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Victorian Royal Horse Guards Blue Cavalry Officer's Sword (sold)

Very good condition Victorian Royal Horse Guards Blue (Household Cavalry) Officer's Sword, owned by a senior Household Cavalry Officer with full provenance. The original owner of this sword, son of a wealthy banking family, made second-in-command of the Royal Horse Guards before going on to become a Member of Parliament in semi-retirement from the British army.

Victorian Royal Horse Guards Blue Cavalry Officer's SwordHousehold Cavalry Royal Horse Guards Officer's Sword

Sold Item Notice

From 1868 to 1875 or just later, when the British Empire was at its most prolific with Queen Victoria on the throne, this sword escorted the world's most powerful person, the British monarch during state occasions, held by a senior Household Cavalry officer of the Royal Horse Guards Blue (later renamed the Royal Horse Guards and nicknamed "The Blues"). That officer was none other than Colonel Owen Lewis Cope Williams who rose in the ranks of this elite regiment to become the second-in-command, then a major-general and member of Parliament.

Made by Henry Wilkinson with the serial number 15756 stamped to the blade's spine (confirmed on the Wilkinson sales ledger as having been sold to "Col. Williams" on the 1st June 1868), this sword genuinely protected a queen who presided over the largest and many would say greatest empire the world had ever seen. To own this sword is to own an evocative important symbolic ceremonial piece from one of the most powerful historical periods in time. It is likely as close as anyone in the modern world can come to owning and savoring a slice of Queen Victoria's imperial pomp and circumstance. Colonel Williams bought this sword to replace the previous pattern used by the Royal Horse Guards (confirmed in the Wilkinson sales entry as "N.Pn" for "New Pattern"). Col. Owens and this sword would have ridden directly alongside Queen Victoria during various state ceremonies.

The 37 3/4 inch straight blade is in very good condition, although it has a few black patina spots, and is still firm in the hilt. The hilt's plated base is greyed. The fishskin grip is firm although a little worn with the ring bindings in good firm order except for looseness in one section. The scabbard complete with two gilt metal mounts and corresponding loose rings intact / in place, plus gilt chape are all in very good condition. The hilt has the Royal Crown above intertwined "R H G" for the Royal Horse Guards. The blade is etched with Victoria's Royal Cypher, RHG, foliate design plus Henry Wilkinson's logo.

Royal Horse Guards

Further pictures available upon request.

Other data on Owen Lewis Cope Williams within the Royal Horse Guards: Made initial cornet rank 12th May 1854, lieutenant on 25th January 1856, captain on the 7th May 1858, major / brevet lieutenant colonel on the 7th December 1866, brevet colonel 7th December 1871 and acting lieutenant colonel (the second in command) on 11th September 1875.

Owen Lewis Cope Williams' father was one Thomas Peers Williams. a wealthy banker of Temple House in Berkshire and Craig-yd-on in Anglesea, who died 7th September 1875; it appears Owen Lewis Cope Williams was the sole son and heir. Col. Williams probably resigned his commission after his father's death as there is a notice of disolving of a banking business, Messers Williams and Co in Chester, Carnarvon and Bangor, run by him and three others on the 13th November 1880; it appears this was as a result of a large corporate client going into receivership. On the 6th April 1880 Col. Williams was confirmed as the Member of Parliament for the Borough of Great Marlow. On 21st July 1882 Col. Owen Lewis Cope Williams who was still on half pay with the army was promoted to the rank of major-general. On 21st July 1887 Owen Lewis Cope Williams was put on retired pay with the British Army and given the honorary title of lieutenant-general. And this is his sword.

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