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Mid Victorian Argyllshire Highlander's Scottish Broadsword (Sold)

Circa 1858, a 91st (Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders) Regiment of Foot officer's Scottish broadsword, named officer, member of Clan Campbell.

Mid Victorian Argyllshire Highlander's Scottish Broadsword

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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 Dragoons.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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