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daggpil 4th January 2021 05:29 PM

British sabre with ivory grip
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I am curious about the depicted sabre. Unfortunately no scabbard..Grip seems to be of ivory and the stongly curved blade is etched with British coat of arms and "Warranted".

What exactly was under the warranty? Blade of course, but in what aspects?

Hilt has traces of guilding and also the blade.

Any other information about this is highly appreciated.

Best regards/Ulrik Sj÷berg, Sweden.

Jim McDougall 4th January 2021 06:18 PM

Interesting Georgian saber probably c. 1804, the lionhead resembles the M1803 British infantry and flank company officers sabers but without the pierced knuckleguard w/ cypher.
The grip reminds me of naval officers swords of this period.

The 'warranted' was of course to the blade, and arose with the 'sword scandals ' of the late1780s where Thomas Gill of Birmingham challenged the German imported blades which were dominating the contracts for East India Co.
There were tests on the blades and he was joined by Henry Osborn and James Wooley. These makers took to marking the blades 'warranted' (Gill used 'Warranted Never to Fail").
It seems Osborn often used the warranted word alone, not sure on Wooley.

Bryce 4th January 2021 08:33 PM

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G'day Ulrik,

To add to what Jim has posted, most of these stirrup-hilted lion head swords predate the 1803 pattern infantry officer sword. I have one with a horn grip which is dated 1799. Ivory gripped examples like yours were favoured by militia and volunteer regiment officers whose swords tended to be a little fancier than their regular army cousins.

Below is a photo of Thomas Gill's full warranted spiel on a 1796 light cavalry officer's sabre.


Norman McCormick 4th January 2021 09:15 PM

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Here is an image of the Osborn's Warranted logo on an officers 1796 L.C. sabre manufactured between 1796 and 1801.

Will M 4th January 2021 11:07 PM

I would assume a warranted sword would rarely be warranted.
If the blade broke during battle slim chance of you surviving.
A good looking sword!

Jim McDougall 4th January 2021 11:35 PM

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Originally Posted by Will M
I would assume a warranted sword would rarely be warranted.
If the blade broke during battle slim chance of you surviving.
A good looking sword!

True Will, its like the old parachute axiom, if it fails to open, take it back.

However, the idea is, I want to know the sword will prevail BEFORE I take it into battle. There had been long periods of terrible blade making in England, and Gill et al, decided it was time to stop depending on Germany for blades and build the English reputation.

First three pics are a Thomas Gill M1788 cavalry saber, warranted on blade back.
The ivory hilt saber is M1796 yeomanry officer with curious saber knot bar near cross guard. These yeomanry officers had even more latitude than regular regiments officers so the individuality was notable.

These examples are not in great condition but just illustrations of the forms.

ariel 7th January 2021 04:28 AM

Well, if it fails during the sword fight, the owner wold be unlikely to go to the maker for a refund.

kronckew 7th January 2021 07:35 AM

When I was a cadet, we had a 'pass in review' parade in front of the College's Commanding Admiral and his guests, every Saturday morning before we went on liberty. As a First class (4th year) Cadet Asst. Platoon Officer, I was 'armed' with a std. Naval officer's sword, as were the other regimental officers. The other Cadets carried Springfield 1903A3 (The members of the Pershing Rifles Drill team had M1 Garands for drills and demos. (I was a 'Pershing Rifle myself)

Anyhow, I recall one Saturday as the platoon ahead of mine passed the Admiral, their Platoon officers flourished their sword in salute. I gathered later that the Platoon leader and his assistant, who were room-mates, got their swords mixed up - the swords were assigned specific lengths based on the wearer's height (mine was 29in.) so they would not touch the ground during use (saluting). The swords were nice shiny stainless steel. Anyway the Taller officer wound up with the shorter sword, and his shorter companion had the slightly longer one. He hit the ground right in front of the Admiral. The blade snapped about halfway. Rather embarrassed and red-faced, he continued the salute and the parade as if he still had a complete sword.

The remaining platoons passed the admiral, with the quite obvious half blade sticking up from the short grass a few feet in front of the Admiral. Luckily they were issue and not private purchase, so he turned in the broken bits and got a replacement. He had survived THAT use of a sword. We reminded them of it frequently.

Taught me to never buy a Stainless steel sword.

After commissioning, I bought a Carbon steel one for myself. ;)

David R 19th January 2021 12:32 PM

Anyone else remember this one.....

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