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Thread: Identity of my new sabre?

  1. #1
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    Question Identity of my new sabre?

    Hi folks,

    I got a new sabre today at the London Militaria Market in Angel, Islington, and initially thought it was a British 1822 Pattern Cavalry sword, but with a Solingen blade.... Now I am very unsure! It is in excellent condition except for some of the fish skin missing from the grip.

    First let me say I love this sword - it's my new favourite! (I've been playing with it all afternoon and came back from a party early because I thought it might get lonely ).

    Anyway, I will try to post pictures ASAP, but for now I'll just outline some details:
    It has a hilt just like the 1822 Cavalry Pattern, but with no projections from the sides of the backstrap. The other small difference of the hilt is that the rear 'tail' projection is wider than on an 1822.
    Now the blade is what makes it most different - it is about 31 inches long only, very broad and curved (as much as my 1796 sabre), but with a narrower fuller than the 1796, and a heavier blade.
    The only mark on the blade is a big 'B' with smaller 'RG' behind. So maybe 'RGB'?
    On the 'pommel' is the number '115'.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  2. #2

    Re: Identity of my new sabre?

    Matt,

    It sounds like it may be an Indian Army variation of the "22". Those that I've seen tend to have a heavier blade, similar to the "96"

    David

  3. #3
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    Thanks David - that sounds most possible.

    Here is the baby:






    More pics can be seen at:
    http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/gallery/album03


    Matt

  4. #4
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    No other ideas anyone? Any ideas on the maker's mark?

    Matt

  5. #5
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    I'd even appreciate 'I have no bloody idea!'

    Matt

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    Matt,

    Can you post a c/u of the mark?
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
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  7. #7
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    Sure, I'll slap the baby on the scanner tonight .

    Any guess as to the nationality of this? The more I look at the hilt the more I am thinking it is not any kind of British 1822..

    Matt

  8. #8
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    I had one kind of like this which was an 1821 hilt marked "Wooley", but paired with a very heavy & mostly poor blade. It was reputed to be a Sepoy Cavalty saber. It had pretty much the same curvature as yours. Except for the curve, yours reminds me more of an artillery model (for some unknown reason). I always assumed mine was a recycled 1821 (based on the "Wooley" stamp) sent to India. If your makers stamp is a little guy with a crown or helmet, I would venture a Solingen made blade.
    All speculation ...

  9. #9
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    There is only a large letter B, with R and G behind/over it. The letters are plain and there is nothing else - I'll scan it later.

    As for quality, well this one is really good - better grinding than my NCO '27 (the line of the fuller is sharper and the base of the fuller more even), and about the same as my CO '27. The blade has good flex, is very thick at the forte, distally tapering a little, then about 10 inches from the point it distally tapers right down to about the same thickness as the 1796 at that part of the blade (flat oval section). The quality of the hilt is the same as my 27's.
    The quality overall of this one is better than my 1796 and as good as any other sword I own - but it is noticeably heavier than the '76 and marginally heavier than the '85.. I should weigh it duh!

    Matt
    Last edited by Matt Easton; 10-15-2003 at 06:29 AM.

  10. #10
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    p.s. Is this a Cavalry '21 hilt? Is the loop above the thumb the right shape? And isn't the rear-ear-like-projection(what's the name of that?) too broad? All the '21's I've seen had that rear-ear thing almost flat (vertically), - this one is more like on the '27/45 Rifle Regiment sword..

    Matt
    Last edited by Matt Easton; 10-15-2003 at 06:30 AM.

  11. #11
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    I'm sorry to say that I can't get a good photo of the stamp - The bars of the hilt stick out too far for it to work on the scanner (I just tried several times), and my little digi camera can't focus that close.... So about the best impression I can make of it is in the photo above.

    I have been looking at as many 1821 hilts as I can, and I'm now fairly sure this is not any type of 1821.... So I don't have a damn clue what it is or where it's from .

    I just know I like it .

