Napoleonic English 15th Hussars Officer's
Mameluke Sabre, sold
An exceptionally rare 15th Hussars officer's mameluke, very early
19C, wootz steel blade, in good condition.
The 15th (The King's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars) served
in both the Peninsular and 100 Days Napoleonic wars. This mameluke
sabre may not be as fancy as the Victorian era mamelukes worn by
the 15th Hussars, but it is rarer and even more valuable to Napoleonic
and wootz steel blade collectors alike. The unmarked wootz steel
blade indicates it was bought at the beginning of the 19th Century.
The special pattern ivory grip is what shows it to be 15th Hussars;
this pattern of grip is exclusive to them.
The wootz steel came from India, and was prized for its strength
over British blades of the time. This "fashion" of acquiring
wootz steel Indian blades was fairly common amongst several English
hussar regiments after the so-called "Egyptian campaign"
of 1801 to 1802, and in part forced the introduction of the mameluke
as an official pattern of officer's sword. It is possible this sabre
was used either as a dress sword or even on campaign, as the blade
is of superior steel to wider European made blades. IN any event,
it is an especially rare sword and was worn by one of England's
finest cavalry officers during the Napoleonic Wars.
The 32 1/2 inch blade, double edged for the final quarter towards
the point, was clearly sharp at one time. The blade clearly shows
the wootz steel freckling, and is very attractive therefore with
it. The blade has a couple of cutting edge nicks and is still firm
in the hilt. The grips sections are ivory and complete, some cracking
as to be expected. Two of the gilt florets are missing, but these
can be made by skilled metal workers / jewelers. I suspect the ivory
was crafted in England, though it doesn't really matter of course.
I doubt you will ever see another one, so the price of £xxxx
leaves a lot of potential for your investment to appreciate. Further
/ larger photos available upon request. Item reference number 964