I offer for sale a lovely, British, Georgian era, Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry sabre, with a super blue and gilt blade (approx. 80% of the blueing left intact).
The slightly curving, substantial, fighting blade measures 1 ½ inches across at the shoulder and 32 ½ inches in length. The blade edge has been sharpened during it’s service life and still retains a very keen cutting edge!
The gilded etched decoration shows scrolls of foliage and leaves; a mounted Hussar or Dragoon; King George III’s Crowned Royal Cypher; Stands of Arms; and the Royal Coat of Arms from c.1801 to 1816. The blade is unsigned by the Cutler but the style of the hilt strongly suggests the cutler to be Henry Osborn(?) who was active as a sole cutler/trader between c.1785 to 1820, as hilts made by him are almost identical to the hilt on this sword.
The blade edge bears numerous ‘nibbles’ at the Centre of Percussion (C.O.P.) suggesting heavy combat use. There is the slightest of movement between blade and hilt due to shrinkage of the organic wooden grip over the past 210+ years.
The hilt, as previously stated, bears the same styling as those produced by Henry Osborn, in that the Back-Piece ‘Ears’ are raised ‘Comma’ shapes pointing backwards, the Back-Piece strap and the ferrule are faceted and the Langets are semi-circular in outline, all identical to Osborn’s. The wooden grip has lost it’s grip leather and there are three, tiny, inactive, woodworm holes to the grip wood, however, the twisted steel binding wire is still in place.
This sabre comes complete with it’s original wide, Steel scabbard, which bears some tarnishing to it’s surface and one edge of a thin metal strip (surrounding the throat entrance) has lifted slightly but is still firmly attached. There are some contact (blade?) strikes to the lower edge. The sword sheathes very nicely into it’s scabbard.
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.