Slightly curved, unfullered blade, black leather washer, black-painted bowl hilt and ribbed grip, both cast iron, complete with black leather scabbard with steel chape and throat piece with frog stud. Blade is marked “MOLE BIRMM” at the forte, indicating manufacture by Mole of Birmingham.
Blade is clean and bright, having probably been cleaned in the past, with only very small edge imperfections. Hilt retains almost all of its original black paint, some very minor flaking and wear at the bowl edges. Scabbard has only minor scuffing, patina to throat and chape pieces.
Experiments during the early 1840s for a new naval cutlass design to replace the venerable 1804 Pattern resulted in a design by George Lovell, the Inspector of Small Arms, being accepted in 1842. A fire at the Tower of London destroyed early stocks and the design did not enter service in bulk until three years later, hence being termed the 1845 Pattern.
This example has the modified hilt that was introduced around 1859: slightly smaller than the original, with an oval washer in front of the grip and the back edge of the bowl hilt bent towards the blade to form a slight lip. The blade is the original 27 inches long: many 1845s were converted to straight 25.5 inch blades in the 1870s by shortening and reforging. This process was botched by a lack of proper heat treatment after the reforging, leading to blade failures in combat, the deaths of British sailors, a public outcry and a military procurement scandal. The original, unmolested 1845 was considered very successful, however, handling well compared to its bulky predecessor and being simpler to manufacture.
£875 including UK postage - see the Blackthorn Antiques website for purchase, for details on postage elsewhere and for more antique arms not shown on Gunstar.
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