Re: American Officer's Sword on eBay
- That is certainly a handsome sword. But I doubt that it is British,
as has been suggested. I have more than a passing interest in
British swords, and have a few reference books on the subject.
The eBay sword has an enlarged loop in its guard which is not
typical. (I would also suggest that it is not French for the same
reason, although I do not profess to have expertise in French swords.)
The single ring on the scabbard is not typically British. British
scabbards had either a frog button or 2 rings. I would mention that
current American sword furniture typically has a single ring (which
results in the sword banging around uncontrollably on the hip, as I
have seen in videos of modern dress parades).
It has also been suggested that American officers took to carrying
I have in my modest collection a very good example of the 1796
pattern British light cavalry sword. It is a brute. Now I know that
the fictional Sharpe carries a heavy cavalry sword which would be
even more of a brute. I cannot understand why an infantry officer
would want to use such a sword.
I also possess an officers sword, circa 1800, which is appropriate
for a light infantry officer, or a naval lieut or commander in
undress. Although very similar to the light cavalry pattern, it is
lighter and beautifully balanced. The hilt is identical, except that
the backpiece doesn't have an ear. The blade is roughly the same
length, with the same curve, but is not as broad and doesn't have a
I would suggest that that the swords which became popular with
infantry officers were not hand-me-downs, but purpose made swords
which duplicated the appearance of the very popular light cavalry
swords, as happened in Britain and the continent.