Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 51

Thread: Identity of my new sabre?

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Apologies for the Length of this reply but Indian Cavalry swords are not a simple subject! - Robert
    Swords for the Indian Cavalry cannot be treated like those of the British Army, strictly regulated by pattern etc. The Indian Army Silladar Cavalry was a cavalry force traditionally composed of individuals who provide their own arms, as opposed to having them provided for them by any local or central group or command.

    The system was extended to the regular cavalry of the Bengal and Bombay Armies in 1861.
    Under this system and to ensure uniformity, Regiments ordered swords and blades direct from the makers or Birmingham Factors in the UK. That is why on the Wilkinson page from the catalogue, it states Special Quotations for Regimental Orders’. Suppliers were Mole, Thurkle and Wilkinson and maybe others such as Watts of Birmingham who in the 1890’s made Havildar and Mountain Artillery swords so capable of making the Tulwar bladed swords.

    Some form or regulation did persist and the following types of blade were available to regiments direct or via the India Store Depot.
    the basic blade patterns were:

    1. Havildar – A good wide curved blade (similar to British 1796 Light Cavalry) used as a basis for a number of differing blade types (Abyssinia etc) – Blade 30 1/2 inches shoulder to point- weight 1 lb 3 1/2 oz
    2. Bengal Ordnance Pattern – A good wide curved blade (similar to British 1796 Light Cavalry) heavier than 1 above and used as a basis for a number of differing blade types – Blade 33 inches shoulder to point- weight 1 lb 8oz
    • Specification:The Hilt of malleable cast iron – The grip to be of hard wood covered with printed split hide and bound with gilt wire.
    • Specification: (Swords Cavalry Bengal Native Cavalry Pattern-16 Jan 1886 (Pattern No 7151) Qty 500 –Cost 10/6 (order 233) For the Raja of Jhind on repayment)
    The hilt to be The Hilt of malleable cast iron. The medallion to be of hard white metal and stamped and pierced and neatly pinned on to the foundation plate.

    3. Madras and Bombay pattern – A good wide curved blade (similar to British 1796 Light Cavalry) similar to above and used as a basis for a number of differing blade types – Blade 30 inches shoulder to point- weight 1 lb 2oz
    • Specification: (Pattern 7160) 15th Nov 1888
    The Hilt of homogenous steel* – The grip to be of hard wood covered with printed split hide and bound with gilt wire.
    * Changed after Mole’s visit to India Office to of malleable cast iron.-Pattern 7160.

    4. Paget pattern – A good wide curved blade (similar to British 1796 Light Cavalry) heavier than 1 above and used as a basis for a number of differing blade types – Blade 33 inches shoulder to point- weight 1 lb 2 3/4oz
    • Specification: 10 Sept 1993 – Blades only – Tulwar Blades – Paget pattern. (Pattern 6480)
    The blades to have the Indian Government mark (Arrow over I) stamped about half an inch from the shoulder.

    5. Mounted Police pattern – A good wide curved blade (similar to British 1796 Light Cavalry) – Blade 34 3/8 inches shoulder to point
    • Specification: 27 Oct 1908 – Ord H7722 – 60 Swords.(Pattern 8275 [swd] and 8276 [Scbd] –Central provinces and Berar Mounted Police (As supplied before to Mounted Police of United Province in 1900)

    Some of the Indian Cavalry regiments Wilkinson and Mole supplied are listed below.
    9th Hodsons Horse
    14th Murray’s lancers
    25th Frontier Force
    Central India Horse 39th KGO
    17th Cavalry
    6th Cavalry
    21st Frontier Force
    13th Lancers
    Lancers
    18th (PoW) Lancers
    19th Lancers
    Punjab Imperial Service Cavalry
    35th Scinde Horse
    Maidaiphur Imperial Service Lancers
    This plate from the Wilkinson catalogue 1905 shows the varied type and blade length of regimental patterns for India.


    While this if the Offical India Store Department Drawing of the so called 'Tulwar (marked on drawing) pattern' cavalry sword(& Hilt detail)



    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 09-03-2009 at 12:58 AM.

