Circa 1780 British Royal Navy Officer's Cutlass,
In sound condition, a rare mid to late 18C British Royal Naval
officer's cutlass, with Prince of Wales feathers to the scabbard.
Almost certainly 1770 to 1780, marked with the Prince of Wales
feathers to the scabbard, this RN officer's cutlass was probably
worn by an officer on HMS Prince of Wales (a 3rd rate ship of the
line launched in 1765 and broken up in 1783). We believe the officer
went on to serve on other British navy ships and may well have been
an officer on the celebrated HMS
Nymphe., as it came with what is almost certainly a captured
Naval Officer's 1767M Sword.
The family that owned these two swords thought from family legend
they were both French, that the scabbard markings were the fleur-de-lis,
but they are the Prince of Wales feathers. It seems most likely
therefore, that this cutlass belonged to a British RN officer who
was involved in action against a French ship and captured that vessel
and one of the officer's swords. Given swords were changing and
becoming more regulated the closer you get to 1800, it seems very
likely indeed, given the French sword that came with is the same
model of sword worn by the captain of the Cléopâtre,
the British officer may well have been one on HMS Nymphe.
The 181/4 inch blade is aged but sound, a little loose in the hilt,
but not very much. The hilt is in good shape, aged, and with the
small quillon missing. The leather scabbard has shrunk with age
and losing moisture, so it is tight on the blade, and the tip of
the scabbard is split. But hey, if the scabbard had not survived,
then we would not even be sure that the cutlass was British!
You will not find another and with the possible history of this
cutlass to dwell upon, don't be too long about it, as it is unlikely
to be for sale for long; yours for £? (too late, now sold).
Please quote item reference AA03 (0004). Further / full sized images