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Victorian Boer War Northumberland Fusiliers Officer's Sword

An extremely rare Victorian Boer War Northumberland Fusiliers sword, battlefield use blackened.

Boer War Northunberland Fusiliers SwordBoer War Sword

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An extremely rare and highly sought after sword of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers which clearly was present if not used during the Boer War given the Victorian cypher and the fact the hilt and scabbard are blackened for battleground use; during the war, the Boer marksmen targeted British soldiers with gleaming swords on the basis they were officers. Officers of the prestigious and highly accomplished Northumberland Fusiliers who played a significant role in the Boer War, therefore had the sword hilts and scabbards blackened. Dress swords of the Northumberland Fusiliers are the opposite with nickel plated hilts / scabbards with a back St George and the Dragon Flaming Bomb emblem under the royal cypher.

The 32 inch etched length blade has likely been shortened half an inch, evident from the fact the scabbard is longer than necessary. The scabbard is clearly original though, and the blade point very precisely done, so perhaps the tip was lost at some stage and a new point formed. With dress swords, a shortened blade is a sign of an accident or misuse and therefore lessens the value of the sword as a whole. Conversely, with a sword which clearly was finished for battlefield conditions, there is every chance this is a "bloodied sword", one which has been used on an opponent. I am speculating the blade has been shortened as 32 inches is normally the regulation, but I have seen many of this this pattern with 32.5 inch blades so believe the scabbard confirms the likelihood this weapon was once used on a foe.

The blade is firm in the hilt, the fishskin a little worn which again indicates being held / used, the ring bindings tight and present. The sword sheathes and unsheathes well in and out of the scabbard. The sword was made by Poole & Co of fashionable Savile Row in London. Further pictures available upon request.

 

 

 

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