Category: heic

Out 10 September in the USA. Based on the qual…

Out 10 September in the USA. Based on the quality of his past work, this is a must-read book for me. 

Marketing blurb:

From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country.

In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army.

The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company’s reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London.

The Anarchy tells one of history’s most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire-which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources-fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.

victoriansword: Light dragoon pattern shako…


Light dragoon pattern shako and plume worn by Cornet C Cazenove, 6th Madras Light Cavalry, 1851 ©.

The 6th Cavalry were originally raised in 1799. The British officers of the Madras Army’s Light Cavalry regiments wore a distinctive French grey uniform that had been adopted in 1818. Their shakos, tunics and overalls closely followed the British pattern.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1963-09-264-2


National Army Museum, London


National Army Museum, Study collection

Object URL

victoriansword: An Unusual East India Compa…


An Unusual East India Company Naval Officer’s Sword

82cm pipe backed blade by W.Parker London, etched with scrolling foliage, the East India Company arms and motto (partly erased), copper gilt gothic type hilt with bold lion’s head pommel, the guard applied with the East India Company crest and initials E.I.C. within a wreath in silver, the ferrule embossed with flower heads, inner folding guard, wire bound fish skin grip, in its re-leathered scabbard with engraved brass mounts with two suspension rings, the locket with frog stud.

victoriansword: British Pattern 1822 Infantry …


British Pattern 1822 Infantry Officer’s Sword for an Officer of the East India Company 

A rare East India Company officer’s sword, based on the British Pattern 1822 Infantry Officer’s Sword. This example is unique because it has a straight double-edged blade rather than the regulation slightly curved pipe-back blade. This blade may be original to the sword, but it possible that it is a later replacement. Here is a similar example but with a pipe-back blade.

Antique Sword Restoration – Bombay Horse Art…

Antique Sword Restoration – Bombay Horse Artillery Sabre Part 1

British Pattern 1827 Rifle Officer’s Sword for…

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.

victoriansword: British Pattern 1822 Infantry …


British Pattern 1822 Infantry Officer’s Sword

Infantry officer’s sword belonging to Colonel James Livingstone, who served in the 18th Bombay Native Infantry until 1833.

When the new pattern of Infantry officers sword for the British Army was introduced in 1822, the East India Company followed suit. On the guard the King’s monogram was replaced by the rampant lion of the Company, and the blade also bore the arms of the Company rather than those of the monarch.

NAM Accession Number 

NAM. 1960-05-92-1


National Army Museum, London


National Army Museum, Study collection

Object URL

An East India Company Mameluke-Hilted Sword …

An East India Company Mameluke-Hilted Sword for the Bombay Light Cavalry, c.1830

Curved 30 inch blade with 11 inch panel etched with East India Company Lion, regimental title, crossed lances, florals and maker’s markings for Prosser of London. Steel-mounted mameluke hilt, the gripscales of horn. Black-painted iron scabbard.

An Officer of the Regiment of (Bombay Horse) Artillery,…

An Officer of the Regiment of (Bombay Horse) Artillery, c.1840

The first troop of Bombay Horse Artillery was raised by the East India Company in 1811. In recognition of its services at Hyderabad in 1843 whilst commanded by Major Thomas Leslie, the troop was designated the 1st or Leslie’s Troop and authorised to bear the device of an eagle on its appointments. In 1862 the Bombay Horse Artillery became part of the Royal Artillery.



The iron hilt with birds head pommel, shaped knuckle guard from the forward cross guard terminal joining the beaked pommel in a leaf spray, remains of koftgari work, earlier slender watered steel Sind curved single edge Damascus blade with long gold inscription on both sides of the blade, translated ‘Sword of Akbar, presented to Major Robert McPherson by the King of Delhi for his dedicated service to His Majesty Akbar 1817’, the wooden scabbard with two steel hanger mounts and steel chape, faded green velvet cover embroidered with panels of scroll work with its matching sword belt in the European manner, comprising of a buckle of Meena work inset with dark blue and green enamel and a series of enamel white metal mounts with flower heads of blue enamel, of a type from Jaipur, the belt material of faded embroidered cloth with lozenge decoration throughout its length (31 inch blade). 


Formerly at Glentruim and the Macpherson family, by descent


Major Robert Macpherson The Younger of Banchor (1774-1823)

Robert Macpherson was the 3rd son of Andrew Macpherson of Banchor and his wife Isabel/Isabella, eldest daughter of George Macpherson of Invershie; he was born in Kingussie in 1774.

Appointed a cadet in the military service of the East India Company in 1794, he arrived in India on 5th January 1796 and was commissioned ensign in the 17th Bengal Native Infantry on 27th October 1795, being promoted lieutenant on 25th April 1797. He first saw active service on operations in the Jumna Doab in 1803 and was promoted captain on 27th February 1805. His next active service was during the Second Mahratta War, during which he participated in the battle of Aligarh, the battle for and defence of Delhi and the pursuit of Holkar, 1805-06. Given the brevet rank of major in the Bengal Army on 4th June 1814, he saw active service in the Nepal War of 1814-15.

In 1815, he was appointed commandant of the Royal Guard of Akbar II, King of Delhi, whose principal seat was the Palace of Delhi. He held that appointment until his death, in Delhi, on 5th January 1823. On 22nd January 1817, he was promoted major in the 17th Bengal Native Infantry.

Macpherson never married and in his will, made in Delhi on 11th April 1822 and proved on 16th July 1823, he left his entire estate to his widowed mother, thence in annuities to two unmarried sisters and thereafter to three nephews. In a specific bequest made in his will, he stated"

‘It is my wish that my Gold watch, all my Seals, and the Sword with the Persian inscription on the Blade of it presented to me by the Royal Family of Delhi, as also the Firmann Presented to me by His Majesty Ackbar the Second, King of Delhi, be sent to England to my Dear Mother, Mrs Isabella Macpherson.


Hodson, V.C.P.: List of Officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834 (London, 1946), Vol. III, p. 197;

Will of Robert Macpherson; British Library; British India Office Wills and Administrations; reference L-AG-34-29035, page 242 (Wills, Bengal, 1780-1938).
Akbar II, King of Delhi (22 April 1760 – 28 September 1837), also known as Akbar Shah II, was the penultimate Mughal emperor of India. He reigned from 1806 to 1837. He was the second son of Shah Alam II and the father of Bahadur Shah II.’

SCW, 25.2.2017.
Lyon & Turnbull wish to thank Stephen Wood esq. for his research into the history of this sword.