1796 Patt. British Heavy Cavalry Trooper's
Sword, Hatchet Point, sold
A rare 1796P heavy cavalry trooper's sword with original hatchet
point, made by Osborn & Gunby of Birmingham, in sound though
We absolutely 100% guarantee this is an authentic Napoleonic British
1796 pattern heavy cavalry trooper's sword; be warned, this is a
rare and valuable sword where unscrupulous dealers take modern reproductions
and age them. Again, this is not a fake / reproduction. It it is
100% authentic, approximately 200 years old.
With its original rare / unmodified hatchet point, Osborn &
Gunby traded in that name from 1806 to 1820. As there was a surplus
of swords after the 100 Days War (Waterloo), this means the sword
was made between 1806 and 1815. Bearing a crown (Board of Ordnance)
acceptance mark, this sword was issued to one of Britain's premier
heavy cavalry regiments. Although most of these swords were converted
to spear point just before Waterloo, many other were not; for example,
Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Scots Greys who captured the regimental
eagle of the French 45e Régiment de Ligne at Waterloo had
a hatchet point 1796P like this one.
Both the blade and scabbard are marked to Osborn & Gunby, so
it is likely the scabbard is original to the sword. However, the
blade is quite pitted whereas the scabbard is not. If it were not
for the fact that the hilt is in good order, we might otherwise
conclude the sword and scabbard were not original to each other.
Why the blade is more pitted than the scabbard and hilt, we do not
know for sure. It is perhaps most likely that the original wooden
lining slats for the scabbard got wet; there was torrential rain
at the battlefield of Quatra-Bras (shortly before Waterloo). It
therefore seems most likely the pitted blade actually places this
sword at Quatra-Bras and therefore Waterloo. The sword being sheathed
into a damp scabbard interior and then left for some long period
of time. The sword does have a nick to the front cutting edge, which
indicates it struck something.
The 34 5/8 inch blade is in pitted though very sound condition,
and is firm in the hilt. The hilt is in good condition with the
original leather grip still intact; a real bonus for these swords,
to be able to hold the same leather grip as the original British
heavy cavalryman. The scabbard is in good condition. The sword sheathes
quite well, if a little loose.
A lovely and evocative example. Further / full sized images available
upon request. Please quote item reference F30 (866).