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Thread: Possible Bengal Cavalry Sword

  1. #1
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    Possible Bengal Cavalry Sword

    Morning All,

    Apologies for the misleading title and the content of this thread but curiosity is getting the better of me.

    Was anyone here lucky enough to get lot 392 in Batemans Auctioneers Fine Art and Collectables sale last week? Described as a Wilkinson 1821 pattern heavy cavalry officers sword numbered for 1870; it had a steel scroll hilt, plain blade (except owners crest and Wilkinson details) in the form of a 1796 light cavalry sword modified to a spear point. I was interested myself but without going into values it hammered at 10 times the low estimate!

    I am guessing at least two people bought the Wilkinson record and this was owned by a notable officer?

    Once again apologies for this, I am very curious!

    Kind Regards

    Ian

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    Was anyone here lucky enough to get lot 392 in Batemans Auctioneers Fine Art and Collectables sale last week? Described as a Wilkinson 1821 pattern heavy cavalry officers sword numbered for 1870; it had a steel scroll hilt, plain blade (except owners crest and Wilkinson details) in the form of a 1796 light cavalry sword modified to a spear point. I was interested myself but without going into values it hammered at 10 times the low estimate!
    Hi Ian,

    It was me, though the sword hasn't arrived yet. You're not far off with the ID, but I believe this to be a Scinde Horse pattern - clues in the proof book entry and the family crest on the blade lead me to think the owner was Major William Reynolds, Bombay Native Infantry and 3rd Scinde Horse. The proof book specifically mentions that the scabbard is to be steel, lined with wood right up to the throat-piece, and gives dimensions for the blade showing it was its "own pattern" rather than being a modification of an earlier sword. The connection with John Jacob (though the sword is later) and the fact that the owner served in the Abyssinian campaign before being KIA during the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War made it hard to resist, though the price was a definite ouch! The sword was made in October 1870 and may have been picked up while Reynolds was in England on sick leave, which he was from the latter part of 1869. The purchase also corresponds fairly closely with his promotion to Captain, which happened in January 1871.

    I'll post some more pics and hopefully a picture of the owner in due course!

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  3. #3
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    Congratulations John! I was also watching it closely - it's good to know the background and that it went to one of 'us'

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hart View Post
    Hi Ian,

    It was me, though the sword hasn't arrived yet. You're not far off with the ID, but I believe this to be a Scinde Horse pattern - clues in the proof book entry and the family crest on the blade lead me to think the owner was Major William Reynolds, Bombay Native Infantry and 3rd Scinde Horse. The proof book specifically mentions that the scabbard is to be steel, lined with wood right up to the throat-piece, and gives dimensions for the blade showing it was its "own pattern" rather than being a modification of an earlier sword. The connection with John Jacob (though the sword is later) and the fact that the owner served in the Abyssinian campaign before being KIA during the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War made it hard to resist, though the price was a definite ouch! The sword was made in October 1870 and may have been picked up while Reynolds was in England on sick leave, which he was from the latter part of 1869. The purchase also corresponds fairly closely with his promotion to Captain, which happened in January 1871.

    I'll post some more pics and hopefully a picture of the owner in due course!

    John
    Hi John,

    I did wonder!

    Well done with it though, it is an interesting sword in its own right, the owner adds an extra dimension. Good luck with the research, there is at least one image out there and I would expect Shadbolt to have some good biographical (and unit) information.

    I'll look forward to seeing the full right up.

    Kind Regards

    Ian

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMoran View Post
    ...there is at least one image out there and I would expect Shadbolt to have some good biographical (and unit) information.
    You're right, Ian - I've seen the image of Reynolds in civvies, but the one I'm hoping to get has him in uniform and possibly holding the sword in question (though I can't be sure till I see it). And Shadbolt gives a good potted biography which makes a great starting point for research. As they say: watch this space!

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

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