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.
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.
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.
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