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Title Gymnasia sabre, 1864 model
Nationality British
Period c 1864
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This is the first model gymnasia sabre of the Victorian army. It was declared obsolete in 1892 and replaced in 1895 by a much lighter model, closer in design to a modern fencing sabre. This is the design origin for the 1896 infantry officer's sword with the dumbbell blade.

The guard, if not actually made from the obsolete 1821 heavy cavalry sword hilt, was certainly modelled on it. When issued, the hilt had a black shellac finish, all trace of which has now vanished. The grip is original (black calf leather on beechwood), but the wire grip binding is missing. The blade measures 32.5" and may have been slightly shortened, as Brian Robson gives a length of 34.75" in his Swords of the British Army.

This is a rare beast - I have only had two through my hands in the last 40 years!

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

[Edged Weapons : Swords : British : 19th Century]


The RFC buttons are Wonderful, thank you.

D D, Canada, 11.11.2009

Holster arrived on Saturday. Fantastic service, thanks a lot.

L P, UK, 26.05.2008