    Matt

  12. #12
    Matt,
    I've been looking for more info on your recent acquisition, which I'm pretty sure is colonial, and of its differences to both the 1821 and 22 patterns. I've found this, It is Wilkinson -Latham, but he is usually reliable for mid to late Victorian sword patterns:

    "In the 1860s a sword with a curved blade was adopted for all Indian cavalry, Madras and Bombay having a 31 1/2 in. blade while Bengal had a 33 in. blade. Although of differing lengths, the blades were termed as of the "Paget Pattern" No 6480 India Stored Sealed pattern. The swords usually had a 3 bar hilt with back piece and leather covered wood grip, although certain regiments who were allowed the native tulwar style hilt had the blades hilted in India, the rest with the 3 bar hilt having them made in Britain by Mole or Wilkinson."

    The pattern was apparently withdrawn in 1908

    Hope this helps

    David

  13. #13
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    Thanks a lot David - after I got your info yesterday I tried searching around for some more information on these swords, but unfortunately could not find anything.
    I wonder if the type was named after Lord Paget?

    Matt

  14. #14
    Don't Know Matt,

    But there's one like yours in the Butterfields back catalogue here with its scabbard.

    http://www.butterfields.com/areas/ar...7350a-1058.htm

    David

  15. #15
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    David - I thought I had replied to this already - sorry for taking so long!

    Thanks so much for your efforts - now I can see this one you listed above, I am finally convinced that this is what my sabre is. There are small differences, as I suppose there would be with such a semi-offical pattern, but the likeness is good enough to have convinced me. And I'm very happy with what it is! I can't explain why, but I really love this sabre, mainly because it is so robust and 'functional' (which is what I like in any sword) - almost like the best features of the 1796 Light and the 1822 married together.

    Thanks again,

    Matt

  16. #16
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    Ok, David and I saw another version of this type of sabre at Park Lane on sunday - However the one we saw seemed to have had the handle re-mounted very badly (it had bent the backstrap/pommel all over the place). Also the guard and blade appeared more crude than mine. Though the blade was marked 'WILKINSON', it looked and felt horrible to me - and was a very different type of blade to the one on my sabre.
    Interestingly the scabbard was of leather-covered wood, and quite bulky - it would not be hard to make a copy, if that was the original type of scabbard for Indian regiments.

    Matt

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Matt Easton
    Ok, David and I saw another version of this type of sabre at Park Lane on sunday - However the one we saw seemed to have had the handle re-mounted very badly (it had bent the backstrap/pommel all over the place). Also the guard and blade appeared more crude than mine. Though the blade was marked 'WILKINSON', it looked and felt horrible to me - and was a very different type of blade to the one on my sabre.
    Interestingly the scabbard was of leather-covered wood, and quite bulky - it would not be hard to make a copy, if that was the original type of scabbard for Indian regiments.

    Matt
    Hi Matt,

    Just spotted this thread...I have a very similar sword, and the identification of it as an Indian Army pattern is correct - there's a picture of a similar one in A Pictorial History of Swords and bayonets by RJ Wilkinson-Latham (1973, plate 155).

    Mine is by Wilkinson and is dated 1917; it carries the "ISD" (India Stores Department) stamp, which I believe was only put on swords made in England and exported to India. It also has a fairly bulky wooden scabbard with a long steel chape; this is also dated 1917 and definitely has a "local" feel to it.

    One clue as the country of origin is the small grip (4" from guard to start of pommel) - as with the India Pattern P1908 sword, it was made this way to suit the slightly smaller hands of native cavalry troopers.

    I must admit to a strong affection for this beastie - it's a very compact and wieldy blade and very well put together!

    Cheers,

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

  18. #18
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    Yes! Yours is the most similar to mine that I have seen so far - my ricasso is not quite as long I think, and mine is not a British blade I think, but the form is very similar. The only thing different (even the details of the hilt are the same) is your description of the hilt length - mine is not short at all, though I must say, in the photo your handle doesn't look that short.

    A nice touch is that I recently bought a print of an Indian cavalry regiment (it's in the post at the moment) and this shows them equipped with exactly this model of sword. Of course I intend to put the sword and the old print together on the wall somewhere .

