Rare 1759 British Light Dragoons Sabre by
In good condition with original fishskin grip, an exceptionally
rare 1759 pattern British light dragoons sabre.
This is a 1759 pattern light dragoons sword made by Drury. It is
so rare that you will not find it in most reference books. The sword
is important not just because of its rarity, but also because 1759
marked the birth of the British light cavalry; before, non-dragoons
were mounted infantrymen. So it is the mother of all light cavalry
sabres. I suspect one of the reasons that this sabre is so rare
may well be that they were converted to infantry hangers / short
swords (which were used by British infantry in the American War
of Independence / Revolutionary War). The hilt is certainly familiar
to many collectors, as the circa 1770 to 1780 infantry short sabre,
but these had straight grips and blades normally well short of 30
inches. The blade on this sword is 33 inches and the grip clearly
designed for cavalry use.
I have seen circa 1770 British infantry short sabres that share
certain facets of this sword, but most 1770 infantry swords had
very different grips and fullered blades. I am sure the 1770 infantry
swords with the same unfullered blade and chunky fishskin over wood
type grip, plus such rudimentary "GR" blade stampings
(as were seen on swords circa 1760) are shortened 1759 light dragoon
cavalry sabres for infantry use; shortened to squeeze every penny
out of their investment by the British crown. How this one survived
intact I have no idea, but I challenge you to find another. And
argue as many experts do, 33 inches of British blade in 1755 to
1780 means only one thing, a cavalry sabre. So, if you like having
pieces that museums and serious collectors alike would fight to
get their hands on, you had better grab this one quick, as I truly
do not believe another will come onto the market ever again, really.
Although very old and of course aged, the sabre is in good condition.
The blade is sound and still very firm in the hilt. Sure the blade
has age signs, and there is a little rust pitting and slight bending
near the tip, plus a few nicks, but nothing much to worry about.
The hilt is equally in good order, the original fishskin grip is
sound and a huge bonus. Yes, the twisted wire grip bindings have
gone, but these are easily replaceable if desired. Further / full
sized photos available upon request. Item Ref: 699.