1796 P British Light Cavalry Trooper's Sabre
by Woolley & Deakin (sold)
Good condition 1796 P light cavalry trooper's sabre, sword made
by Woolley & Deakin, scabbard marked to James Thompson of London.
A very satisfying sabre by Woolley & Deakin, the throat of
the scabbard marked to J Thompson Sword Cutler 54 Jermyn Street
London. As a sword cutler, Thompson basically assembled or simply
put his name on items from an actual sword maker. The scabbard clearly
is original to the sabre. Mismatched swords and scabbards from this
period often mean they were battlefield pick-ups. Where the swords
of fallen soldiers were placed into the first scabbard that could
be found that fit. This I believe is not one of those swords. I
am 99% certain this sabre and this scabbard are original to each
Woolley & Deakin were a famous maker in Birmingham, England
who supplied these swords to both the British and Americans (US).
Of course, this one was made for a British soldier. Thompson's mark
on the scabbard dates it post-1810. It is also almost certainly
pre-1816 as very few enlisted men's swords were made after the 100
Days War (Waterloo) because there were already stocks, plus fallen
men's swords, plus many soldiers were decommissioned after the war.
So this sabre was most likely made just before the Battle of Waterloo.
Was it in that most famous of battles? I am afraid I do not know.
The sabre has been well looked after more recently, though clearly
the blade has suffered from some rust pitting in the past and a
previous owner has shined (sanded down) everything. But the 33 inch
blade is in very good order generally. There are no inspection stamps
visible on the blade because it has been rubbed down, but I do not
think there were any originally if the sabre had been sold by Thompson
to the regiment directly. At that time regiments still bought swords
from their own preferred suppliers. If there were a British ordinance
mark, that would likely mean the sabre and scabbard were a mismatch,
which I have already stated I am sure they are not.
The blade is form in the hilt. The hilt too has been rubbed down
and shined, but is in very good order despite that. The grip is
original, though the original twisted grip wire bindings are gone.
The sabre sheathes well, although with a little rattle as you would
expect; as previously indicated, the scabbard fits the sabre perfectly.
The scabbard has been rubbed down perhaps a little less and is in
very good order.
This is a very good sword with the potential of some research
(to find out which regiment of cavalry Thompson supplied). Further
/ full sized pictures available upon request. Sword reference number