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Thread: 1895 Infantry Officer's sword - guard query

  1. #1

    1895 Infantry Officer's sword - guard query


    I’m wondering whether anyone might possess knowledge that might explain what appears to be a peculiarity on the guard of my 1895 pattern infantry officer’s sword.

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    Beside the VR cypher are two parallel rectangular slots (see picture). What are these for and what do they signify? Are they practical i.e. designed to allow the clipping on of a metallic unit emblem, broach or other marking (not that I’ve found any reference to such things during my researches)? Or are they purely decorative, maybe a modification in design specified by the sword’s purchaser? The slots’ dimensions, finish and positioning suggest they were deliberately made at the time the guard was manufactured and not ‘cut in’ later. Much Googling and searching on Old Swords has failed to reveal a similar 1895 pattern (or 1897 pattern) sword with these parallel slots.

    The sword was manufactured by E. Thurkle. The leather scabbard is stamped “Hobson and Sons, London, 1899”, the outlet which I presume retailed the sword. On the back of the blade is stamped ‘T C M’, which I assume were the owner’s initials. Studying Hart’s Army Lists between 1895 and 1900 throws up a number of potential candidates. I’m curious as to whether the slots might further narrow down the list of possible owners in my quest to further research this sword’s history.

    I would be most grateful for any suggestions you might have.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Does the guard have the sword knot hole in the usual place? Could be used for a strap to secure a guard liner, though these typically were not in use at this time.

  3. #3
    Hi Will - thanks for your suggestion. Sounds plausible. The knot hole is in the usual place - on the guard's bottom curve, approximately 4 inches south of these parallel slots.


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