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Larks

A definitive guide to British sword and scabbard markings?

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Is there such a thing? I’ve been searching for a while and seeing conflicting advice on what some sword and scabbard markings mean, in particular those that appear to refer to a regiment or possibly troopers number (as has been suggested on another forum somewhere).

Specifically, at least in the first instance, I would like to be able to better understand the markings for 1796 Heavy Cavalry Troopers swords, what the markings represent, why their style of marking may vary so much from sword to sword and also if there is any record anywhere still in existence of where and to who swords may have been issued if the markings do relate to individual troopers )noting of course that they may have changed hands a number of times).
 
The attached two photos are examples of two with different styles of markings that interest me, both in trying to understand their background and what they mean and in understanding why they might appear almost worlds apart in their style.
 
 

IMG_2628 - Version 2.jpg

$_59d.jpg

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Here is a list of books I would recommend.  Listed from the personally most referred to starting at the top, but all are very good books.  I could list more but these are the best in their field.  All are currently available.

Swords of the British Army, Brian Robson

British Military Swords, Harvey Whithers also look for books by the author on specific swords such as the 1796 Light and Heavy Cavalry

The British Cavalry Sword 1788 - 1912, Richard Dellar  Mr. Dellar tells me there is a companion book coming out later this year.

The British Pattern 1796 Cavalry Sword and Other Derivatives, Janusz Jaroslawski

The British Cavalry Sword from 1600, Charles Martyn

 

Regards

Brian

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Thanks Brian, very much appreciated. I believe I have the Richard Deller book lined up for my Christmas stocking but I’d not considered the others. Are you able to tell me if either (or all) of them deal with my queries about markings? 

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Hi Larks,

Richard Dellar's book is excellent with several photos of scabbard and sword markings. Keep in mind this book deals only with Cavalry Swords. If you are thinking of collecting infantry or other department's swords (artillery for example) these will not be covered in this excellent resource.

Brian Robson as well as Harvey Whithers' books cover all aspects of the British sword, including cavalry and infantry.  Both of these books are excellent with Whithers' book containing excellent photographs.  Brian Robson's book contains a good number of markings but that are in the form written lists.  It all depends on what style you lake best; both are exceptional resources.

If you ever want to branch out into British naval swords and would like a book dealing only with these a good book is British Naval Swords & Swordsmanship by John McGrath & Mark Barton. This book is also currently available.  I don't actually collect naval swords but I picked up a Pattern 1900 Naval Cutlass a while ago and knew right off that this would not be the last naval sword I would collect so I purchased the book. No regrets there.

Happy collecting, and the researching of your finds. Keep us posted.

Regards

Brian

 

  

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Thank you Brian, that really is invaluable information and again very much appreciated, particularly given the cost of the books and in my case the need to order them on-line unseen. 

 

 

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