~ A Long Service 1897 Pattern Infantry Officers Sword ~
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 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, chief inspector of physical training at the board of education, 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.
Our example is a reused/refurbished Edward VIIth piece that has been used into Queen Elizabeth IInd era. This can be clearly seen as the Roman numeral ‘V’ has been cut away from the cipher.
As it happens the royal name letters are the same (E and R) even if the cipher itself should look different. But it is clear that this has been considered to be appropriate and approved for service.
The crown is also the kings crown rather than the queens.
The cipher on the blade has been modified as well.
The piece comes with its steel scabbard.
~ Condition ~
The piece has some signs of age, surface rust on few places along its scabbard and minor loss of chrome.
The scabbard has also a dent, as seen in the pictures.
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