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English 1st Foot Guards Officer's Sword, Waterloo provenance (sold)

A damaged mounted 1803 pattern British infantry officer's sword firmly connected with Waterloo and the 1st Foot Guards (Grenadier Guards).

English 1st Foot Guards Officer's Sword, Waterloo provenance

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Mounted onto a display board with plaque reading "Found on the plains of Waterloo by Capt. Johnstone. And presented to THE GRENADIER Public House With deep Appreciation".

Renamed in 1944 as "the Grenadier", which is when the display board and plaque were clearly made, previously "the Guardsman" public house since 1818 (frequented by King George IV) , previously the officers mess of the 1st Royal Regiment of Foot Guards since 1720. I believe this to be 100% genuine / authentic as stated, just with the attribution changed to reflect the pub name change.

William Fred Johnstone is shown as a lieutenant or captain with the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards on the Waterloo roll call. I suspect he was at that time a lieutenant as he was commissioned into the regiment on the 16th March 1814. I believe he was promoted to Captain as a result of and shortly after Waterloo.

It seems a lot of trouble to go to claim a sword was found at Waterloo when it was not, especially given the history of the pub in question. And there is a round dent to the blade that I can only believe was caused by a piece of French shot. I therefore am 100% certain this sword is exactly what the plaque says it is, the sword of presumably an injured / fallen English infantry officer, perhaps himself an officer of the 1st Regiment of Foot. I suspect the original owner of this sword was in the 1st Regiment of Foot because the soldier etching indicates this, and as only this would explain why a fallen English officer's sword would be displayed, in order to honour him. I really can not think of any other reasonable explanation and holding the sword genuinely sends a shiver down my spine.

Apparently this and another Waterloo provenance sword hung in the Grenadier London until the owner retired and sold up, taking these items with him. I think this is a terrific piece and will only appreciate in both forms of value. The 29 1/2 inch blade is in fairly good order with useful amounts of blue and gilt etching remaining, including Georgian cypher, 1801-1816 coat of arms and foot guard soldier. The hilt is broken, clearly a long time ago. The grip is actually in very good order. The wooden display it is mounted on measures 122.5 cm by 24cm. Full sized / additional photos available upon request. Please quote item reference number 971.

 

 

 

 

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