good order. The fishskin grip is in overall good condition, a little faded. The twisted wire grip ring bindings are good. The scabbard has a ding and some rust blemishes but sheathes well enough. The sword comes with its original leather sword knot which is aged and one section has separated (I have applied leather balm to enrich what is there, as it was very dry).

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I have done some research on Robert Gordon. His father had the same name and I have a couple of documents (sold with the sword) regarding his father and mother. In 1912 Captain (Temporary Major) Robert Gordon was made a squadron commander in the Royal Flying Corps. In June 1918 he was awarded the Order of the Redeemer by the King of Hellenes. In 1920 he retired on half pay as Group Captain Robert Gordon C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. So he played a very important role in the fledgling Royal Air Force in World War One and is well worthy of research. He must have been called back into service shortly after 1920 as he Commanded RAF Z Force in Somaliland during the 1920s as part of the British effort to defeat the Mad Mullah and more. I have several papers and photos for Robert Gordon including D.S.O certificate (Original), London Gazette (Original), and other clippings. This is a very good and worthwhile research project for someone. The papers of course give the sword 100% provenance.

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Further / full sized pictures available upon request. My item reference number 612 (221)

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