1885 Patt 16th Lancers Cavalry Trooper's
In good condition, an 1885P British cavalry trooper's sword marked
to the 16th Lancers (December 1894) with unusual blade, Boer War
action very likely.
The blade first date marked in 1889, this sabre is unusual in that
the blade is 33 1/2 inches rather than the normal 34 1/2 inches.
33 1/2 inch blades were the order of 1899 pattern sabres, so I believe
this sabre was still very much in use after 1899; it is a recorded
fact that many 1885 / 1890 sabres were still in service and saw
action during the Boer War, especially earlier on. The blade point
has been period sharpened, again adding to the likelihood it was
in South Africa. I suspect the blade was originally 34 1/2 inches
and was shortened, but this was done at a blade makers as the scabbard
exactly matches the length of the blade, so the blade was not shortened
as a result of damage. The inside of the hilt is marked to the 16th
Lancers and dated 12 94 (December 1894).
So everything about this sabre says it was in the Boer War, and
the 16th Lancers have Battle Honours for Relief of Kimberley and
Paardeberg. I really believe this sabre was present during at least
the Relief of Kimberley in 1900. The blade is in good order and
firm in the hilt, several War Department / inspection marks. The
hilt is aged but good and sound, the grip a little aged and worn
but sound. The sword sheathes and draws well. A lovely evocative
cavalry sabre. Further / full sized pictures available upon request.
Our item reference number 876 (397).