Category: 1900

British Pattern 1900 Naval Cutlasses

With chrome finishes to both, blades are marked Wilkinson and have various markings to the blades, one marked 1903 the other marked 1902.

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British Cutlasses

From top to bottom: pre-regulation cutlass, Pattern 1804 Cutlass, Pattern 1845 Cutlass, Pattern 1858 Cutlass, Pattern 1889 Cutlass, Pattern 1900 Cutlass.

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British Cutlasses, 1804-1900

From left to right: Pattern 1804 Cutlass, Pattern 1845/58 Cutlass, Pattern 1859 Cutlass Bayonet, Pattern 1889 Cutlass, Pattern 1900 Cutlass.

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British Pattern 1900 Naval Cutlass

A few years ago Matt Easton posted some videos on British cutlasses; one on how they would be good weapons to use against zombies, a few short videos of him cutting with an antique Pattern 1845 Naval Cutlass, and maybe one or two more on cutlasses and boarding axes. After those videos I decided that I really wanted a British regulation pattern cutlass. I guess Matt really sold me on them! After a few years watching eBay and other online sources for a good deal, I ended up with the cutlass pictured above, a Pattern 1900 Naval Cutlass. 

The P1900 was the last regulation pattern cutlass for the Royal Navy. It is similar to the Pattern 1889 Cutlass, but has several notable differences. The swords share similar 28 inch blades, but the P1900 has a short fuller near the bottom half of the blade, whereas the P1889 has a flat unfullered blade. The hilts have the same Pattern 1882 Cavalry Trooper’s Sword inspired guard (but without the “Maltese Cross” cutouts), but the grips are different. The P1889 has a ribbed iron grip, and the P1900 has chequered leather grip slabs (making it the first British regulation pattern cutlass without an iron grip) which are riveted to the tang, and a finger rest for the little finger–more design features of the cavalry troopers’ sword patterns. The P1900 Naval Cutlass is a heavy sword (not unwieldy), weighing in at about 2.5 lbs. The P1900 was officially withdrawn from service in 1936.

My example was made in 1902 at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield. The blade and the steel hilt pieces were plated at some point.  I’m not sure if the plating is original or not, but it appears to have some age to it. The leather on the grips has deteriorated and shrunk a bit, making the rivets stand out more than they would have originally. Unfortunately I do not have a scabbard for this sword, but at the price I paid for it I wouldn’t expect one.

After acquiring this cutlass, I am definitely interested finding some more to add to my collection–ideally an example of each regulation pattern. If you haven’t seen Matt’s excellent videos on British cutlasses, I will link to some of them below. You’ll also want to check out this concise summary of British cutlasses, and this relatively recent book on British naval swords and swordsmanship.

Matt Easton’s cutlass-related videos:

Cutlasses, Pirates, Axes, Zombies and the Royal Navy

Cutlass compared to sabre

Cutlass and sabre bottle cutting

Cutlasses and Pirates

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Pile-O-Swords 2: The Piling

British Pattern 1900 Naval Cutlass

Slightly curved 27 inch fullered blade marked above the hilt D P/(broad arrow)/EFD/X and with a crown over 30/E issue mark. Blackened hilt, the gripscales of checkered leather.

I can see nothing that would suggest that this is a lead cutter, however Bonhams have it listed as such. Their San Francisco location made the odd and annoying  choice to only show the hilt and part of the blade instead of the whole sword. And they have done this with all the swords at their upcoming sale. I suppose that in spite of this the world will continue to exist.

According to the Imperial War Museum;

Under an Admiralty Order of 22nd October 1936 it is laid down that the cutlass is no longer to form part of the equipment of men landed for service. It was retained merely for ceremonial parades and a few were kept in each ship for this purpose.

victoriansword:

British Cutlasses

From top to bottom: pre-regulation cutlass, Pattern 1804 Cutlass, Pattern 1845 Cutlass, Pattern 1858 Cutlass, Pattern 1889 Cutlass, Pattern 1900 Cutlass.