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Old 19th September 2011, 04:40 PM   #1
terry1956
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Default regiment markings on swords

hi. have any fellow members have any details of regiment markings on napoleonic swords and sabres. I have seen the prince of wales mark, how common was it to mark a weapon, thanks, michael
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Old 19th September 2011, 10:34 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Michael, it was very much typical to mark the swords of the rank and file of military units, typically showing the unit as well as applicable inventory numbers in these times. While familiar with the British units, it seems that most European and others did this as well.
The officers usually ordered thier own weapons privately so inventory type stamps did not apply.
Naturally a great deal of this data can be found on line these days, if I recall correctly in the B.C. days (before computer) we used Robson quite a lot for British markings and 'Hughes & Fox' a small pamphlet for British and German unit abbreviations.

Swords were marked usually on both hilt and scabbard throat, i.e.
2D =2nd Dragoons, Royal Scots Greys

other inventory marks below

I'm not sure how the French and German units were in markings in Napoleonic times.

BTW, while not familiar with what you mean by Prince of Wales mark, I know it was the device to the 10th Prince of Wales Own Hussars.
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Old 20th September 2011, 08:45 AM   #3
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thanks jim, this is an officers weapon, marked 16LD, then B17. I just don,t think that an officers sword would be so marked with what i think is a rack number,I have also found the mark on the guard. maybe it was just away to push the price up. the PoW feathers was the mark i have seen on many sabres marked to dragoon officers, michael
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Old 20th September 2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry1956
thanks jim, this is an officers weapon, marked 16LD, then B17. I just don,t think that an officers sword would be so marked with what i think is a rack number,I have also found the mark on the guard. maybe it was just away to push the price up. the PoW feathers was the mark i have seen on many sabres marked to dragoon officers, michael



The 16th (The Queen's) Light Dragoons
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Old 20th September 2011, 05:31 PM   #5
fernando
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A 1796 Light Cavalry sabre for an officer ?
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Old 20th September 2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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Evgeny, good call.....16th Light Dragoons it is.....or would have been if it had been on a troopers sword. This is of course, as Fernando points out, a M1796 British light cavalry officers sabre. One of these with this grade of nicely etched blade and with grip wrap intact would have been far more valuable without the 'graffiti' scratched into the langet.
Certain dealers with particular interest in the Sikh Wars might have been attracted to the this regiment as they were prominantly involved. However, they were lancers by this time and presumably arms would have been marked accordingly, not as light dragoons.

Michael, as noted the POW feathers were on sabres attributed to the 10th Light Dragoons around 1790s and then were in silver on a specially fashioned hilt issued c.1810 but only in small number (between 24 and 41 sabres) of the M1796 type. These were of course soon superceded by the M1821.
I am unware of the POW feathers appearing as a mark or symbolic on swords of other attribution...can you please say more on that?

All best regards,
Jim

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 21st September 2011 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 20th September 2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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hi Jim, re the prince of wales feathers. years back when i was in the army I had the good luck to be able to see the back rooms of many regiment collections held at their HQ,s and also one of the smaller unknown army collections not seen by the public, the latter is in fact at a small RAF base just outside oxford. during these years i was able to view weapons and uniforms of the napoleonic period ( my main interest) and came across a few weapons of officers with the 3 feathers badge, in the main light cavalry sabres, one I remember had the feathers in gold on the blade and was a thing to behold. I no longer have excess to these places, but understand they are still there and still under lock and key. sorry can,t be anu more help on this. michael.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 21st September 2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 20th September 2011, 09:42 PM   #8
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Hi Michael,
Thank you very much for the response. Actually I have not been a collector of anything (except dust and yellowed notes) for many years.

It must have been fascinating to have access to these collections! I recall many years ago when visiting a British Brigadier who had been posted with a Bengal Lancers unit near the Khyber in the 1930s. He had a few swords from one of these old armouries, one of which was a stirrup hilted colonial cavalry sabre with markings which identified to the 13th Bengal Lancers. The sabre was identical to one I had and confirmed the type.

While the POW feathers were attributed to the 10th Hussars as the emblem of the Prince of Wales personal unit as far as cavalry, there of course may have been other units in the army under his favor. Naturally these marks or inscriptions would appear on the swords of officers as these were personal weapons, while those to the troopers were rather randomly issued and property of the regiment.
BTW, that pamphlet I spoke of is "British and German Regimental Markings" by Hughes and Fox (I think even some Canadian marks are in there). I'm sure you have "Swords of the British Army" by Brian Robson, which is the absolute reference on these in my opinion, and serves as excellent benchmark for research.

All best regards,
Jim

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 21st September 2011 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 21st September 2011, 07:45 AM   #9
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Hi Jim, yes it was very nice to be able to see and sometimes if know one was around try on a few bits and bods, I remember looking at myself in full wig of an officers of the early 18th cen, the uniforms well just to small, but the detail on some was just so great. Its a pity that so much is just locked away never to be seen by the general public.
yes i have the book and a good read, but i don,t think the last word on the subject.
michael
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Old 21st September 2011, 10:53 AM   #10
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Someone please confirm for me that the forum rules have changes and it is ok to present images of and discuss an item up for auction.....I was never advised of this change.....it is well over a week before this auction passes....
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Old 21st September 2011, 01:46 PM   #11
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Thread closed due to rules transgression; item in active auction.
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