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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 provenanceimage 971 1

Sold Item Notice

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".

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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.

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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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