For sale: a 1796 Pattern, British Light Cavalry Sabre, as issued to the regular serving cavalry, as opposed to the home-guard yeomanry (as the proof stamp for army service indicates - "a Crown over the figure 8" on the side of the blade).
I can just about make out the maker's name very feint on the flat back edge of the blade at the ricasso using an eye glass, although the name is heavily rubbed, it appears to read "Osborn & Company"(?), for sword cutler - Henry Osborn of Birmingham. This would make sense as Osborn was indeed involved in the development of this type of British cavalry sword. The blade will have been manufactured after 1808, as Henry Osborn signed off his blades purely as "Osborn" prior to 1808 and as "Osborn & Company" thereafter.
This pattern of sword was used primarily by British Light Dragoons and hussars, and King's German Legion light cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars. It was adopted by the Prussians (as the 1811 pattern or "Blücher sabre") and used by Portuguese and Spanish cavalry who fought against Napoleon I.
The blade designed by John Gaspard Le Marchant a captain of the 2nd Light Dragoons in conjunction with Birmingham sword cutler - Henry Osborn, is remembered today as one of the best of its time and has been described as the finest cutting sword ever manufactured in quantity.
The undecorated blade on this sword measures 33 inches long and is totally firm with the hilt. The iron hilt has suffered heavy previous corrosion and the wooden grip is missing it's leather wrap. Very slight kink in the blade tip, hardly noticeable.