Victorian British 16th Lancers Important
Officer's Sword (sold)
1821/22 Pattern British light cavalry officer's sabre, named to a very important officer in the 16th Lancers.
This is the sabre 2nd Lieutenant Julian Oswald (born 17th February
1860) bought from Wilkinsons in 1879 (serial number 23402) when
he joined the famous 16th Lancers after having served in the local
militia. Julian Oswald made Lieutenant in 1880, Capatain in 1886
and Major in 1894.
In 1900 Major Oswald was for a brief period in command of both squadrans sent from India to serve in the Boer War; the 16th Lancers made one of the most famous cavalry charges of that war and, in fact, one of the last truly great cavalry charges in history. Although it is unlikely he carried this sabre in the Boer War as senior officers carried mamalukes generally, it is still possible as the 1821P was recognized as a superior field weapon. In any event, this sword belonged to a very distinguished British cavalry officer at the outset of his career, when he earned a name for himself and with that rose the army ranks.
Major Oswald was awarded the Queens Medal with 4 clasps for his
role in the Boer War, he retired in November 1901. The 34 3/4 inch
blade is by far the best part of the sword, being in virtually mint
condition. The hilt and the scabbard have both seen the weathers
of time, with black patina evident. The grip has lost some of its
fishskin and some of the grip wire / ring bindings. The sword is
loose in the scabbard as the original wodden liners have obviously
gone. Despite this, the sword itself feels very special and is one
of the few that comes with such a great provenance. Additional photos
available upon request. Item reference number 116