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Title Iron-hilted infantry officer's sword, 1786 pattern
Nationality British
Period c 1786-96
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This sword represents the end of an era, inasmuch as it replaced the spontoon as a distinguishing mark of rank for officers after the discovery that the latter weapon was no longer serviceable after the rough-and-tumble fighting in the Revolutionary War in America. It is, in effect, the first pattern British infantry officer's sword.

According to the regulations, the blades of these swords were to be at least 1" broad at the shoulder and 32" long, the hilt (if not of steel) to be of gilt or silver, according to the colour of the buttons on the uniform, and the sword knot to be crimson and gold in stripes.

The iron hilt is the simpler variant of that commonly found with a five-bead configuration, a plain knuckle bow and counter guard being used.

The blade of this sword is just over the standard length at 32.25" and has seen extensive field sharpening in its day. There is some minor pitting down the spine on both sides and, together with the iron elements of the hilt, has a pleasing grey patina throughout. There is some damage to the hilt just under the pommel on two sides out of four. The hilt would appear to be whale bone mounted on a wooden core, a typical contemporary practice. There is no scabbard, sadly typical of most 18th-century military swords, but it would have been leather with iron mounts.

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

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


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