Marked to the blade "Thos Gills Warranted Never To Fail",
this is a Napoleonic Wars / Waterloo era light cavalry officer's
There is often some confusion over when a plain(ish) 1796P is a
light cavalry officer's sword. The answer is in the scabbard; the
officer's sabre had a lighter steel scabbard to that of the trooper,
and would be devoid of any acceptance stamps as the sword would
have been a private purchase. Officers frequently bought campaign
sabres to both save their precious fine blue and gilt examples from
being sharpened, and to make them less of a target with the enemy;
romantic notions of fighting with a fine blue and gilt sabre being
offset with the French easily identifying the holder as an officer.
This sabre also proves itself to be an officer's sabre because
of the addition of "Thos Gills Warranted Never To Fail"
to the blade.
The 32 1/4 inch blade is generally in good condition,though the
etched inscription is now very feint and there are a lot of patina
(black) spots to it, plus a couple of probably period nicks to the
cutting edge. The blade is firm in the hilt. The steel hilt with
a pleasing brown patina all over. The leather over wood grip is
complete and original, but has some wear, some small leather loss
patches and later worm holes (no extra charge for these); the twisted
grip wire bindings are still present and mostly correct. The officer
weight steel undress (combat) scabbard is in fair order, a rust
patch and hole one side towards the chape. The sabre sheathes and
draws a bit loosely, as you would expect.
A very good chance this sabre saw action against the French, perhaps
even at Waterloo, so an evocative as well as prudent investment
at only £xxx (too late, now sold - original sales price divulged
for small fee). Please quote item reference number K30 (1163). Further
/ full sized images upon request.