1796P British Heavy Cavalry Trooper's Sword,
In sound condition, an exceptionally rare 1796P British heavy
cavalry trooper's sword, inspection and troop marks, hatchet point.
Rare, very rare. 100% Authentic, guaranteed. A 1796 pattern heavy
cavalry trooper's sword; crown over "1" government acceptance
mark (indicating the sword was made by Gill), "K" and
"37" to the hilt. This sword was issued to one of the
main British heavy cavalry regiments during the Napoleonic Wars,
most probably saw action at Waterloo.
Most examples of this sword are in awful condition as they remained
in service for many years after the Napoleonic Wars; they were often
even cut down to make cutlasses! The few that are in good order
were either preserved by a non-combat regiment (rare) or those that
were declared unfit for service. You will notice this sword has
period nicks to the cutting edge of the blade, so it is likely this
sword was withdrawn from service, hence it is in such reasonable
order. It is also missing its scabbard, which also indicates the
sword was withdrawn from service / decommissioned, as the scabbard
was probably retained if it was in good order.
This sword has had the langets removed, which seems to indicate
it was in service past the Peninsular War, as their are accounts
of complaints of how the langets would foul the sword preventing
it from easily being drawn and sheathed during that war. Also, the
nicks to the blade are indicative of the sword being wielded like
an axe almost, which is how many burly British cavalrymen used this
sword, which was not that effective as a thrusting weapon, which
it was designed to be ironically.
This sword is made even rarer by the fact it has a hatchet point.
There is a popular misconception that all 1796P heavy cavalry swords
were field converted to spear point just before Waterloo. However,
there is firm evidence that perhaps up to half the British heavy
cavalry swords had original hatchet or slightly modified semi-hatchet
points. In any event, this sword has seen action (courtesy of the
period nicks) where it was wielded, not thrust, and the langets
are removed, so the most likely explanation is that the sword was
The 34 3/4 inch blade is worn and aged, but not as much as most.
The Crown over "1" inspection mark shows this sword was
bought by the crown; the "1" indicating the sword is Mole
made. The blade is still firm in the hilt. The hilt has aged and
patina, but is sound, and the troop / trooper markings "K"
"37" are just visible on the knuckle bow. The leather
grip is aged but mostly still there, which is a big bonus, as most
grips have long perished and replaced with crude smooth wooden grips;
to hold the same leather as the original trooper is a great feeling.
Truly, this sword is an absolute bargain. Further / full sized
images upon request. Please quote item reference number is D70 (753)