1897P Victorian British Infantry Sergeant's
In good order, a rare browned Victorian British infantry sergeant's
sword, undoubtedly made for the Boer War.
This is a rare browned version of the 1897P; the browning still
good on the scabbard, only remnants on the hilt due to aging / rust
erosion. Browning is used to prevent rust but more importantly to
prevent light being reflected; the Boer snipers were adept at targeting
British soldiers wearing nice bright swords, as the presence of
a sword showed the wearer to be above ranks. The British responded
by camouflaging their accouterments. The buyer could keep aged,
as is, or quite easily re-brown the hilt (just do a search on Google
for "Metal Browning Solution"). These swords are rare
to the market, much rarer than officer's swords.
The sword was first accepted for service in May 1900, the scabbard
June 1900. There are subsequent date stamps for 1901 and 1902, which
begs the question what happened to the sergeant who was originally
issued with this weapon.
The 32 1/4 inch blade, stamped with various acceptance / War Office
marks, plus that for Mole (the maker) of Birmingham, is in very
good condition, double edged at end (period sharpened), and firm
in the hilt. The hilt has lost most of its browning due to rust
aging, but is still very sound and could be easily restored without
going to a professional restorer. The fishskin grip is in very good
shape for a sergeants sword, the twisted silver grip wire all present
and correct, so well above average. The browned scabbard has had
some rust but the browning is still good / apparent. The sword sheathes
and draws well, a little loose but not much.
Truly, an investment. Full sized / additional photos available upon
request. Please quote item reference number C62 (662)