  2. #27
    Here is the VWF thread Ben mentioned:

    http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1441

  3. #28
    Brilliant information as always, Robert! Thank you for the additional images. I have seen the "Tulwar Pattern" cavalry sword listed by many dealers as a Mountain Artillery sword. Is this also correct" I thought Mountain Artillery swords tended to have brass stirrup hilts. In either case, I really like this pattern (Matt's sword). It was used through WWI by some Indian regiments--is that right?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 09-02-2009 at 10:36 AM.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Brilliant information as always, Robert! Thank you for the additional images. I have seen the "Tulwar Pattern" cavalry sword listed by many dealers as a Mountain Artillery sword. Is this also correct" I thought Mountain Artillery swords tended to have brass stirrup hilts. In either case, I really like this pattern. It was used through WWI by some Indian regiments--is that right?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan
    Jonathan
    The Mountain Artillery sword was a British Army sword which was similar to the Indian Army Mountain battery sword. The former has a thin steel guard and the later has the same Cast brass stirrup hilt knuckle guard as the Havildar sword. Both have cast iron ribbed grips painted black. The British Version was ordered for the Sudan Campaign of 1896.
    Robert
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 09-02-2009 at 11:32 AM.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Brilliant information as always, Robert! Thank you for the additional images. I have seen the "Tulwar Pattern" cavalry sword listed by many dealers as a Mountain Artillery sword. Is this also correct" I thought Mountain Artillery swords tended to have brass stirrup hilts. In either case, I really like this pattern (Matt's sword). It was used through WWI by some Indian regiments--is that right?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan
    The mountain battery sword or Havildar and Drummers (same design different blade) was used up until WW2.
    Here is a photograph taken in North Africa in 1943.
    Guard Mounting at the camp of an Indian Mule Transport Company



    Note the Mountain battery swords, carried 'reversely' with the sword and scabbard pointing forwards.

  6. #31
    Thank you, Robert. That is the sword I thought was the MB sword. So it seems that the three-bar Indian cavalry sword ("Tulwar Pattern") is sometimes mislabeled as an MB sword. I would like to get one of the three-bar trooper's swords at some point. It looks like a real fighter!

    Jonathan

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    Thanks Ben, Robert and Jonathan, that's fantastic!

    So, if I understand correctly, the last two images from the India Store Depot are from 1914? Given the extreme similarity between that blueprint and my sabre, is it fair to assume that it is of roughly that age? Any idea what the '115' stamp on the pommel stands for?

    I have taken some photos of my two swords mentioned above side by side:







    Given the similarity of the two hilts, can I assume anything about the straighter one? It has no marks except for the brass disc - could it also be Indian? As the hilts are so extremely similar, is it likely they are both of a similar origin and date?

    Thanks for all your help!

    Matt

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    p.s. Or is the 1821 hilt just very generic and everyone was using the same set of patterns over a long period of time?

    They both have this domed-pommel and the d-shaped inner guard - does that tell us anything?

    Cheers!
    Matt

  9. #34
    Would the 33.5" blade on the new one suggest an artillery rather than cavalry sword Robert? or would one expect to see a stepped pommel for artillery?

    David

  10. #35
    Hi Matt,

    As far as I know, an exact identification of the RBG marking has not been found; from my own research, I know it appears on blades as a single mark, and also in combination with other maker/seller names, in particular Mole and Thurkle, the swords being of the Cavalry Troopers pattern and the Havildar/Mountain Battery pattern.

    Two different opinions have been expressed to me regarding RBG; one is that it is the mark of a Solingen supplier of blades to the Birmingham trade, the other is that it in fact the mark of a Birmingham trade firm.

