British Pattern 1827 Rifle Officer’s Sword for an Officer of the 4th Bombay Rifles
A very rare and desirable East India Company 4th Bombay Rifles officer’s sword, pre-dating the Persian campaign of 1860. The sword was made/retailed by Hart, who seem to have specialied in swords for Indian service. The blade features fantastic etching with battle honours for the 4th Bombay Rifles, including “Seringartam”, “Beni Boo Ali”, “Bourbon”, “Punjab” and “Mooltan”. In 1861 the regiment added “Persia” to their battle honours, so this sword must pre-date that – it also features the East India Company lion, so it presumably dates to before 1858. The sword has been service-sharpened and must have seen a fascinating bit of history. While it may not be possible to attribute it to one particular officer, there are literally only a handful of possible candidates in the India Army List who are likely to have carried this sword. The sword came with a period train ticket attached to it (pictured), which may possibly offer the hope of narrowing down the original owner. I only know of two other 4th Bengal Rifles swords and they are both in the private collections of people I know. The sword itself is in reasonably good condition, but shows clear signs of hard campaigning – most notably the wear to the grip, where there is some loss to the shagreen and grip wire. This likely dates to the period of the sword’s service and corresponds to the areas of the grip which get most worn when gripping it. The guard and scabbard are fairly dark from patina, but the blade is really very good, with the etching all clear and crisp and the service sharpening having been well executed. The sword sheaths perfectly in the scabbard and the blade is tight in the hilt.