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Rare Georgian British Naval Officer's Sabre, sold

In good condition, an exceptionally rare British RN officer's sabre with a Britannia etched pre-1808 JJ Runkel (1796P light cavalry type) blade.

Rare Georgian British Naval Officer's Sabre (1796P light cavalry type blade)image O14 1

Sold Item Notice

The blade is pre-1808 and may well therefore have been at Trafalgar, as this is such a special officer's blade. It was made / imported by the renowned JJ Runkel, clearly a special order; the blade is Damascus etched. The etching is feint, but you can still see the iconic figure of Britannia, so there is absolutely no doubt the blade was made for a British naval officer before 1808. The blade has an early 1 under crown British acceptance mark, which is rare on an officer's blade (officer's had to buy their own swords), so this is almost certainly the blade of a presentation sword bought for a special officer by the Royal Navy. The hilt is an 1827 pattern RN hilt, so the officer had his blade rehilted in 1827 to conform to the new firm regulations. Clearly though, he was an important enough officer that he was allowed to keep his non-regulation blade. As the hilt still has much gilt, we presume his career did not extend much past 1827, and it may well be he was semi-retired / retired at that time.

image O14 2 Britannia

image O14 3 JJ Runkel

The totally impractical (for naval service) 32 1/4 inch blade is in good though aged and worn condition, and firm in the hilt. The hilt in good order, the folding guard works well. The quality fishskin grip very good, some twisted grip wire movement, but not much. No scabbard.

If you don't buy it and someone else does, we can virtually guarantee you will never, ever get another chance at one of these. Who knows which officer once held this beauty; he was certainly very important and distinguished. This amazingly rare slice of history is yours for £xxxx (too late, now sold - original sales price divulged for small fee). Please quote item reference number O14 (1344). Further / full sized images available upon request.

image O14 5

image O14 4

The "white" on the grip above is sunlight.


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