1796P Officer's Campaign Sabre, Waterloo
16th Light Dragoons, sold
In overall good condition, a 1796P light cavalry officer's campaign
sabre, made by J J Runkel, with monogrammed blade and scabbard,
and clear though tenuous link to one Captain William Tomkinson of
the then 16th (Queen's) Light Dragoons who saw action at the Battle
The blade and scabbard are engraved in period cursive script with
the initials "W T" (we have had this confirmed by an expert).
The sabre was bought by us at auction in the UK where the seller
wished to remain anonymous, but we managed to get "There is
a reported Queens Lancers" officer link to the sword".
The Queens Lancers were the 16th (Queens) Light Dragoons at the
time of Waterloo. It is a J J Runkel sword, so pre-1809, which rules
out one of the two officers serving with the 16th at Waterloo (as
one was recently commissioned "cornet" or second lieutenant).
The 31 5/8 inch blade has been modified towards the tip end; the
normally more flared point section has been reduced down to more
closely resemble the French light cavalry counterpart, and to reduce
the sabre's weight. The blade has period nicks to the cutting edge;
this sabre has seen action, for sure. The 16th (Queens) Light Dragoons
saw heavy action in both the Peninsular War and 100 Days War (Waterloo).
It is possible the blade was damaged during the former then reground
and used in the later. J J Runkel made officer's swords, not trooper's
swords. The scabbard on this sabre clearly is original to the sabre
as the initials appear on both. It is therefore an officer's campaign
sabre; a sword designed to be used in battle by an officer; no gilt
and blue, just pure hacking ability.
The blade has been cleaned over time. It is still firm in the hilt.
The hilt has age. The smooth grip is a replacement. The scabbard
is equally as aged as the hilt. The sabre sheathes and draws well
Price. If this sword did not have the very, very tenuous link to
the 16th Light Dragoons, it would only affect the value downwards
by around £200 because it clearly has seen battle for one
light cavalry regiment officer or another. If this sword had a more
substantial link to Captain William Tomkinson, it would perhaps
be worth well over 5 times what we are asking. Our price is £xxxx
(too late, now sold - original sales price divulged for small fee).
Please quote item reference L43 (1196). Further / full sized images
available upon request.