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Peninsular War 5th Northumberland Regiment Officer's Sword, sold

Full provenance, British Peninsular War 5th Northumberland Regiment of Foot Officer's Sword, carried by Capt. William Frederick Courtney.

Peninsular War 5th Northumberland Regiment Officer's SwordNapoleonic Wars British Infantry Officer's Sword

Sold Item Notice

Yes the guard is bent (battle damage by repute), yes the leather scabbard has fallen apart in 3 places, yes the blade only has slight memories of the once ornate etching. But this sword was carried by an officer of the 5th Northumberland Regiment of Foot by the name of Capt. William Frederick Courtney as he battled the Napoleonic French Army through Portugal, chasing them across Spain and into France, to finally see their defeat at Toulouse and with that the first exile of Napoleon to the Elba / the restoration of the French monarchy in 1814.

image Captain William Frederick Courtney

The above painting is of Capt. William Frederick Courtney holding this very sword circa 1805 when he was first promoted to that rank (18th July 1805); it was sold by his descendants / family at auction in England along with the sword (which I bought) and many papers relating to his military career. The sword / painting date is also confirmed by the scabbard locket which bears the remnants of the sword cutler "Gray & Son" name; this dates the sword from 1801 to 1805. I have a good sized image of the painting which I can let the buyer have, along with some details of his military career from the auction house, plus an image of his promotion certificates.

The 30 1/4 inch blade is firm in the hilt (bent knucklebow), the ivory grip is worn from being held, the scabbard is in poor condition but the fittings are there. The sword is an 1800's light infantry / flank officer's sabre similar to the 1796P cavalry sabre; there is one difference, apart from the blade length (and markings on the blade if they are still present), that allows you to tell them apart. This sword could be restored for around 600 GBP (including hilt reformed and new scabbard made) by someone like Crisp & Sons in England, but sometimes I believe swords are best left as they are.

Further / full sized photos available upon request. Reference number 410 (31).

Gray & Son


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