    As far as the types of sword are concerned, examples with the three-bar hilts, and stirrip hilts (that is steel stirrip hilt, not brass) combined with the broad, curved 1796 style blade, can be grouped together as Indian Army Cavalry troopers swords, the style of hilt depending on which type the particular regiment used. "REGIMENTAL PATTERN"

    It is now obvious to me, that Thurkle made, assembled, or supplied swords of various types to the Indian Army; of note to date are the 3-bar hilted/1796 Cavalry type and the brass stirrip hilted Havildar/Mountain battery type, all with blade lengths around 31 1/2" inches. Despite the fact that the (Bengal) blade length of 33'" inches was said to be made, examples are to say the least rare, and until recent days I had not recorded one such sword with a 33" blade however, I can now report a third cavalry type, with a 33 1/4" blade and a different type of guard which has obviously been made for an Indian officer of the Indian cavalry. It has a single makers/retailers mark of E. Thurkle, Soho, London, has the same 1796 style blade and has a typical Indian Army steel mounted leather covered scabbard.

    Suggested blade lengths of 30 1/2" inches have not as yet been recorded for cavalry type swords to date.

    As to the guards, the Wilinson/Mole type swords with the 3-bar guards have a thumb guard configuration which is akin to the more standard British 1821 type however, the Thurkle type guard is more akin to the thumb guard type of the British 1853 pattern troopers sword, but without the Reeves tang to the hilt.

    Judging from the photo comparison of the two swords (straight blade example I have not seen before), I would say the they are both Indian Army swords.

    The other curious and frustrating fact is that despite the suggestion that the 3-bar/1796 style was introduced for the Indian Cavalry around 1860, there is almost nothing in terms of dateable swords of this pattern in the period 1860 to say 1890. this indeed makes one wander, what has happened to all the swords?

    My suspicion (no proof) is that the Thurkle type swords may be slightly earlier than the Wilkinson /Mole examples which constitute the bulk of known examples of this type, and fall within the later date perameters of say 1890 to 1915; noting also the different point style on the Thurkle blades when compared to the Wilkinson and Mole types.

    I think that's about all I add at the moment, in the hope that all people with swords of this type might get in touch and give me the particulars of any makers marks, or regimental marks or numbers etc. that are on their swords.

    Gordon

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Quote Originally Posted by David Critchley View Post
    Would the 33.5" blade on the new one suggest an artillery rather than cavalry sword Robert? or would one expect to see a stepped pommel for artillery?

    David
    David
    if you look at the Wilkinson catalogue drawing in my post you will see that 3rd from right is a 3 bar with a normal blade and what appears to be a Proof Slug.
    Also in my LONG post, blades were 33 inch for Bengal Ordnanace pattern, and Paget pattern and 34 3/8 for Mounted Police!

    I would expect to see a stepped pommel for Artillery BUT if this was an issue sword, and the length of grip confirms it is Indian Cavalry, then this is a regimental variation as shown in the Wilkinson catalogue.

    We must also remember in our thought process than swords and blades were ordered by the India Store Department for other troops than the Indian Army. Here are some examples:

    Specification: Nabha State – Punjab – 20th June 1887.
    The Hilt of malleable cast iron – The grip to be of hard wood covered with printed split hide and bound with gilt wire.

    Specification: Swords Cavalry Bengal Native Cavalry Pattern-16 Jan 1886 (Pattern No 7151) Qty 500 –Cost 10/6 each (order 233) For the Raja of Jhind on repayment)
    The hilt to be The Hilt of malleable cast iron. The medallion to be of hard white metal and stamped and pierced and neatly pinned on to the foundation plate.
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 09-03-2009 at 12:57 AM.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    Thanks Gordon,

    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    The other curious and frustrating fact is that despite the suggestion that the 3-bar/1796 style was introduced for the Indian Cavalry around 1860, there is almost nothing in terms of dateable swords of this pattern in the period 1860 to say 1890. this indeed makes one wander, what has happened to all the swords?
    From what I can gather above, the majority of the surviving examples of these Indian cavalry swords are not really dateable? Perhaps the design just did not really change between 1860 and WWI, and some of the examples we are assuming are early 1900's are actually pre-1890?

    As a side-note - both my swords have 7 turns of the wire-wrap, yet the examples shown and mentioned elsewhere seem to only have 6.

