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Old 25th June 2021, 03:31 AM   #1
Sakalord364
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Default Need help identifying British style Afghan cavalry sabre

I bought this very obviously British style cavalry sabre, (not sure what model) but it has a very unusual marking of a lion, and I am not sure if this is a British marking, or the marking of the Afghan king Sher Ali Khan. Perhaps the Afghans obtained this sabre from the British, and added their own marking to it.
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Old 25th June 2021, 12:36 PM   #2
Will M
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Can you post a photo of the brass guard with its coat of arms?
This could be an Indian sword for one of the Princely States.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/C...tates_of_India

The blade is British but the hilt appears to be local manufacture that copies the British infantry pattern.
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Old 25th June 2021, 06:55 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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This is of course a British M1822 infantry officers sword (I'd like to see the cartouche in the hilt), and the multiple stamps in the blade correspond to issuance and inspection marks placed on the blade in England.

After the cessation of the 2nd Anglo-Afghan war (1878-1880) and the Treaty of Gandamak (1879) which established the Durand Line most of Afghan regions were under British suzerainty. As such the Afghan military became much Anglicized and uniforms and weaponry were often actually British produced.

In studies of these situations, research of years ago discussed the arsenal and factory at Mashin Khana (Kaar Khana e Jangalak) in Kabul. As this factory was the official arms production center and arsenal for Abdur Rahman Khan, most weapons were stamped with the Royal stamp (Mehrab and Munbar) .
It seems that while the factory effectively was established in 1880, none of the swords from there and with Royal stamp date before 1893, nor after 1903 (I have one dated 1896).

While I am not aware of a Royal stamp (with the lion head) used in that manner by Sher Ali Khan, it certainly does seem possible. Sher Ali Khan (1825-1879) certainly had provisional contact with Great Britain prior to the war and there was use of British weaponry.

It does seem that there were at least one or more arms factories in the area of the Mashin Khana in Kabul in these times, and while I cannot find the reference presently, there was a 'lions head' used as a mark.

I would suggest this is a British M1822 infantry officers sword adapted for Afghan use probably in early 1870s.

Will, the British manufacturers used this 'Gothic' hilt pattern to produce swords for many British colonial interests, and the oval cartouche has had devices and cyphers etc of numerous places, Ceylon, Nepal etc., I am not aware of these hilts being produced locally in any of these.
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Old 26th June 2021, 03:10 AM   #4
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I would think the pattern is the later 1854 when officially the folding guard was abolished. The hilt does appear "locally" made with noticeable differences.
Why is there no photo of the cartouche as it would answer the question of state. A British blade that may have been rehilted.
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Old 26th June 2021, 04:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M View Post
I would think the pattern is the later 1854 when officially the folding guard was abolished. The hilt does appear "locally" made with noticeable differences.
Why is there no photo of the cartouche as it would answer the question of state. A British blade that may have been rehilted.

In looking at this again, I see what you mean Will, the hilt does look pretty 'rough'. Good note on the abolished hilt post 1854, these infantry officer M1822 were used until 1890s. Would be nice to see the cartouche.
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Old 27th June 2021, 01:54 AM   #6
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The more I look at this sword, the blade appears short for a sword.
I can see there is some loss since the fuller ends near the tip.
Could this be a sword bayonet blade? I say this because of the inspection markings which you don't see on infantry sword blades unless a sergeants sword but then only one or two marks.
What is the blade length?
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Old 27th June 2021, 02:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M View Post
The more I look at this sword, the blade appears short for a sword.
I can see there is some loss since the fuller ends near the tip.
Could this be a sword bayonet blade? I say this because of the inspection markings which you don't see on infantry sword blades unless a sergeants sword but then only one or two marks.
What is the blade length?

I think I can add something to support that....I just found my notes on a an Enfield musket converted to Snider with a 'toughra' on the lock, and a LIONS HEAD stamp just ahead of the hammer......the toughra had the date 1874 in the reign of Sher Ali,
it is thought there was a shop near Mashin Khana called 'lions head' which used this stamp.
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Old 27th June 2021, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M View Post
The more I look at this sword, the blade appears short for a sword.
I can see there is some loss since the fuller ends near the tip.
Could this be a sword bayonet blade? I say this because of the inspection markings which you don't see on infantry sword blades unless a sergeants sword but then only one or two marks.
What is the blade length?
Iím traveling currently, once I arrive home Iíll post some more pics

The blade length is approximately 73 CM
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Old 27th June 2021, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M View Post
I would think the pattern is the later 1854 when officially the folding guard was abolished. The hilt does appear "locally" made with noticeable differences.
Why is there no photo of the cartouche as it would answer the question of state. A British blade that may have been rehilted.
The cartouche seems to be a crude copy of the British one?
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Old 27th June 2021, 11:47 AM   #10
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East India Company or a Native States army, NCO who would have their sword issued rather than privately purchased.Native State would also cover Afghanistan.
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Old 28th June 2021, 03:06 AM   #11
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I see the crown but under it i'm not sure. I don't think it's a VR. Possibly finding another sword with less wear could answer as to what it represents?

Looks like the guard at the pommel has a brazed repair.
I do agree a sergeants sword, it would have been kept polished which explains the wear.
A blade of 73 cm could be a bayonet blade repurposed as a short sword. The interesting hilt was obviously added at some point.
Try looking at period photos, there are many available and one of more may have this pattern of sword. Lots of history in that part of the world at that time.
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Old 28th June 2021, 11:33 AM   #12
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The pattern started with George IV, so you have a choice of George IV and William IV as monograms as well as Victoria. Here is Georges monogram on a sword of this pattern. But if its East India Co. they also used their own badge or seal.
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Old 28th June 2021, 03:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for showing the cartouche.
These were almost invariably VR (Queen Victoria 1837-1901)
George IV, was Prince Regent 1811-1820 and became George IV 1820. As this was an 1822 pattern and he passed in 1830, these with that cartouche are not common.

The William IV would be even more so of course.

This hilt seems roughly cast as even worn the relief would not be that indistinguishable.
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Old 28th June 2021, 08:09 PM   #14
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Yes it does appear to be a rough sand cast guard probably taken from an existing sword guard. I find these swords interesting considering the likelihood of them being used in battle.
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