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Crimean War Era British Marine Officer's Sword (Sold)

An exceptionally rare and particularly fine British Marine Light Infantry (then His / Her Majesty's Marine Forces) officer's sword and scabbard.

Crimean War Era British Marine Officer's SwordFouled Anchor Cartouch

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This is a particularly fine fighting officer's sword and very likely saw combat during the Crimean War where the British Marine Light Infantry were particularly active (also in the associated Baltic Campaign). It can almost 100% be dated to 1854 due to the hilt (a Victorian 1854 Infantry Pattern but with the fouled anchor instead of monarch's cypher for service on board one of Her Majesty's Royal Navy ships) and the fact it has a superb earlier piped back blade marked to George 4th (2 monarchs earlier); the blade circa 1925 to 1930. Probably, therefore, the blade came from the officer's father's sword, as was common.

This sword can be dated to 1854 because the Royal Marine Light Infantry were officially named as such in 1855 and from then on carried official infantry pattern swords and scabbards; the swords 1855 onwards bearing the monarch's royal cypher to the hilt's cartouche with the initials "RMLI" to the blade, the scabbards being infantry scabbards. In 1854 they were still called "His / Her Majesty's Marine Forces" (and the "Royal Marine Artillery"). This sword with its fouled anchor cartouche in an 1854 pattern hilt and navy style scabbard could only therefore have occurred in 1854 at the height of the Crimean War. Not only does this mean the sword almost certainly saw battle against the Russians, it makes it a very rare sword indeed. Please note: I am aware a variation of the naval pattern sword existed for the Royal Marine Artillery.

This sword (or at least the blade) has seen combat action. The blade tip (around 2.5 inches from the point) had once been broken off and been professionally reattached (you can make out the gold weld they used); the repair is 100% period and hardly noticeable, such is the quality of it. It is very unlikely a damaged blade would have been remounted into the current hilt in 1854, so the likelihood is this repair happened as a result of military action 1854 to 1855, the Crimean War. I truly believe there is no other explanation.

The blade is 33.5 inches long and firm in the hilt. The blade is in superb condition with the typical Georgian tablet etching either side; one of George 4th's Royal Cypher, the other "Tatham Sword Cutler to the King, London". The hilt is lovely, the fouled anchor beautifully made. The grip of fishskin and twisted wire is in exceptional condition. The scabbard with the specially fashioned mouthpiece to accept the pipe-backed blade is in very good order for its age. Further pictures available upon request.

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