    Matt

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    2,691
    Mole's records show that he supplied a quantity of India Pattern Cavalry blades (Mole pattern 404) to Joseph Bourne and Son of Birmingham in 1910, and 1913. Mole's Blade Mould for this blade was described as Havildar This means the blade was made from the same rollers as the Havildar and then adjusted in the grinding to whatever was ordered

    Mole also had orders from Bourne for blades (Mole pattern 414) which was Mountain battery. Again, this was the basis of whatever final blade was made.

    Mole also supplied complete swords to Bourne in April 1914 with blades of 35 inches by 1 inch Straight bladewith with 3 bar hilts.

    Mole also supplied Central India Horse 39th Cav (KGO) with 250 oval curved blades.
    Curved bladed swords with stirrup hilts and chequered walnut grips were supplied to the 19th Cavalry at Bareilly, India in January 1910.

    There are a lot more details of Regimental orders and I will try and tabulate them when I have time!
    Last edited by Robert Wilkinson-Latham; 09-03-2009 at 01:38 AM.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Easton View Post
    From what I can gather above, the majority of the surviving examples of these Indian cavalry swords are not really dateable? Perhaps the design just did not really change between 1860 and WWI, and some of the examples we are assuming are early 1900's are actually pre-1890?
    As an addition to this, I've been looking at '1821's' that were sent to the USA during the 1860's and they exhibit very similar hilt styles to these Indian swords - they often seem to have the same domed-pommel and broad flat bars for example. So maybe these swords just didn't change in design from the 1860's onwards.

    Matt

  15. #40
    Hi Matt,

    I actually consider that the majority of existing examples are in fact dateable. By far, the majority of these are of Wilkinson and Mole production, with the odd example I have noted with the Bourne name, which were most likely made by Mole to all accounts.

    Most of the above are quite clearly dated in a period from the late 1890's through to say 1916/1917 and bear in most cases the Indian stores mark, and if you're lucky, a regimental number; one Mole example I have is marked to the 26th Light cavalry February 1904, the 26th was the post 1903 title of the 1st Madras Lancers.

    As previously stated, the dating problem arises in the earlier period (1860 -1890) but more particulary circa 1860, owing to the lack of examples that are know to be from this period.

    One example of a similar type, but with no name is very likely dateable by regimental designation to around 1885, but this is the only dateable example that I, have recorded in this period.

    Having said that, the period between !860 and 1890 still remains a mystery as to why there are so few dateable swords remaining from the many hundreds that must have been made.

    In terms of the straighter sword and although somewhat in-tangible, I guess if you look at enough images of these things, you begin to have a feeling about the configuration of some swords and there possible use, and in the case with your sword, the guard type and association with a known Indian Army type, being your other curved sword.

    Aside from the Wilkinson and Mole named swords, the Thurkle group appears to be the only other type that appear in any number, of which some are simply marked with the Thurkle name, whilst others are said to be made for H.S. King & Co who had extensive trading interests in India.

    Gordon

  16. #41
    Matt,

    I forgot to ask you an important question. Does your curved cavalry sword have its scabbard? If so, what type of scabbard is it?

    Gordon

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    Hi Gordon, no unfortunately it doesn't. Every other example I have seen for sale over the last 5 years has had a fat wooden scabbard with steel fittings though - as shown by Robert's blueprints above. I suppose I have seen between 5 and 10 of these for sale over the last 5 years. Strangely, most examples I have seen have been quite crudely made - perhaps some were made locally in the period and the better-made examples represent Birmingham-made examples? I saw one with David Critchley at the Park Lane Arms Fair about 4 years ago which looked like it had been made by someone with bad eyesight in their garage.

    Out of interest, you say above that most examples are roughly dateable to between 1890 and 1917 - I am curious how exactly? (sorry if I'm missing something really obvious here! ).
    Surely Thurkle, Mole and Wilkinson were all making these models as far back as the 1860's and 70's? And as far as I can tell, the hilt style didn't really change between the 1860's and WWI? Or did it?
    Sorry if I'm being a nuisance .

    Cheers,
    Matt

  18. #43
    Matt,

    I have in my collection three examples that would nominaly fit the specifcication given by Robert, two are made by Mole and one by Wilkinson, they are all dated; also stirrup hilted version by Mole.

