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Title 1st Bombay Light Cavalry sabretache badge
Nationality British Empire
Period c 1852-60
Currently under offer

These silver-coloured ornaments would have decorated a black patent leather sabretache of an officer of the Ist Bombay Light Cavalry. The 1st BLC served with great distinction at Ghuznee, in the Afghan campaign, at Mooltan, Goojerat and Central India (in the Mutiny). The badge was worn until c 1880 when sabretaches were discarded.

This badge would appear to be of pre-Mutiny origin. In Bill Carman's excellent volume on the Indian cavalry (Indian Army Uniforms under the British - Cavalry), a full dress sabretache of the 1st BLC is illustrated with battle honours Punjab and Mooltan only, described as a post-Mutiny item. As my badge only has the two earlier honours (Ghuznee and Afghanistan), I can only assume that it is a pre-Mutiny insignia.

The BLC's parent unit dated from 1803 and its descendant is still serving today as the 13th Pakistan Lancers.

It is now mounted on a purple calf leather folder (faded to brown on the front), the fittings being dimly discernible on the reverse. The metal of this die-struck badge could either be unmarked silver or Sheffield plate (copper coated with an amalgam of silver and mercury, fused to the base metal at high temperature).

The only small damage is a break at the junction of the GHUZNEE honour and the small floral scroll.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Badges : British Empire : 19th Century]


It came on Wednesday, in perfect condition, excellent piece. I will be ordering from you soon I'm sure, many thanks.

P A, UK, 04.05.2008

Excellent information, Chris, you've been making a big effort! I will spell it out more closely (I'm a historian!) and don't think Bezdek can add much more.

A C, Belgium, 26.06.2005