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WW2 British Blackened Infantry Officer's Sword (India Service), sold

A rare blackened / japanned 1897P George 6th WW2 India service British infantry officer's sword.

WW2 British Blackened Infantry Officer's Sword (India Service) image 747 2

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Please note: The scabbard fittings have been stripped after the event / war of their blackened coating; remnants of the black remain, enough to colour match. My recommendation would be to match the colour with a good metal paint and restore the mounts to how they once were. Please try and imagine this sword with the scabbard mounts matt black, as they originally were.

This is a rare blackened / japanned British infantry officer's sword from World War 2. Rare because swords were not considered necessary outside of dress occasions, so this was a rare exception. Probably not for a front line officer, but one not too far away in a war zone where the sword's importance was still considerable; perhaps more of a British euphoric answer to the fact all Japanese officers, NCO's and Sergeants wore swords in battle.

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The hilt looks like it has rusted, yes? Wrong! The hilt has been "japanned", perhaps an unfortunate if not ironic term given the circumstances; japanning being a lacquer process to colour metal. Inspection of the inside of the hilt confirms this. The blade is the only original bright thing about this sword, even the grip wire ring bindings have been blackened. Clearly, the sword was made to be worn in conditions where the officer did not want light reflecting off his sword.

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I / one can only imagine how magnificent this sword must have originally looked. It is in very good order now but the scabbard fittings and aged japanning to the hilt face has detracted a little. Still, as far as swords go, you will be hard pushed to find another, especially in such good order. The 33 inch blade is very nicely etched, has been sharpened at the point (the officer clearly thought he may one day be called upon to use it as a weapon) and is firm in the hilt. The hilt is in very good order, though the japanning has lost some of its colour. The fishskin grip and twisted grip wire is in good order. The scabbard too in good condition. My item reference number is 747 (301). Further / full sized images available upon request.



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