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Title Five bead hilted sabre, ivory and gilt mounts
Nationality British
Period 1790-1800
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This is a nice example, in sabre format, of the 'five bead hilt', which was introduced as the first pattern sword for the British Army in 1786 (with a straight 32-inch blade). This is the less commonly seen variant with a 33-inch lightly curved blade. Typically, it would have been worn by naval, militia and volunteer officers in the 1790s.

This sword was made by Wooley, James & Co. of Edmund St., Birmingham, who became Wooley & Deakin in 1800. The blade bears the Royal Arms of the 18th century, which changed quite markedly in 1801. James Wooley opened his business in 1785, which was incorporated in 1790. Thus this sword can be firmly dated to the last decade of the 18th century.

The grip is almost certainly Indian elephant ivory, which will require a CITES certificate for export beyond the EU. Currently this costs 47 and the process may take three weeks or so.

The scabbard leather is still quite supple and most certainly original to the sabre. The hilt is a little loose with age and has an old repair at the lower bead on the knuckle bow. Much of the gilding remains on the blade, but sadly the blue background has been lost. Quite typically, for its age, the scabbard has shrunk by half an inch, but all the stitching is still intact.

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

[Edged Weapons : Swords : British : 18th Century]


Received and in superb condition, thank you

A G, UK, 21.03.2012

[It] got in [arrived]! It's a fine piece.

G V, Belgium, 11.08.2008