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This is one of the rarest infantry swords of the late 19th century, being essentially designed as a combat weapon, with a very robust cavalry style scabbard with fixed rings. The line regiments had the same sword with a gilt hilt, Rifle regiments having an iron one, both carrying the VR cypher and crown. This example was made by Robert Mole.
Robert Mole was a prominent Birmingham maker, the equivalent of Wilkinson in London, and indeed was absorbed by Wilkinson's in 1927. This particular sword is marked both on the throat of the scabbard and the stool of the hilt '12MX/6' for 6th Company, 12th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers, which was more commonly known as the Civil Service Rifles. It would have been worn by a senior NCO of Warrant Officer status.
There are varying issue dates on the weapon: 1892, 1895 and 1898 on the scabbard; 1898 on the hilt; and 1890 on the blade.
I have carefully hand cleaned the scabbard, and if you don't like the not unpleasing grey finish, you could brighten it up with a little steel wool and Solvo Autosol. The fishskin and the wiring of the grip are all in good shape.
The blade has most of its factory polish; there is a little old pitting down at the point, now mostly cleaned out, and a splendid maker's cartouche, redolent of an earlier era, at the forte of the blade. The leather washer is a replacement.
The scabbard has its original pine liners.
The rarity factor on this sword is approximately 1:4 against its line regiment counterpart with the gilt hilt. Also, these swords were only manufactured between 1885 and 1901, so a comparatively short production run.