Killed at Vicksburg, 1863.
The 1908 Pattern Cavalry Trooper's Sword (and the 1912 Pattern, the equivalent for officers was the last service sword issued to the cavalry of the British Army. It has been called the most effective cavalry sword ever designed, although its introduction occurred as swords finally became obsolete as military weapons. In use, it, like other thrust-based cavalry swords, is best described as a one-handed lance, due to its complete lack of utility for anything but the charge. In fact, the closely related US Model 1913 Cavalry Sabre was issued with only a saddle scabbard, as it was not considered to be of much use to a dismounted cavalryman. Colonial troops, who could expect to engage in melee combat with opposing cavalry frequently carried cut and thrust swords either instead of, or in addition to, the P1908/1912.
In military circles there had long been the debate over whether the use of the point or the edge was the better method of attack for a cavalryman. In the Napoleonic period, British cavalry doctrine as shaped by John Gaspard Le Marchant favoured the cut, resulting in the dramatically curved Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre. With the introduction of the 1822 Patterns, the British Army adopted a series of "cut and thrust" swords with slightly curved blades which were theoretically stiff enough for a thrust. The 1822 swords and their descendants were inevitably compromises and not ideal for either cutting or thrusting, but the Army considered the adaptability to be of more importance. By contrast the 1908 pattern was designed from the outset purely to give point (thrust) from horseback. The sword has lived on as the ceremonial sword for the British, Canadian and Australian cavalry units.
This sword is in excellent condition, as the pictures will show, I doubt you will find a better example. If interested please contact me and I will put you directly in contact with Mr. Wilson to work out payment and shipping details.
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As a Colony and Dominion of Britain until Confederation in 1867, the security of Canada was in the hands of the British Government.
As such, British forces were stationed in Canada to varying degrees, depending on need and perceived external threats. Those forces were armed and provided for at the discretion and expense of the British Government.
The need for an improved defence organization was an important contributing factor leading to negotiations for Confederation. Following Confederation, Sir George Etienne Cartier's first Militia Act for the Dominion of Canada created the Department of Militia and Defence in 1868. It drew heavily upon Canada's system of universal obligation for military service and volunteer units, which visibly embodied the militia.
The new Canadian armed forces continued to rely on Britain for the supply of arms, not always with success. Weapons from American suppliers crept into the chain to fill shortages. As ammunition development progressed, and following the introduction of Magazine Lee-Metford and Enfield rifles, many Martini arms on hand through the latter part of the 19th century were converted to .303” calibre. Thus Canadians were armed with a hodge-podge, depending on service and immediate need.
One exception was unique to Canada. Following approval by the Department of Militia and Defence, the .303” caliber Martini-Metford MkII rifle was ordered from Britain, along with the P1893 sword bayonet. The bayonets were contracted to Wilkinson of London, and a production run of 1,000 completed by 1894.
The hilt design of the bayonet was influenced by the British Martini Henry P1887 MkIII, and strongly followed the overall appearance of the British 1888 Trials bayonet.
All British markings on P1893 bayonets to date are marked as follows, the left ricasso bears a large Victorian crown over V.R, the issue date of 2 ’94, and maker's name WILKINSON, LONDON.
The right ricasso is stamped with the British ownership mark : WD over an arrow, the lone (Wilkinson) inspector's stamp on steel : a crown over 35 over W, and the ‘X’ bend test mark.
Both grips of each bayonet are also marked with a Wilkinson inspector's stamp : crown over 49 over W.
Of the 1,000 Martini Metford rifles and bayonets purchased from Britain, the majority were issued to the Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry. The RRCI were formed on 23rd May 1893, and re-designated the Royal Canadian Regiment in November 1901. Apparently, two issue marks are encountered RRCI 1-500 for issue to The Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry Canada's regular army infantry regt and M&D 501-1000 for Militia and Defence property stamp. M&D marked were issued in small numbers to select militia regts. This particular example is neither marked for the regiment nor the Militia. Interesting non British approved arm but which went through full inspection and view process. Unique to Canada, these are scarce bayonets and are highly prized by collectors. Reference material, www.bayonetsplus.com.
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A Balkan Ottoman dagger of a type called hançer (Turkish) or khanjar (Arabic), of Arabic inspired form. The wootz Damascus blade with pronounced center ridge section and a pattern of fine contrasting layers of steel in grey and silver. Wootz steel was amongst the finest in the world. It is the metal that was used to fashion weapons such as the famous Damascus blades of the Middle Ages. However, Wootz steel dates back much further than the Medieval period. The technology originated in ancient India millennia before many other cultures ever found out about it. The silver handle is worked in high relief with traditional Ottoman flower designs. The scabbard, also entirely clad in silver, is decorated with bands of applied silver elements including engraved strips, bands of silver wire braid, and bands of separately applied elements. The end of the scabbard is wrapped in fine silver braid wire and terminates with an engraved finial. The scabbard is quite close to that of a dagger attributed to Prince Ioannes Karatzas (1760-1845).
