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Re: American Officer's Sword on eBay

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  • Col Sjt Jones
    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
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 29, 2000
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      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
      cavalry sabres.

      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
      hatchet point.

      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.

      Doug
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