Experimental British Cavalry Sword

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Experimental British Cavalry Sword

Postby Gavin Locke » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:00 pm

Happy New Year all,
I picked up this sword in a recent auction half expecting it to be a fake but it seems to pass the obvious visual clues up close so I wanted to get any opinions you may have. It has an 1821 pattern heavy cavalry troopers guard but with a non fullered thrusting blade. It is stamped Enfield, 1856 with a crown inspection mark and a cross test mark. The blade has been sharpened at the tip but is blunt along the edge. Has anyone had experience of any experimental thrusting blades before the early 20th century blades that led to the 1908?
Many thanks, Gavin
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Re: Experimental British Cavalry Sword

Postby Will Mathieson » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:27 am

Interesting the sword dates to 1856 at the end of the Crimean War. I know Wilkinson's made officers swords with special order thrusting blades such as Toledo blade and other similar blades to penetrate the thick Russian overcoats. This sword may be an experimental version at the same time the 1853p sword was replacing the 1821p.
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Re: Experimental British Cavalry Sword

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:29 pm

Interesting sword Gavin. There was a lot of experimentation going on around this time but led principally by Wilkinson and Mole. However, Enfield was also on the cusp of enlargement and modernisation in 1856 so interesting to see that it was also playing the game.
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Re: Experimental British Cavalry Sword

Postby Matt Easton » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:30 pm

Having seen this 'in the flesh', it's very much all original with all the parts seeming at home together. My guess is exactly as stated - an experimentation at the arms factory. The date is a little puzzling, because of course in 1856 they were supposed to have stopped making the 1821 heavy with the move to everyone using the '53. And the Horseguards '48 had not been around for long, so it doesn't seem likely to have been for them. Perhaps an order from India?
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Re: Experimental British Cavalry Sword

Postby Richard » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:09 pm

Matt Easton wrote:Having seen this 'in the flesh', it's very much all original with all the parts seeming at home together. My guess is exactly as stated - an experimentation at the arms factory. The date is a little puzzling, because of course in 1856 they were supposed to have stopped making the 1821 heavy with the move to everyone using the '53. And the Horseguards '48 had not been around for long, so it doesn't seem likely to have been for them. Perhaps an order from India?


Matt,
Could it not be the case that if they were playing around with an experimental blade, they might have fitted it with a redundant hilt?
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