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£ 2,750
British Osborn & Gunby (Birmingham) 1803 Pattern Light Infantry & Grenadiers Flank Officer’s Sword With Blued & Etch Swords
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JC Militaria Ltd
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ad ref. GS1225E22
£ 2,750

British Osborn & Gunby (Birmingham) 1803 Pattern Light Infantry & Grenadiers Flank Officer’s Sword With Blued & Etch Swords

BladesSwordsUsed£ 2,750

**SUPERB**VERY RARE**NAPOLEONIC PENINSULAR WARS ERA, British Osborn & Gunby (Birmingham) 1803 Pattern Light Infantry & Grenadiers Flank Officer’s Sword With Blued & Etched Warranted Sabre Blade Buff Leather Cord, Portepee & Scabbard. Sn 18463 - 18463

Henry Osborn Birmingham started manufacture in or around 1785 and became partners with John Gunby in 1805, before they began working separately in 1820. The development of the Pattern 1803 Flank Officer's sword goes back to the late 18th century, when light infantry units were formed in the British Army. The Grenadiers and light companies of a battalion were considered the elite of these infantry regiments, and could be detached and deployed separately as skirmishers. Grenadiers were the senior company of any infantry battalion and would typically lead an assault. When the battalion was deployed in line, the grenadier and light companies were deployed on the right and left flanks respectively, and both companies could be could be called upon to operate in looser formations and semi-independently. The added element of risk associated with detached skirmishing in looser formations meant that officers of light infantry needed a more robust fighting sword. By 1799, sufficient numbers of officers of these regiments and companies were using sabres rather than the Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer’s sword, enough for them to be given official leave to wear sabres instead. In addition to being a more practical weapon, these sabres could be more easily hitched up, as they were suspended on slings rather than the shoulder belt and frog of the Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer's sword. This ensured that the weapon did not inhibit movement when skirmishing over broken ground. This need for a more robust weapon was formally acknowledged by the King in 1803, when he approved 'a Pattern Sword for the Officers of Grenadiers and Light Infantry'. Despite this regulation there exists a great deal of variety in 1803 Pattern swords. most have a slotted hilt with the royal cypher (GR) on the knuckle-guard, which joins the head of the back piece at a Lion's head pommel. The blade is commonly quite broad for an infantry sword, with a single fuller. In terms of general form, the sword is similar to the curved sabres of the light cavalry, and the blade is comparable to a slighter version of the 1796 Light Cavalry sword. This similarity was perhaps deliberate, as at this time light infantry across Europe were increasingly taking their military stylings from their light cavalry counterparts. Both light infantry and cavalry considered themselves an elite, and were keen to distinguish themselves from their comrades in the line through different uniform and equipment. The 1803 Officer’s sword was issued with a leather scabbard. The sword was approved for both flank officers of line infantry regiments as well as those few regiments in the British Army designated as light infantry. In addition to this, Regimental officers (Majors, Lieutenant-Colonels and Colonels) were permitted to carry the sword. This is an original very rare to find example of a British 1803 Pattern Flank Officer's sword (see page 168 of World Swords by Withers & page 151 of Swords Of The British Army by Robson). Our superb example has the correct pierced brass guard with Crown GR cypher Grenadier’s ignited grenade device and Lion’s head pommel. The wire bound leather covered grip is excellent. All wire is tight and intact. It has a 32” long fullered, single edged sabre blade with leather hilt washer. The blade is correctly gold etched and blued on all sides for ½ of its length. The etchings are foliate & Martial panels, Georgian Crown GR cypher, heraldic devices and ‘Osborn & Gunby’s Warranted’ banner. All of the etching and blueing are crisp. The sword comes with its original brass mounted black leather scabbard. The leather is complete. The surface of the leather has just light scuffs to be expected with age and use. The throat mount has a frog locket and hanging ring. The central brass mount also has a hanging ring. The scabbard has a large brass chape. The price for this quality sword and scabbard includes UK delivery. Sn 18463
£2,750.00...Read full description
CategoryBlades
SubcategorySwords
ConditionUsed
Price£ 2,750
Sale typeTrade
MakeBritish Osborn & Gunby (Birmingham)
Manufactured YearNAPOLEONIC PENINSULAR WARS ERA
Antiqueyes
Your referencesn 18463

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JC Militaria Ltd
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