Mid Victorian Argyllshire Highlander's Scottish
Circa 1858, a 91st (Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders)
Regiment of Foot officer's Scottish broadsword, named officer, member
of Clan Campbell.
An unusual sword in very good condition. Unusual in that the hilt
is matt finished; this is original and was specially ordered that
way by the officer, and I am sure I know why and how he got away
with it. This broadsword is marked to maker "Cater & Co"
which dates it to 1851 to 1860. It has the original owner's initials
"J L" marked to the blade. The only officer at that time
according to my Harts Army Lists is one Captain John Theodore Ling,
who joined the 91st (Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders)
Regiment of Foot after having commanded the 7th Regiment of Albanian
Cavalry! Before that, Capt. Ling served with the British 14th Light
The blade is not only etched with his initials and the 91st Princess
Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders, it bears a boar's head and the
Latin Phrase "Ne Obliviscaris" (Forget not). Although
Ne Obliviscaris was the regimental motto of the Argyllshire Highlanders,
it is also the family motto of the powerful Clan Campbell who predominate
Argyllshire. This means "J L" was a very well connected
person within the regiment and explains a) why he was able to join
it from the cavalry, and b) why he was allowed to have a very bespoke
hilt to his sword. I am pretty sure, courtesy also of the browned
metal scabbard (it is not rusted, it is a browned metal scabbard
and in very good condition), that John Ling was well ware of the
pitfalls of having a shiny sword at your side in battle (the enemy
can spot the officers a mile away). In addition, the blade is etched
with thistles, VR (Queen Victoria's) Royal Cypher and battle honours
for the Peninsula War; interestingly only for the Peninsula War,
so it is highly probable one of his forefathers served with distinction
during that war.
The 32 inch blade is well etched but a little worn in places and
with widespread patina, but the important etched detail is very
clear. The blade is firm in the hilt which itself is in very good
condition. The fishskin grip is in good order, as are the twisted
grip wire bindings. The scarlet inner is aged as you would expect,
slight remnants of the blue trim that once adorned it are still
visible. The sword sheathes well; the scabbard is in very good order
for its age. Further / full sized pictures available upon request.
My item reference number is 669.
Please note: the matt finish hilt is an early form of galvanization
which should be easily removed with wet fine sanding paper if desired,
to leave a more standard steel hilt.