I offer for sale a fine Light Cavalry Officer's 'neo classical' c.1800 pipe-back sword, possibly by premier British sword cutler - John Prosser Snr. of 9 Charing Cross, London, sword cutler to George III; George IV and William IV. The blade and the Steel scabbard are not marked with a maker's name, but the style of this sword suggests possibly only one maker - John Prosser Snr.

 

John Prosser, the son of William Prosser - sword cutler, is generally credited with the invention of the 'quill-back' or 'pipe-back' design of cavalry blade and was making them from around the early 1800's time period. Where a fullered blade which had gone before, was considered perfectly adequate for the cavalry role, the new pipe-backed blade offered supposedly a keener cutting edge and a lighter weight blade. They became a fashion statement with cavalry officers and especially in the "neo classical" style like this sword, and the pipe-back blade was to become the British regulation pattern light cavalry officers blade from 1821, then for infantry officers in 1822. 

 

 

I would date this particular sword style to around the early 1800 time-period, and you will see that the blade presents quite a spectacular Yelmen towards the blade tip. The Yelmen was another fashion statement of the period for British light cavalry officer's sabres, (certainly for the maker Prosser), mimicking the Yelmen leaf-shaped false edges of the Caucasian Killic sabre and the Ottoman Pala sabre. The theory behind the inclusion of the Yelmen was thought to reposition the blade tip more centrally in line with the central axis of the blade when "Giving Point" leading to a more efficient penetration of the target, less blade flex and less chance of a blade becoming stuck in the enemy. That was the theory in any case.

 

So, the details of this Georgian cavalry officer's sword are as follows:

 

Curved, 31 inch (79 cm) pipe-backed blade, having a pronounced Yelmen false edge and a spear tip. The blade is in good condition and nice and firm with the hilt. Just a little movement to the ferrule ring on the sword grip.

 

The hilt consists of a typical (Prosser style) three guard bar arrangement, with the guard bars having lines running along the edges. The quillon is of a scrolling looped form, a substantial ferrule and elongated 'beaked' type pommel and backstrap. The wooden grip has been lined with fishskin (some losses) and the grip secured by three, ornate foliate style rivets.

 

The sword comes complete with it's very stylish, original Steel scabbard, which is fitted with two loose suspension rings. The scabbard is in good general condition with only a few minor dings to it's lower section from banging against the spurs of the wearer.

 

Altogether, a very scare and stylish Georgian light cavalry sword.

Neo-classical Georgian light cavalry sword.

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