In overall good condition, a rare 1796P William IV British Cavalry Officer’s Blue & Gilt Etched Sabre / Sword.
Rare in that the 1796 pattern wa superceded by the 1821 pattern in 1821 of course; William IV reigned from 1830 to 1837. Which proves this model was still being made after 1821 and that some officers had status or flexibility, though, possibly, this could be a King William IV Coronation sword for a retired light cavalry officer. In any event, it is particularly rare.
The 32 inch blade, no visible maker’s mark, is in good condition with good amounts of blue and gilt etch remaining. Blade firm in the hilt. The hilt and grip tell their own different stories. At some stage the grip has succumbed to humidity and has a light rusting throughout, though it is very sound. The fishskin on the grip has at some stage suffered a very dry atmosphere and has shrunk (it may be possible with regular applications of a fine oil to reverse some of the shrinkage), with the section under the pommel gone completely. The twisted grip wire bindings are good. The chemically browned scabbard has faired better than the hilt because of the browning, with some but not too much or many tiny rust spots. The sabre sheathes and draws well.
A lovely and very rare sword. Well worth our price tag of £1250, that’s for sure. Please quote item reference U40. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 0847-1m (2.138).