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Thread: British P1821 Light Cavalry Saber Questions

  1. #1

    British P1821 Light Cavalry Saber Questions

    Hello!

    I am new to buying antique swords and curious about the possibility of obtaining British P1821 Light Cavalry Saber with a Wilkinson blade.

    1. How much should I expect to be spending for one in very good condition? I'm told that this model is considered "common," but I am no longer sure if this holds true?
    2. Are there any suggestions for any trusted places to check for a listing?
    3. What other models are similar to this saber? My understanding is that the 1853 Light Cavalry Saber has nearly the exact same blade but with a different hilt (rounder, but full width tang). Are there any other sabers that are similar, British or otherwise?

    Thanks for your time!

    Cheers,
    Vincent
    Last edited by Vincent K; 09-12-2015 at 10:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    All depends what your collecting focus is. Condition and which 1821p sword you want affects ricing. Are you looking for an officers or troopers sword, what era etc?
    Dealer pricing tends to be higher than at shows where private collectors and dealers sell, no tax there.
    Last is your budget. What are you willing to spend for one sword?
    With these questions answered then a good answer can be arrived at.

  3. #3
    Hi Will,

    Thanks for reply!

    1. Condition: Again, I apologize in advance because I have no idea if my expectations are realistic as to condition but... near perfect would be great of course , but barring that, I'd prefer a sword with a scabbard, with an emphasis on function over form, so sharpened without a loose hilt or pitting on the blade. I don't think I'd mind a patina. I'd rather have any rusting/damage be part of the scabbard than the sword, and if I had to have some damage on the sword, I'd rather the hilt have some pitting/rusting instead of the blade.

    2. Officer's vs. trooper's: I confess that I'm not quite sure what the difference would be between an officer's and trooper's sword, other than I've heard that trooper's sabers tend to be more expensive as they are less common and that officer's blades are personalized? =x

    3. Era: I feel so ignorant here =x But as long as the sword came with a Wilkinson blade and a non-folding steel hilt, I don't think I have a particular preference beyond that =)

    4. Price: My ideal price would be under $500 US, with a max of $1k, although I have no idea if this is a realistic expectation =x Would you recommend that a new collector purchase from a show or dealer? What about online purchases?

    Thanks again!
    -Vincent

    P.S. As an aside, I probably would have never become interested in this saber if it hadn't been for Matt Easton's videos on it, which led me to read John Latham's lecture, which got me even more interested =)
    Last edited by Vincent K; 09-13-2015 at 12:30 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,644
    Always choose a sword with a scabbard unless quite rare. Trooper swords can be regimentally marked and this adds a premium but also easier to resell.
    Officer swords with initials, family crest or Wilkinson serial number are better since research into the original owner is possible therefore linking up regimental history to the sword.
    The 1821 pattern troopers sword all have the Wilkinson type blade and officers swords have this post 1845.
    I prefer trooper swords that are regimentally marked to a recognized unit, not some unknown marking. Also officer swords that can be researched, preferably made by Wilkinson as you can get the blade proof page describing when and who it was made for.
    You mentioned the 1853p cavalry sword, quite a few out there so be picky unless marked to a good regiment. One good thing is that they are in demand.

  5. #5
    Thanks again Will! I'll try to keep all that in mind =)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    313
    Vincent,
    One thing that helped me when I started collecting was establishing a loose set of collecting goals. Since you have stated that you only want to collect P1821 cavalry swords you may want to decide how many swords you ultimately want and what type (only trooper's swords/officer's swords or a combination of the two). The next best thing is looking at as many swords as you can to get an idea of what you like and to decide what sort of budget will get you what you want. Here are some online dealers to get you started. http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/antique-swords-uk/
    https://www.michaeldlong.com/
    http://www.patdonnellyantiquearms.com/index.htm
    http://www.denner.ca/
    http://www.greatscottantiques.com/shop.php
    http://evenstarswords.co.uk/
    You can also go to www.oldswords.com and pay the signup fee to view the thousands of pictures on that site. The one nice thing about this pattern is that it is quite plentiful; out of the 10 cavalry officer's swords I have 7 are P1821 LC swords (I think I need thin the herd )
    Cheers and happy collecting,
    Mike
    Last edited by MikeShowers; 09-13-2015 at 01:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Thanks Mike! The collection of links was particularly helpful =)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    313
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent K View Post
    Thanks Mike! The collection of links was particularly helpful =)
    You're welcome.

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