British Flank / Light Infantry Officers Sabre, 1796 to 1803
This is a British interim sabre from between 1796 and 1803, for a Flank or Light Infantry officer. With a wedge section blade, heavily curved, and a 1796 style hilt, this sword was scaled down to fit the needs of an infantry officer and is extremely quick and agile.
The deeply curved, slightly shorter blade is well suited to draw cuts, and the overall lightness compliments the POB (12cm from crossguard)
The reason it can be accurately dated to the interim period of 1796 to 1803 is because of the British war office officially adopting new patterns of sabres in those years.
In 1796 the (rather well known) 1796 light cavalry sabre was adopted, which this mimics in hilt design, featuring a stirrup hilt (“P” shaped guard) and a curved blade.
Flank infantry and Light infantry officers often engaged in skirmishing tactics and thus officers for these regiments tended to go for more combat appropriate swords than their official pattern (The 1796 spadroon, often considered to be a terrible sword).
As a result of the number of Flank/Light infantry officers using 1796 Light Cavalry sabre derivatives, the 1803 was soon officially adopted for these regiments, featuring a broad, heavily curved blade and a more elaborate and more protective hilt.
This design falls between those two.