Thanks to mandarinmansion.com for the information.
Notes to text
1. See: Robert Elgood; The arms of Greece and her Balkan neighbours in the Ottoman period, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009. Page 253.
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Still researching, any help with this item would be appreciated, description coming.
Knife is 25 inches overall when open and 15 inches when closed.
This sword was presented to Major John Garroway, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). Manufactured by Leckie Graham and Co., Renfield St. Glasgow. Stamped 89, if this is the date of the blade then it is likely the hilt was changed for the 1897 model, later in its life. Many of these swords underwent such transitions as the development of the sword continued and the monarchs changed. On the hilt, the cypher of King Edward VII, is clearly seen, Edward was King from 1900-1910.
The 1897 pattern infantry officers’ sword is a straight-bladed, three-quarter basket hilted sword that has been the regulation sword for officers of the line infantry of the British army from 1897 to the present day.
The curved, Gothic hilted 1822 and 1845 pattern infantry swords, although elegant, had been criticized by some as fighting swords. In common with British cavalry swords of the era, they were cut-and-thrust swords. In 1892, a new, straight, blade was introduced, mated to the existing Gothic hilt. Presaging the introduction of the 1908 pattern cavalry sword, the curved blade was abandoned in favour of a straight, stiff blade optimized for the thrust. Credit for the design has been given to Colonel G.M. Fox, Inspector of Gymnasia at Aldershot, who was also influential in the design of the pattern 1908 cavalry sword.
In 1895, a new pierced steel hilt pattern was introduced, replacing the earlier Gothic hilt with a three-quarter basket hilt. The new pattern was short-lived due to the edge of the guard fraying uniforms, and in 1897 the final pattern was settled on, being simply the 1895 pattern with the inner edge of the guard turned down, and the piercings becoming smaller.
By the time of its introduction, the sword was of limited use on the battlefield against rapid-firing rifles, machine guns and long-range artillery. However, the new sword was regarded, when needed, as a very effective fighting weapon. Reports from the Sudan, where it was used in close-quarters fighting during the reconquest of the Sudan (1896-'99) were positive. Officers carried swords into battle in 1914 at the start of the First world war. InJune, Army Order 68 prohibited the carrying of swords by infantry on the battlefields of the European theatre of the war, in an effort to prevent officers making themselves conspicuous to the enemy; however, at least one sword was carried in the assault on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in June 1916. Bernard Montgomery advanced with his 1897 pattern sword drawn during a counteroffensive in October 1914; having never received any training on how to use it. The actual sword he carried is exhibited in the Imperial War Museum, London.
The blade is described in the pattern as being 32+1⁄2 inches (830 mm) long and 1 inch (25 mm) wide at the shoulder, with the complete sword weighing between 1 pound 12 ounces (0.79 kg) and 1 pound 13 ounces (0.82 kg).
The blade is straight and appears symmetrical in shape (though in cross-section is a wedge, with the edge towards the front). The thick blade has a deep central fuller on each side and is rounded on both its edge and back towards the hilt, giving a “dumbbell” or “girder” cross section. Through a gradual transition, the blade becomes a wedge-section with the main cutting edge towards the front. The last 17 inches (430 mm) of the front edge was sharpened when on active service (and a few inches off the false edge, at the back near the tip, to aid penetration). The blade ends in a sharp stiff spear point. The blade is usually decoratively etched on both sides. The guard is a three-quarter basket of sheet steel. It is decorated with a pierced scroll-work pattern and (usually, see variation, below) has the Royal cypher of the reigning monarch set over the lower knuckle bow.
The grip, between 5 and 5+3⁄4 inches (130 and 150 mm) long to suit the hand of the owner, is generally covered in ray or sharkskin and wrapped with German silver wire. The grip is straight, with no offset to the blade. The sword shows a number of features that indicate its intent as a thrusting weapon. The stiff tapering narrow point aids penetration. The blade, whilst quite narrow, is thick and its dumbbell section gives it good weak-axis buckling strength whilst maintaining robustness in bending for the parry. The blade tapers in both width and thickness and, with the substantial guard, has a hilt-biased balance, aiding agility at the expense of concussive force in a cut. The guard gives comprehensive protection to the hand, but does not restrict wrist movement. The length of the front edge, at 17 inches (430 mm), is quite significant, suggesting that some cutting capability was maintained, even if the blade design is clearly intended as a thruster.
In common with earlier patterns, the 1897 pattern was sometime produced in “picquet” weight, i.e., a lighter weapon with a narrower blade and correspondingly scaled-down guard for use in levées and other formal occasions when not on active service.
Some regiments carried variations on the standard pattern, generally consisting of variations of the royal cypher on the guard.
An un-etched blade variant is available for warrant officers.
The sword pattern also influenced the ceremonial sword used by the Hong Kong Polices Force's Ceremonial uniform as well as the 1897 Canadian Infantry Sword used by the Canadian Army.
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