Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

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Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Brimage » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:33 am

Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?
Date c1837-1850
Overall Length 33 ¼” 84.4cm 82 cm in scabbard, 32 ¼” sword only
Blade length 27” 68.6 cm
Blade widest point 1” 2.5 cm
Hilt widest point Cross guard 5 ¼” 13.4 cm
Inside grip length 4” 10.1 cm
Marks, etc. Scabbard throat marked 18th Regt

Description
Early 19th century infantry officers dress sabre with brass scabbard. Extremely detailed lions head pommel and backstrap. Ivory grips with incised decoration, curved fullered blade, brass scabbard engraved "18th Regt" at the throat.

General Remarks
Looks like a Victorian Crown in the centre of the cross guard and a Victorian style scabbard. Initially I assumed the Irish 18th Regiment of Foot, however the Indian Army and the East India Company also had 18th Regiments. I have seen two other example of an identical sword attached, however these have leather scabbard with Brass mounts. One of them mentions having the number 10 under the guard.

Any thoughts on what this sword is?
Which 18th Regiment it represents?
What age as it appears non-regulation

Cheers Cathey and Rex.
Attachments
_UK-Foot c1800-18th Irish Regt.jpg
aDSC_7519.JPG
UK-Variations Mameluke-1700-1900-Ref0001_Page_1.jpg
UK-Cavalry Variation-1700-1800-Ref0008_Page_1.jpg
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby sword335 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:40 pm

Certainly not a Cavalry sword. I wouldn't expect an officer's sword to have a regimental number engraved on the scabbard. My guess would be a bandsman's sword. If it wasn't for the crown I would say American, especially bearing in mind where the other two come from. Carved grip is also very American. Are you sure the grip is ivory and not bone ? Hard to tell in the photo.

Chris
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Brimage » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:55 pm

Hi Chris

I did consider Bandsmen's sword but the quality appears to high. The grip could be bone, always hard to tell, if it is bone I might lean back to an Indian Army regiment. It would have had a chain guard as well, certainly not a regulation pattern and I agree in no way is it Cavalry. Although I do have an earlier small cavalry sabre that it does bear some similarities to, again that one has an Indian Connection. Any thought about the period?

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Will Mathieson » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:45 pm

To me it looks early Victorian with the crown and lions head pommel very similar to naval swords of the period.
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby sword335 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:24 pm

Yes, first half of the 19th. Century.
If it's ivory you should be able to see grain almost like engine turning. If bone, there will be small black spots. If it's bone then not likely to be Indian (plenty of ivory there) and not English. I think it would point to Colonial or American.
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Brimage » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:38 am

Hi Guys

On closer inspection it does appear to be Ivory. I have gone through my data base and found a number of British Mameluke's with carved grips and given the Crown in the center I am comfortable that this is British the question is which 18th regiment, the Irish or one of the Indian Infantry 18th. The Majority of Mameluke's with carved grips I have found are either Hussar (Which this is not) or purported to be for service in India (which this could be). On the issue of Ivory and service in India, I have been advised that although it seems odd they actually used Bone regularly despite the availability of ivory, no idea why.

A couple of my 1803's have a very similar Lion's head, but this sword is clearly Victorian. I don't know whether the Indian Infantry regiments had bands and if this is a pre-pattern band sword perhaps I need to look more closely at the Irish 18th!

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Will Mathieson » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:30 pm

My feeling is it's Indian, the style of the grip carving suggests this.
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Brimage » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:34 am

Hi Guys

I have now found a reference to this sword but with a leather scabbard and fish-skin grip in "The British Cavalry Sword from 1600 by Charles Martyn". The most recent example I have found, again in my database is described as a British lion's head household Windsor castle cavalry dress sword ca 1820, Martyn describes the same sword as Household Cavalry Band Sword. Looks like we are looking a a version of Cavalry Band sword, all I need now is a link to the 18th Regiment somewhere.

Cheers Cathey and Rex.
Attachments
Illustration 125 The British Cavalry Sword C Martyn.jpg
Illustration 125 p2 The British Cavalry Sword C Martyn.jpg
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Re: Infantry Dress Sabre 18th Regt of What?

Postby Brimage » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:17 am

Hi Guys

With the help of a friend we have re-examined the hilt of this sword and now believe it to be Bone not Ivory. Another friend has reminded me that not everything included in print is accurate so I am still looking for another reference besides Martyn to a sword like this with some hope of nailing the band sword question and perhaps regiment down with more certainty.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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