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1796 BRITISH LT. CAVALRY SWORD.


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I bought this old sword on Monday - it is the O/R's 1796 pattern light cavalry sword. A standard set of patterns for British swords was only established in the 1780's - prior to that each arm of service had their own style - and this could extend to

individual Regiments. Officer's swords for Light Cavalry had half blueing on the blade and an intricate design in gold .

There are no markings at all on the sword - I can only put this down to wear and polishing over 215 years. However, at that

time, many swords for the British Army were made in Germany and this could well be one of those.

There were two patterns with slight differences and I have shown the photo ref. from Robson's British Swords - probably the main book on the subject. I have also shown the details of length and weight which he gives. The main difference between the two is the one on the left (as does mine ) has Langets on either side. These really go back to fencing when you tried to trap your opponent's sword - they still offer some protection to another sword sliding down your blade.

I am hoping to find a correct scabbard - probably going to be difficult, but, let me know if you have any contacts.

Mervyn

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Mervyn,

I think you may have a plain officer's sword (or the decoration has been polished away). Troopers' swords did not have wire binding on the grips and they tended to have plain half-circle ears on the back strap. This would also explain the lack of government markings.

I also have a plain officer's P1796 LC sword (scabbard is associated and not original to the sword) marked J.J. Runklel Solingen on the spine:

JGH1796Runkel1.jpg

JGH1796Runkel2.jpg

JGH1796Runkel4.jpg

JGH1796Runkel5.jpg

JGH1796Runkel6.jpg

JGH1796Runkel7.jpg

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Mervyn

How great is that - it's the famous or rather infamous 1796LCS and gives us the story that the French made an official complaint about its ruthless efficiency and the terrible wounds it inflicted.

I think I'm right in saying that an "official" complaint was never made - it's a sort of early urban myth. But references are made in books - (the 1796LCS) "earned a unique compliment from a French Commander who protested against the fearful wounds it inflicted" - from the book 'The Life of General Le Marchant'. Probably French officers discussing the sword amongst themselves rather than making any complaint to Horseguards.

I also think Brian Robson makes some form of reference to the complaint in his book. I'll keep a look out for a scabbard.

Spaz

Edited by Spasm
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Thankyou Jonathan - I knew there was a reason we kept you ! Actually, seeing your design of the grip holder confirms that it is probably German. They always seem to vary. I don't think I've ever seen a plain officer's one and Robson doesn't make it clear.

Anyway - thankyou for that info.. I hope you are well and giving them 'hell' on your sword forum ? Mervyn

Steve - I wouldn't like to be at the receiving end of this sword - I think it has a much better balance then the 1853 and 1864 varients.

The French always complain - if they didn't like it they should have surrendered - as they were supposed to do !

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I don't recall if the alleged complaint is covered here, but for further reading on the 1796 patterns I highly recommend the articles by Richard Dellar which are online here:

http://www.swordsand...ageNum=1&aID=10

It is possible that you sword (and mine) were actually assembled in England with English-made hilts and German blades.

Edited by Jonathan Hopkins
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  • 8 months later...

Hallo guys,

verry nice sabers so and a verry good link ,

i have a 1796 too, it belonged to an brunswick officer, it is missing the scabbert, did you guys know a collector or dealer where i can ask ?

I think we have a lot of collectors here from the UK so i think it shut be possible to find a scabbert for it.

regards

Marc

Edited by Nunquam retrorsum
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