I offer for sale, a truly superb example of a Napoleonic British Officer's 1796 pattern Light Cavalry Sabre, together with it's wide Steel scabbard.
This fine sword was made between c.1800 - 1802 using a blade supplied to or manufactured for John Justus Runckel of Solingen, Germany (he also sold his imported Solingen blades from a workshop in Tookes Court, Holburn, London). The blade was hilted and a scabbard made for it by expert London sword cutler - John Prosser of Charing Cross.
The slightly curving blade measures 33 inches in length (or 84 cm) and retains a sharp service edge to it. The blade is in superb condition bearing it's issued polished surface with no tarnishing or 'blackspots' whatsoever, nor any damage to the blade edge. Just over the first third of the blade length retains it's original heat-blued surface, a nice deep blue with no fading and thereon is the original mercury gilded decoration consisting of floral swages; stands of arms; a GR cypher and the pre-1801 Georgian Royal Coats of Arms. The signature " J.J. Runckel Solingen" is seen clearly on the spine of the blade, engraved on a gilt background at the ricasso. A broad shallow single fuller runs to within the final 4 inches of the blade tip. The blade is nice and firm with the hilt and the leather washer is present (could it be a replacement?)
The iron hilt by Prosser is sharply tipped forwards by design, to perhaps make "giving point" easier in combat. This unique style breaks away from the usual British 1796 light cavalry pattern hilts, which are normally in line with the blade. The hilt guard consists of twin shield shaped langets, a straight counter-guard terminating in a comma knop quillon and a stirrup knuckle-guard attaching to the back-strap pommel. The backstrap is nicely faceted and a ferrule band is seen above the grip. The grip is wood covered in it's original leather and bound with Steel wire wraps. The only damage to this sword is that a small piece of wood and leather has been lost from the very bottom of the grip curve, as is often the case during service use with this pattern of cavalry hilt.
The lovely wide Steel scabbard is a good fit with this sword and in excellent condition, it bears almost no tarnishing to it whatsoever. Two loose rings suspend the sword. There is an engraved cartouche on one side of the scabbard at the throat, which bears the following inscription just about readable " PROSSER - Sword Cutler to the King & his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales & Duke of York, Charing Cross".
This Napoleonic British cavalry sword must rate as one of the finest examples of it's type currently for sale on the market!
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 type 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.
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