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British Swords pre 1901


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Hi Mervyn, Stuart said you wanted me to post some more swords, here is the first one. Looking forward to chatting on Skype Saturday.

Date: Pattern 1796 (18th Century) This sword probably produced in early 19th but who really knows.

Overall Length: 87 cm (34.3 inches) in scabbard, 83.7 cm (33 inches )sword only

Blade length: 72.6 cm (28.6 inches)

Blade widest point: 3.286 cm (1.3 inches)

Hilt widest point: 14 cm (5.5 inches)

Inside grip length: 8.9 cm (3.5 inches)

Marks, etc: Initials TRBC, Blue and gilt decoration crowned post 1801 Royal Arms, the crowned Royal GR cypher and foliage including Scottish Thistles.

Description: Georgian 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry Officer's Blue & Gilt Sword

Curved blade double-edged towards the tip, blue and gilt decoration covering three-quarters of its length, crowned post 1801 Royal Arms, the crowned Royal GR cypher and foliage including Scottish Thistles. Steel stirrup hilt including a pair of langets with faceted borders, knuckle guard and back-strap each decorated with a pair of vertical notched bands, original fishskin-covered grip bound with twisted silver wire, and the hilt retaining traces of an early silvered finish, in its leather scabbard with shaped steel mounts engraved with linear ornament, and engraved with the owner's initial 'TRBC'.

General Remarks

Post 1801 arms, May not be cavalry, it has been suggested that it might be Rifles. Initials TRBC, could be JRBC, difficult to be sure. The presence of Scottish thistles in the decoration may indicate the sword was made for a Scottish officer possibly Yeomanry or Militia (Volunteers).


Cathey and Rex

Edited by Cathey
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Hi - Cathey and Rex. I wish we could get other members to follow requests so quickly - and competently. The heavy and the light Cavalry swords of that period are always so attractive with their blueing - I wouldn't be sure about Rifles - but with so many Volunteer units at that time they are a possibility.

One has to give the British 'full marks' for persistence - we had lost any control over France , literally, hundreds of years prior to 1801 - yet it was only in that year that we dropped the Fleur d'Lis from our National Arms.

Again thankyou for contributing so well to our Forums and we must look forward to future posts. Meanwhile, I shall look forward to saying 'Hello' when I skype Stuart on Saturday. Brian and I try to keep an eye on him - he's very cut off in the country........

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Hi Jonathan,

Your right is should be 19th or late 18th, without a maker it is impossible to pin point. What are your thoughts on the possible Scottish connection? it was only recently I noticed the Scottish thistles on the blade.

Cheers Cathey

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Circa 1796-1821

English hilt, German Blade

Overall Length: 104.3 cm in scabbard (41.1 inches) 101 Sword only (39.8 inches)

Blade length: 87.3 cm (34.4 inches)

Blade widest point: 3.7 cm (1.5 inches)

Hilt widest point: 12.4 cm (4.9 inches)

Inside grip length: 11.5 cm, (4.5 inches) 17 turns of wire binding around the grip

Marks, etc: Steel scabbard bares the names Woolley & Deakin. Blade signed near hilt J. J. Runkel Solingen

Description: Pattern 1796 Ladder Hilt Heavy Cavalry undress officers sword, has a broad long single-edged blade with a hatchet point and the guard is an open work steel bowl decorated with scrolls in the form of the petals of the honeysuckle flower. Very good Condition, scabbard bares the name Woolley & Deakin. The blade is German marked faintly J. J. Runkel Solingen. This sword is described by Ffoulkes & Hopkinson, Sword, Lance and Bayonet and Wilkinson-Latham, British Cut and thrust weapons as having been developed in 1834. Robson, Swords of the British Army does not agree and maintains that this hilt was introduced in 1796 and remained the regulation for heavy cavalry officers until 1821.

General Remarks

Blade made by J. J. Runkel – Solingen, Prussia 1780-1800. Many of his blades were hilted to become Highland broadswords of Scotland. Waterloo Sword Collector Haydn Vesty: 1796 Pattern Ladder Hilt Officers Undress, probably late make but no later than 1810.


Bonhams, 1/4/04 Lot 322 pp100

BULL, S. European Swords Shire 298 Album. Pp22.

DUFTY, A. European Swords & Daggers in the Tower of London. pp 31, plate 81,d

ROBSON, B. Swords of the British Army pp 85, plate 65,90,128, plate 110.

SOUTHWICK, L The Price Guide to Antique Edged Weapons pp 125. plates 330,332

WILKINSON-LATHAM, J. British cut and thrust weapons. Pp 15, plates 9.

WILKINSON, F. Edged Weapons. Pp 148.

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