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Russian / Prussian Cavalry Sabre, captured Persian blade (sold)

A Prussian made Russian cavalry sabre with Persian war trophy blade, in very good order.

Russian or Prussian Cavalry Sabre, captured Persian blade for saleimage B84 1

Sold Item Notice

An exceptionally rare sword, made even more so because of the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828), or possibly Anglo-Persian War (1856-1857) trophy / capture blade. The hilt is almost certainly Prussian made but then the Prussians made swords for the Russians, and is therefore the most logical / likely answer; the Prussians and the Russians also had near identical hilts for their Pallasch swords at the same time. The alternative is that a British officer brought a Persian sword / blade home and then had the Prussians re-hilt it, which is possible, though less likely. The Russian Vs British debate could expand even more with the prospect that, if this was indeed a Russian conflict capture, the sabre may have ended up in British hands as a consequence of the Crimean War! I am pretty sure it was made for a Russian officer because of the leather grip; I suspect a British officer would have ordered a fishskin grip, which was also the standard for Prussian swords anyway. I also can not understand why an English officer would choose a Prussian hilt, as many English cutlers existed who would have mounted a capture blade into a British pattern hilt. In any event, this is an exceptionally rare sword, complete with wootz Persian blade.

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The 30 1/2 inch wavy serrated (both sides) blade is of excellent construction and bears the original maker's mark. The blade is firm in the hilt. The hilt has lost its gilt but is otherwise in good order, some sword marks to the hilt; the blade cuts making us believe this was a Russian sword captured at the Crimea. I suspect that if I am right, if the cuts to the hilt is battle damage, the officer would have lost some fingers or his whole hand. But generally the hilt is good and sound, the grip and twisted wire grip bindings in very good shape for the age. A unique and evocative investment, well worth every penny. Please quote reference number B84 (580). Full sized / further images available upon request.

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I deliberated over the various possible histories of this sword. I believe the hilt is Prussian (Solingen) made but can find no reason for it to have been for a Prussian rather than Russian, or even British officer. The Prussians were not involved in any conflicts with Persia of that era and are less inclined to wear such weapons themselves. Because the blade is clearly a battle trophy (no-one, no Russian, no Prussian, and no Englishman would have bought the blade alone as such events were not acceptable, army swords had regulated patterns, except when a blade was taken as a battle trophy) and Russian sword cutlers were probably not as adept as Solingen makers, it would make sense for a Russian officer to get the blade remounted into a regulation hilt in Solingen. I do not think a British officer took this from a Persian officer, despite the fact there was an Anglo-Persian war, as I can not reconcile an English officer fitting the blade into a Russian / Prussian model hilt. I am therefore 100% certain this a Russo-Persian War trophy taken by a Russian officer. As very few Russian swords made it to the UK (I bought this in the UK from a deceased 's estate where it had been with the previous owner for many, many years), I therefore also believe this was also a Crimean War trophy, taken by an English officer from a Russian officer. I also bought this 1821P British cavalry sword from the same estate, suggesting a link between the two swords. The most obvious link again is the Crimean War, perhaps from when the Scots Greys, as part of the heavy brigade, charged and defeated the Russian cavalry. I truly believe the most likely history is this was a Russian and then a British war trophy!









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