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Title Revenue/Coastguard cutlass
Nationality British
Period c 1818-30
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

The forte is stamped 'Enfield' for the Royal Small Arms Factory which opened there in 1818, after moving from Lewisham in Kent. It is similar to the East India Dock Company cutlass, differing in having a side bar to the guard. These would have been carried on Revenue sloops in service against smugglers.

There were some 40 odd sloops in Revenue service, according to my 1835 Navy list, with a maximum of 30 cutlasses on board each ship, making an approximate total issue of some 1,200 blades in Revenue/Coastguard service. It is also possible that these were carried by the Thames River Police, before they adopted the splendid all brass hilted cutlass of the1860s. Government made and issued this certainly is, not only on account of the factory stamp, but also on account of the crucial 'GR' and crown stamp, found both on blades and guns in this era. At this time the Royal Navy would still have been using the 'Figure of Eight ' cutlass. RN dockyard police may also have carried this somewhat shorter, handier cutlass. So perhaps a total of 2,000 were made, as against some 100,000 plus of the 1804 RN type. This type of cutlass, with cast iron grip, brass guard and sidebar hilt, is definitively referred to as a Revenue/Coastguard weapon in 'European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London' by HMSO-1974 as well as in 'Swords of the Brritish Army" by Brian Robson-1975 (Arms and Armour Press).

This has a 25-inch blade, cast iron hilt and a brass guard. The blade has suffered from minor corrosion, now mostly cleaned off. The top of the guard is a little buckled from use/abuse.

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

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


As always, I'm very happy with the purchase and it makes a nice addition to my small collection.

C S, UK, 04.05.2018

My bayonet arrived this morning, super fast delivery! It's an excellent bayonet and I'm very pleased with it!!

S A, UK, 12.12.2007