    Matt

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Matt Easton
    Yes! Yours is the most similar to mine that I have seen so far - my ricasso is not quite as long I think, and mine is not a British blade I think, but the form is very similar. The only thing different (even the details of the hilt are the same) is your description of the hilt length - mine is not short at all, though I must say, in the photo your handle doesn't look that short.

    A nice touch is that I recently bought a print of an Indian cavalry regiment (it's in the post at the moment) and this shows them equipped with exactly this model of sword. Of course I intend to put the sword and the old print together on the wall somewhere .

    Matt
    The photo is a little deceptive - because the sword is in good proportion, the grip doesn't actually look smaller - however it only has 6 wraps of wire around the fishskin, where my "real" P1822 cavalry has 7...


    And I agree - it's always nice to get pictures or photos of "your" sword in use. I have a couple of old sepia photos with reasonably good close-ups of swords; they repay careful study with a magnifying glass!

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

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by John Hart
    The photo is a little deceptive - because the sword is in good proportion, the grip doesn't actually look smaller - however it only has 6 wraps of wire around the fishskin, where my "real" P1822 cavalry has 7...
    I just went and counted and mine has 7 (though the wire is missing, if there ever was any), hmm, interesting... Still, basically the same sword.

    Matt

  21. #21
    Matt

    See the latest Wallis catalogue for your sword
    - lot 742 Indian Artillery

    http://www.wallisandwallis.co.uk/

    David

  22. #22
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    Thanks David,

    Matt

  23. #23
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    Re: Identity of my new sabre?

    Originally posted by Matt Easton
    The only mark on the blade is a big 'B' with smaller 'RG' behind. So maybe 'RGB'?
    On the 'pommel' is the number '115'.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Matt
    ok...an in-depth analyzation of this sword and the mark (not to be taken seriously)

    First of all, the mark: RGB...this is OBVIOUSLY the initials of the three prime colors; Red, Green (yellow was absent, green is substituting), and Blue. You also mentioned that the R and G were smaller than the B...so when you mix a large quantity of blue with smaller quantities of red and green...you get a dark magenta-type color. now let's look at the word: magenta. with a bit of morphing this word turns into Magnet. Metaphorically, this could be used to describe the sword itself... i.e. "this sword is a magnet for trouble" or "this sword is a magnet for <something other than trouble>". Let's analyze this statement: Now, magnets in the 19th century weren't as strong as modern magnets...so the statement means "this sword might instigate periods of hostile situations, may result in decapitation, injury, or getting hurt really bad. RGB does not take any responsibility for accidents or deaths regarding the sword. Add 3.50 for shipping to Canada". It's just a disclaimer! Dang i thought you guys would catch onto that...it was extremely obvious.

    (Alfredo G. does not take any responsibility for any loss of brain cells you may have had while reading this post and cannot be sued and/or prosecuted)

  24. #24
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    Wow this thread is old! Reading myself from half a decade ago is like reading someone else.

    Anyway, I thought I'd add that I recently bought a 'regular' 1821 Pattern which has an almost identical hilt to this Indian one. Next to each other they are so similar that they could have been made by the same person in the same workshop. Yet the new one has a 'regular' 1845 style blade - though it's a bit short for an 1821 at 33.5 inches.

    I wonder if any of you have any ideas why some of the Indian cavalry 1821's were more crude than others? The one I have seems well enough made to have come out of Mole or Wilkinson's workshops, yet I have seen some over the last few years that looked almost home made!

    Lastly, I notice that the photo links above are dead, so here they are again:
    http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/galler...g2_itemId=7205

    Regards,
    Matt

  25. #25
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    Indian Cavalry sabre

    Matt, I too have a similar variant, with an etched shield on the blade ' manufactured for H S King & Co Cornhill by E Thurkle Soho London' ( therefore post 1876). I'm sure the 'RBG' mark has been mentioned in previous threads but I can't find it; there's also an interesting thread about this pattern on the 'Victorian Wars Forum' under 'weapons' for your info. I hope someone out there can decipher 'RBG', and you're right, it's a favourite of mine too.

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