Straight spear-pointed blade with single fuller. Steel pierced interchangeable basket hilt, buff leather washer. Spiral grip of wood covered with shagreen bound with wire. Brown leather over wood field scabbard with frog loop for a Sam Browne, steel throat and chape with ball finial. All hilt and scabbard parts have been nickel-plated, aside from the chape body. Hilt liner of white buckskin covered with red cloth on the outer side, red silk fringe around the pommel.
The blade is stamped at the ricasso on one side with the ‘king’s head’ and ‘knight’s helm’ marks above ‘W, K & C’ which indicates the manufacturer Weyersberg, Kirchbaum & Co., based in Solingen, Germany. Etched atop these marks is the name of the retailer ‘Moses & Co. Madras’. On the other side it bears a brass proof slug stamped with ‘Proved’ within the customary six-pointed star. The blade is also etched with foliate motifs, and the crown and imperial cypher of Queen Victoria ‘VRI’ (Victoria Regina Imperatrix).
This sword is a highly unusual hybrid of parts: the blade of a British 1892 Pattern Infantry Officer’s sword has been combined with the 1828 Pattern hilt of a Scottish infantry broadsword, probably produced at around the same time. The cypher of Queen Victoria indicates that it must be an early 1892 type blade, since her reign ended in January 1901, not one of the large number of officer’s swords produced during WW1 or WW2. The blade was made in Solingen, Germany, but was further etched and ultimately sold in Madras, which I would suggest may mean the sword was put together specifically for a Scottish officer serving in India at that time, who evidently favoured the new blade over the traditional Scottish broadsword type.
More than one Scottish regiment had at least one battalion based in India during the period 1892-1901, including the Black Watch, Royal Scots, Gordon Highlanders, Seaforth Highlanders and Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Almost all of these units were redeployed to South Africa for the Boer War, and an officer entering service during this period is also very likely to have gone on to serve in WW1.
Some areas of patination to the blade. The nickel plating of the hilt is very good with only tiny spots of wear even in the areas it would be expected. The shagreen grip is also excellent with no notable losses and fully intact wire binding. There is one tiny black mark to the hilt liner, which is otherwise in excellent condition with vivid colour, still secured to the hilt with its original silk ribbons, which have faded somewhat from their original blue to a mostly lavender colour. Some light spotting to the interior of the liner. The threads of the fringe are fragile due to their age and a few have been lost. The leather of the scabbard shows very little wear of any kind. Some patination to the steel chape piece, which curiously seems not to have been plated apart from on the end cap with its ball finial.
£1100 including UK postage - see the Blackthorn Antiques website for purchase, for details on postage elsewhere and for more antique arms not shown on Gunstar.
Recently responses to customer enquiry emails which were sent through the Gunstar website haven't always been getting through. If you'd like to get in touch by direct email for a surefire response, the contact page to use is https://blackthorn-antiques.com/contact-blackthorn-antiques...Read full description