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Thread: British 1896P Mountain Artillery Sword

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Stratford upon Avon UK
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    381

    British 1896P Mountain Artillery Sword

    Just wanted to share my good fortune, this pattern has eluded me for many years as they rarely come up for sale. Stamped MOLE to the spine and ISD, ^ I 02 on the ricasso, complete with Mark 1 scabbard, also stamped MOLE on side of locket. Photos attached (with my Thurkle Indian mountain battery sword for comparison). Given it's a relatively late pattern there seems to be very few period photos of the sword being worn, I've trawled the net with little success, can anyone oblige? Also, just how rare are they? I've seen examples by Enfield, Mole and Sheffield makers Kitchin and Round, so production orders from at least four makers. The Royal Artillery reorganisation in 1899 gave responsibility of the then 10 mountain batteries to the RGA, roughly each battery would have had about 30 gunners and officers entitled to carry said sword, so would I be right with about 300-400 made in total? Again I'm struggling to find info on the exact complement of a British mountain battery, so based my guesstimate on 'The History of the Indian Mountain Artillery' Brig-Gen. Graham, assuming both types of battery had similar numbers. Lastly my only (slight) disappointment is the scabbard. The eagle-eyed will have spotted it's the wrong way round for a mountain gunner, ie blade edge should face to the rear. In every other respect it conforms to the original specification and whilst very dark now I can see it was brown leather. I have seen previously and currently for sale, several Indian MB swords with rear curving scabbards like mine, why the difference? They're clearly not mismatched. Thanks for looking and any replies. Ben
    Last edited by Ben Bevan; 12-30-2015 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Photos missing!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2008
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Bevan View Post
    Given it's a relatively late pattern there seems to be very few period photos of the sword being worn, I've trawled the net with little success, can anyone oblige?
    The following site has a number of photos of British Mountain Batteries, but this one shows the swords the best slide your mouse over the photo to enlarge a section: http://www.kingscollections.org/serv...78#page-header

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stratford upon Avon UK
    Posts
    381
    Great image Jonathan, one I've not come across, tantalisingly the frog is nearly visible, and presumably it's the baldric version as per the 'List of Changes' diagram attached. And can I just say for anyone interested in the Indian Frontier Wars, the above website has some fantastic photos, thanks again.
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    Last edited by Ben Bevan; 06-25-2017 at 03:08 AM.

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