In very good condition, a super rare 1881 (possibly 1880) Pattern British Cavalry Trooper’s Sword by Mole, later marked to 18th Hussars.
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According to “Swords of the British Army” by Brian Robson, only 24 of the 1881 pattern were made. We believe this is one of them. A transitional / development / experimental (yet also issued) sword migrating the 1864 pattern to the 1882P, after the 1880P experimental. It was such a subject for Robson that he devoted 5 pages of his book to it. The 1881P sword, like the 1880 “Converted” and “New” Patterns, was given to one of a few select cavalry / mounted artillery regiments to assess (having improvements made over the experimental 1880 Pattern); this sword finally made its way to the 18th Hussars in May 1884 (we know this courtesy of the hilt and scabbard markings), where it continued service (amongst the then widely made and common 1882 Patterns).
We are sure this is the very rare 1881 pattern due to having rounded in-turned guard edges (to prevent tunic wear), double frontal and single under pommel sword knot slits, 33 inch blade, steel scabbard with double in line fixed suspension loops and a detachable scabbard mouthpiece. Critically, the photo of the earlier experimental “1880 pattern” (of which many more were made) in Robson’s book (it coming from the Old Woolwich Arsenal, thereby a pretty much certified example) has no double sword slits at the front, like ours does. The only issue we have in being 100% sure this is an 1881P (not an 1880P) is whether Mole or Enfield or both made the 1881P; this sword was made by Mole. The problem is, Robson’s text on this migratory sword period is often contradictory and confusing, no doubt because the official period papers on the subject were even more so. But, the balance is it being an 1881P.
The 33 inch blade is in very good condition, some patina / very light pitting patches towards the point, and firm in the hilt. The hilt in very good condition, some age. Marked to the inside of the guard (very feint / worn) is 18 H 154 (weapon number) and the date 5.1884 (all crossed out); there is also a H18, amongst other markings, to the suspension mounts of the scabbard. The composite grip is aged and warping a little as is to be expected, but sound. The steel scabbard in good condition, some pitting. The sword sheathes and draws well. Sword weight 2lbs.
It is very unlikely any other examples of this sword exist, or very few. Even if it were the slightly more produced 1880 New Pattern (it can not be an 1880 Converted Pattern), just go look to find either for sale if you can elsewhere or having been sold in the past. So, this is almost certainly your one chance to own one, and thereby a huge bargain at only was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference X18. Further / full sized images upon request. Box 1257-121x18x16 (2.480).