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1796P British 2nd Life Guards Heavy Cavalry Sabre, Waterloo, SOLD

With its original, if slightly battered hatchet point, this is a rare British 1796 pattern heavy cavalry sabre with original scabbard marked to a trooper of the 2nd Life Guards, which means it saw action at Waterloo in 1815. In generally good order.

1796P British 2nd Life Guards Heavy Cavalry Sabre, WaterlooUnmodified disc hilt with langets intact

Sold Item Notice

This is a doubly rare and doubly collectible 1796P heavy cavalry sword because a) it has firm Waterloo provenance, and b) it has its original hatchet point blade tip, unmodified full disc hilt and both its langets. Most 1796P's were handed down to yeomanry calvary regiments or cut down to be used as British naval cutlasses after Waterloo, this one was not. Many people believe all 1796's were converted (ground down) to spear point for Waterloo, but this is untrue and history proves it in that the 1796P of Sergeant Ewert, the British heavy cavalryman who captured the French Standard, which has been kept at the Scots Greys' Museum with the French Standard, is like this sabre, it has its original clipped point.

2nd Life Guards, C Troop, Trooper number 56

The above scabbard markings are "2L(G - rubbed out), 56 C (or G - area rubbed so as to make which uncertain); 2nd Life Guards, C Troop, Trooper 56. I suspect this trooper survived the action and hence the reason for this sabre's survival without being cut down / altered for naval or yeomanry use. I suspect the sword was decommissioned due to the blade damage (large nicks to the cutting edge) and given to the trooper as a battle trophy; if the sword was "unassigned" after Waterloo, it would have been cut down as a cutlass.

Hatchet point

The above photo shows the hatchet point, which clearly has struck something or rather someone straight on. The nicks to the cutting edge are commensurate with the sword being wielded like a battle axe as burly British heavy cavalrymen were prone to doing in close quarters combat, after the charge. The nicks are period, not more recent additions. This is therefore a fine sword but one that has been through the wars, literally, and it shows, nicely so. You really are not likely to ever handle a more evocative or historic piece.

Dawes Birmingham

Made by Dawes of Birmingham, these swords really do not get any better as far as collectors are concerned. I saw a Scots Grays 1796P, also with Waterloo Provenance, selling for £5500 in 2011. Therefore my price is a real bargain. I truly doubt any Waterloo provenance original unmodified 1796P HS sword will ever be sold on the retail market for so little again. I truly believe this sword represents a superb investment both financially and enjoyment wise.

Leather grip

I believe this is the original leather grip. It certainly has seen some wear and the wooden base is showing through in a few places, the grip wire bindings long gone. The 34 inch blade is in overall good order, but of course has the nicks along the cutting edge. There is a crown over 3 (correct for Dawes) inspection mark to the blade. Blade is firm in the hilt, the hilt generally good even very good. The grip worn as previously outlined. The steel scabbard in good order, the sword sheathing well for its age. A truly wonderful example. Further / full sized photos available upon request. My reference number is 731 (295).




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