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This is the classic and final design for the British cavalry, still in use by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery on parade occasions (eg Queen's Birthday Salute). After the Peninsula War, it was realised that very few men survived a thrust through the body and this information heavily influenced the decision to go for a thrusting sword in 1908.
Inasmuch as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the US adopted the same model of sword, only with a straight double-edged blade and a wood-lined canvas scabbard.
The scabbard and blade on this example are marked Enfield and there are varying issue dates: the earliest blade mark is 1918, while the scabbard is marked for 1914, 15 and 16. The throat of the scabbard is marked 7H for the 7th Hussars. This mark has been cancelled through, following successive issue and the final withdrawal from service when they were sold off, in this case, to the Ethiopian government - in the 1930s, I suspect, or later. I know this because I acquired nine of these, all bought in Addis Ababa in 1982 by a British diplomat.
The sword has had some fairly severe service wear and tear, principally the blade, which, although now bright, was fairly heavily rusted before being carefully hand cleaned. The scabbard throat has been crushed slightly and the rear throat screw is missing. The original paraffin-soaked pine liners to the scabbard have rotted away. There is considerable age crackelure to the red vulcanite grip. There are very faint traces of sand-coloured paint and I suspect that this piece, in common with the other 7th Hussars swords from the same source, saw service in Iraq (Mesopotamia) in the Great War.
The sword has not been dismantled for cleaning. Generally speaking, it is not in bad shape for its age, the two minus points being the state of the blade and the lack of the original pine liners.