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Circa 1800 British Infantry Battalion Commander's Sabre (sold)

A very rare British battalion commander's sabre from 1800.

Circa 1800 British Infantry Battalion Commander's Sabre

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The top locket of the scabbard marked "Prosser Maker to the King and Royal Family London, plus the overall pattern dates the sword to around 1800. Almost certainly a Prussian (Solingen) blade, there is no royal cypher as was fairly frequent for the time possibly due to the fact King George 3rd was ill and his son ruled as Prince Regent in his name, possibly because of the extreme curve of the blade putting it outside the remit of an English blade maker, possibly because Solingen blades were held by many officers to be superior. The lack of royal cypher may also mean the sword was made for an overseas non-British officer, but being Prosser this would almost certainly mean a specially made sword with royal approval, which would not explain the fact it remained in England, or at least that is where I bought it. In any event, this period saw a large variation in sword patterns adopted by officers, so it is not possible to refer to standard patterns for the time, you have to look at the sword closely.

The highly curved 29.5 inch blade almost certainly denoting a flank officer, or rather an officer that rose through the ranks of a flank company; flank regimental officers preferring slightly shorter curved blades than centre company officers. The scabbard suspension mounts, knucklebow and pommel all featuring oak leaves, which only the most senior officers were allowed to embellish their accoutrements with. This seniority of rank confirmed by the ivory grip. The original owner of this sword was therefore likely a Colonel commanding one of his regiment's battalions.

The ivory grip has cracks running up it, which is only to be expected. The blade is aged, but the etching lines still fairly clear. The sword does not sheath all the way into the scabbard (about 1/2 inch remains out); this is due to the aging / drying of the leather of the scabbard. Some gilt sections remain on the hilt. The blade and hilt are firm, the twisted wire grip ring bindings are in good shape. Further / full sized pictures available upon request. My item reference number is 680 (264).

 

 

 

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