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I offer for sale a very nice example of a British 1890 regulation pattern cavalry trooper's sword complete with it's steel scabbard. This sword is stamped on the blade to a manufacture and issue date of 1894, and bears further Enfield Small Arms Factory inspection stamps for the following years - 1896; 1897 and 1898, together with it's "X" bend test stamp, showing that the blade passed it's bend test with flying colours. Also to be seen are various "WD" War Department inspection stamps on the blade and the bowl guard.


On the inside back of the steel bowl guard are the following stamps, "MR"(?) = Mounted rifles(?) - "06/03" = June 1903 - "10 H" = 10th (Prince of Wale's Own) Royal Hussars, and finally "E 18" = taken out of commission in 1918(?)


In any case, at some point in time, approximately one inch of blade tip has been rounded off to convert this sword into a Practice sword for the cavalry. The blade, which is cut with a single broad fuller, now measures 33 1/2 inches in length and is in good condition with almost no tarnishing and only two tiny nicks to it's edge. The blade is solid with the hilt, no movement whatsoever. The Steel bowl guard is good also with its typical decorative Maltese Cross cut-cut, with just one tiny nick to the rear rim of the bowl edge. The leather grip scales on the Charles Reeves type through-tang grip have expected wear to them but are held in solidly by the pattern five rivets.


The Steel scabbard with it's typical opposing solid suspension rings is in overall good condition with just one ding to the top and two small dings to the bottom of it. It is missing it's two tightening screws at the throat. It is dated/pattern/inspected 1902.


This sword may have seen active service in the Second Boar War of 1899 - 1902 although not with the 10th Royal Hussars, however the 10th Royal Hussars indeed saw action in the North West Frontier Campaign of 1908, the Zakha Khel Expedition.


How the 1890 pattern cavalry sword came about:


The mid Victorian British military Board of Ordinance were experimenting to try and find the perfect 'cut and thrust' weapon for the light cavalry. The steel bowl guard was seen to offer more protection for the user's hand than the earlier three bar open hilt. The 1864 pattern which resembled the 1890 pattern on offer, therefore came on to the scene and it differed only slightly from the 1890 pattern in that the bowl guard has no rolled edges, two sword knot slits lay at the rear of the guard bowl and it had a long blade of some 35 3/4 inches.


The 1864 got off to a shaky start and was not liked by the troops. It did not handle well, the blades often broke in combat and the sharp edged steel guard rubbed away at the trooper's uniforms. They began to abandon the 1864 in favour of the older 1854 pattern swords. Hence, the 1882/1885 pattern swords were brought into being, soon to be superseded by the 1899/90 pattern. They 1882/85 came in long and short bladed versions but generally the blades were 34 1/2 inches long. The 1882/85 had a rolled edge to it's bowl guard (no more rubbing of uniforms) and the sword knot slit was moved to the front top of the knuckle-guard. The shorter blade proved troublesome to it's users as the enemy often lay down to avoid the blade strokes. Where the blade did make contact it again often broke in combat. Eventually, this lead to the replacement of the 1882/1885 pattern by the stronger 1889/90 pattern, which was often manufactured by the Solingen, German sword cutlers - Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie, as the British cutlers Enfield and Robert Mole could not keep up with demand.

British 1890 Cavalry sword - 10th Royal Hussars

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