EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
While the progression of British military regulation pattern swords was well documented and has very good resources identifying them ("Swords of the British Army" by Robson, the most recent and comprehensive), the swords of the British native cavalry units are only vaguely described.
It is true that Wilkinson-Latham is one of the famed sword making dynasty in England, and as others, such as John Wilkinson, who has also written on these weapons, have had considerable resources which describe the historical data involving that firms extensive production.
This sword certainly is in the style of the regulation M1853 cavalry sabre, although it is of course not one of the regulation issue examples. There were examples of these produced for native regiments in India, one group having been produced by a Rodwell & Co. I think around the late 19th c. but I do not have details handy at the moment. The typical colonial sabres made in around the 1880's for some of the cavalry units were made in the form known as the 'gothic hilt' and were patterned after the M1821 light cavalry sabre with three bar hilt.
It is also known that the stirrup hilt sabres of the M1796 light cavalry sabre, with the hatchet point, were produced also in the latter 19th c. by makers who consigned to supply forces in the Raj, one such firm was J.Bourne & Sons. These stirrup hilt sabres were still in armouries as late as the 1930's
This sabre is likely end of 19th c. to early yrs 20th and as noted the 'step' preceding the false edge is most interesting, forming a form of 'choil' on the sharpened back edge.
Most interesting sword!!