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Major-General Sir Denis Pack K.C.B's Sword, Waterloo Provenance, Sold

This is 100% one of Major-General Sir Denis Pack K.C.B's military campaign Swords, it is the one he is said by his family to have worn at Waterloo (Denis Pack was one of the most important allied generals at Waterloo).

British Napoleonic General's Sword The Waterloo  Sword of General Sir Denis Pack

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If you do not know who Major-General Sir Denis Pack was or how important he was at several battles most notably Waterloo, an excellent summary exists here: Denis Pack Epitaph.

Facts / Provenance
This sword came from Christies, London. I have written statements from them the sword is known to have come from the Pack family home, that it was the property of Major-General Sir Denis Pack.

This "pattern" (type, model) of sword was worn by British army general staff from 1803 to 1816 (see: Robson's Swords of the British Army). I purchased two swords from Christies which have both been period marked to Denis Pack after the event (his name was added after). The markings were done by Denis Pack's family after the fact, after his death. The markings on the two swords I bought have clearly been done by the same engraver (not least as the style is the same and because he spelt "Dennis" with two n's, not one). These engraving / spelling errors are typical of the early-mid 19th Century and actually a very good sign of authenticity.

The other sabre I bought of his from Christies was a 1796 Pattern British infantry officer's sword, again "incorrectly" marked, this time to "Captain Dennis Pack 5th Drgn Guards"; Dragoon Guards are cavalry, not infantry (see: Lt Col Denis Packs Infantry Officer's Sword). Denis Pack served with both the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards until the 6th December 1800 when he took up his appointment as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 71th Highlanders. This fact is important as it shows the Pack family marked that sword according to the receipt he received when he ordered it (the sword cutler record would show Denis Pack's current rank / status / regiment prior to his official promotion and / or transfer). His family engraved the swords retrospectively in his memory, in the other sword's case without knowing they were marking an infantry sword to a cavalry regiment, they simply marked the swords according to what they knew were Denis Pack's rank and regiment at the time.

Had this been done outside the Pack family in more recent times, it is wholly unlikely such mistakes would / could have been made.

This provenance is important for this particular sword, to place it at Waterloo, as the inscription is "Sir Dennis Pack"; Denis Pack was knighted for his heroic efforts during the Peninsula War; this sword therefore was used after his time on the Iberian Peninsula. This sword also critically is in a steel field scabbard; it is a sword bought by General Pack to be worn on a battlefield. Given there were no other swords from the Pack residence which could be a contender for the one he held at Waterloo, this one has to be the one carried by him on that most important day in British military history.

The blade is typical of officer's fighting swords; it clearly has been made for potential combat use, not for show. This type of blade, most likely one from JJ Runkel, you will often find on 1798 pattern Scottish infantry officer basket hilted broadswords. Which makes perfect sense given Denis Pack was Lieutenant Colonel of the 71st Highland Light Infantry in 1800 when he likely bought this sword.

I know the blade is original a) because it fits the period scabbard so well and b) because the scabbard has a repair to it; if the blade had been damaged and replaced, the original scabbard would not have fit so well and they would of course have replaced the scabbard at the same time. The blade's construction with the small single fuller and bulbous form is commensurate with 1800. Given general staff swords were regulated (a single design mandated) after Waterloo and this boat shell pattern is not the post-Waterloo approved pattern (see Robson), the sword dates from / was almost certainly in use from 1800 to 1815.

So 99% I can state hand on heart this sword was the one worn by Major-General Sir Denis Pack K.C.B. during the 100 Days War, at Waterloo.

Copies of statements (including emails) from Christies London verfiying this is Major-General Sir Denis Pack's sword can be made available to serious purchase enquirers.

The sword is in generally very good condition (damage / repair to scabbard previously noted). The hilt's gilt is worn / tired (can be regilted - happy to provide details of specialist company who can do this for you). The grip is original and good; for me to hold the same grip which probably has particles of Pack's skin, sweat and perhaps even blood (he was wounded many times during the 100 Days War as he commanded from the front line) in its crevices makes holding it even more evocative. The blade is in very good order and firm in the hilt.

The price for this sword is £xxx (too late - now sold - original sales price divulged for small fee). Further / full sized photos / further information available upon request. Item reference number 314 (42). Denis Pack was also awarded the Portuguese Military Order of the Tower and Sword, Knight of the Imperial Russian Order of Wladimer, and of the Imperial Austrian Order of Maria Theresa for his bravery and military victories over the French Imperial Army. You simply do not get an opportunity of a sword like this from such an important general every day.

4000

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