    With the assistance of other collectors, and my own efforts, I have on record twenty or more swords of Wilkinson and Mole manufacture, they are all dated, with the absolute majority bearing dates in the 1900 - 1917 period, but most having WW1 dates.

    I also have in my collection one example of sword by Thurkle that is of the same blade profile and guard type as your curved sword, it is not dated; in fact none of the Thurkle marked swords that I have recorded have been dated, nor do any of them have the ISD mark that is applied to most of the Wilkinson and Mole types, which make up the bulk of existing examples of this type of sword, and by that I mean a sword which has a 3-bar light cavalry type guard and a 1796 style blade.

    It seems E. Thurkle appeared around 1876 and the evidence I have accumulated to date , would suggest that the Thurkle swords were sold directly to India at a regimental level, or sold by merchants in India, this is supported by the swords that also bear the name of H.S.King & Co., who had trading interests in India.

    That is why I say, that some of the Thurkle swords may be from a slightly earlier period (can't prove it at the moment), say 1876 to 1899.

    Swords by Wilkinson, Mole and Bourne etc. that I have noted, all conform to one or another of the specifications given by Robert earlier in this discussion, whether they be 3-bar guard or stirrup hilt however, the Thurkle types have a slightly different blade profile and a slightly different guard, and although they conform to the pattern in general terms of blade and guard type, they do not conform to the ISD specification as such.

    I am still searching for any examples which can be clearly and precisely dated to the 1860 period, but as yet, no success.

    The only sword of this type (3-bar guard and 1796 style blade), that I can date at an earlier period (circa 1885), is slightly different in that it has ears to the back piece on the grip, combined with the same style of pommel and a more satndard type 1821 pattern light cavalry guard.

    This is why I keep asking for information on any markings on such swords, in the hope that some clues might surface as to earlier swords.

    Gordon

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    Thanks Gordon, fascinating stuff!
    The only marks on my curved one are RBG on the ricasso and the 115 on the pommel. If I see any more then I'll make a note of the markings.
    Matt

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943

  21. #46

    Indian Army sword blade marking RGB

    To the best of my knowledge, the the RGB marking has not been identified, however I feel it may be the mark of an Indian agent or retailer.

    I say this because I have in my collection, an Indian Mountain Battery sword which is marked Mole on the back edge of the blade, which would of course suggest manufacture by MOLE, however it is also marked RGB on the ricasso and with ISD (Indian Stores) markings as well inspection and issue marks on the hilt.

    I am my opinion, the sword (swords) illustrated by Matt, do not have the same hilt pattern as that illustrated by Robert in the specification drawings, the blade profile of most known examples of the cavalry type are slightly different to the specification, and I consider for what it is worth, that they predate the illustrated specification.

    Whoever or whatever RGB might be, they appear to be the next most common example of these Indian Army Cavalry swords that combine the 3-bar guard, with the 1796 style blade, other than the late 19th and early 20th century types (as per specification), most of which are made by Wilkinson and Mole.

    It is certainly a fact, that identifiable examples of Indian cavalry troopers swords from the period 1860 - 1885 are rare.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943

  23. #48

    Indian Cavalry sword

    Hi David,

    Can you or anyone else provide an image of the sword you mention with scabbard in the Butterfields back catalogue; the link doesn't work for me.

    Gordon

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by gordon byrne View Post
    Hi David,

    Can you or anyone else provide an image of the sword you mention with scabbard in the Butterfields back catalogue; the link doesn't work for me.

    Gordon
    If no one else is able to provide this, I should be able to scan and upload the relevant page (cross your fingers and pray that I can find the catalog!). Unfortunately, I am currently traveling for the holidays, then packing and moving, so I won't be able to get to it until late in January. Hopefully you can wait until then, Gordon.
    Cicatrices Virgines Placent.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,943
    A certain Nottingham-based dealer has one of these on their website at the moment - it's a late example (WW1) and made by Moses Eadon Sheffield, with the ISD stamp and other marks - no RGB though. My hunch is that this represents a later version and that the RGB ones are earlier. Interestingly though, the Moses example has a scabbard.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •