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Circa 1780 British Royal Navy Officer's Cutlass, Sold

In sound condition, a rare mid to late 18C British Royal Naval officer's cutlass, with Prince of Wales feathers to the scabbard.

Circa 1780 British Royal Navy Officer's Cutlass, Prince of Wales markingsimage AA03 1

Sold Item Notice

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 French 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.

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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 upon request.

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