In good though highly cleaned condition, a Waterloo British 1796 pattern Heavy Cavalry / 1st Life Guards Trooper’s Sword, with some strong evidence it was involved in the Battle of Waterloo.
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This sword has been zealously cleaned, almost certainly to try and remove pitting. There is a British crown over 1 view (inspection) mark to the blade, showing it was issued to a regular (front line) heavy cavalry regiment (there were no reservist / yeomanry heavy cavalry regiments); Crown over 1 view marks are on known / documented 1st Life Guard swords. There is a “G” (looks a G, not a C) to the guard’s quillon, and what looks like another “G” high / prominent on the scabbard. British regimental markings were not regulated at the time of Waterloo and it seems probable the only reason for such a prominent position would be to indicate “Guards”, of which several Dragoon Guards were at Waterloo. However, the turned rim of the disc guard (to prevent tunic fraying) is an accredited modification carried out by the Household Cavalry, specifically the 1st Life Guards. You can see this exact same turned rim on famed Sergeant Shaw of the Life Guards’ sword here: Royal Armouries 1796P Page; not an easy to navigate page but look for “media” and then find the photos of Sergt Shaw’s sword.
Being a Life Guards sword would also explain the single “G” without any prefix, as would be normal, for regular guards cavalry. The blade has been spear pointed, which was done in the field for most 1796p’s present in the 100 Days War just before Waterloo. Finally, the disc guard has not been cut down and the langets remain, indicating it was decommissioned or rather put into store directly after Waterloo for whatever reason; this also strongly indicates it is a Household Cavalry trooper’s battle / campaign sword, as the Household Cavalry would have resumed carrying their ladder hilt swords for domestic / ceremonial service.
It should be noted that although the Household cavalry had their own patterns of swords (brass and some steel ladder hilts) during the Napoleonic Wars, these ladder hilted swords were used for domestic service only, and the standard 1796P heavy cavalry swords like ours were used in battle, at Waterloo.
The 32 3/4 inch spear pointed blade is in good condition and firm in the hilt. The hilt / guard also good; there is a period repair (pinned small repair plate) inside the guard (only adds to the fact this saw active service). The ribbed leather grip is presumed original and in good condition, again indicating it was not in active / constant use after Waterloo. The steel scabbard is sound but with pitting and a large dented area, commensurate with a fallen horse. The sword draws and sheathes well enough. No maker’s mark visible; the spine having cleaned pitting where it likely once was.
Come on, it has “Waterloo” written all over it. These swords are so rare to the market these days and command the price we are asking even without a good probability they were used during that famous battle. This piece of history, yours, for was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference AF87. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 1258-121x18x16 (2.750)