Category: napoleonic

British 1796 Light Cavalry Style Officer’s Sword

A 1796 style light cavalry officer’s sword, broad shallow fullered blade with hatchet point, 32½", marked “J.J. Runkel, Solingen” on backstrap, etched blued and gilt for half length with pre 1801 Royal Arms, supporters and motto on one side and crowned GR cypher on the other, with florets and other devices, gilt brass stirrup hilt, the crossguard with quillon and langets, the outer langet bearing a silver plated grenade, facetted knucklebow with ring at the top, lion’s head pommel and plain backstrap, chequered ivory grip (cracked), in its black leather scabbard, panelled on the outer side, and with gilt locket, middle band and chape, 2 rings, sword cutler’s name “Archer, Dublin” on locket.

British 1796 Light Cavalry Style Officer’s Sword, c.1800

The curved blade is etched with the crowned Royal cypher, Royal arms and name J.J. Runkel Solinger to top edge, the gilt metal stirrup hilt incorporating backstrap and pommel formed as a maned lionhead, with a chequered ivory grip, in its original leather scabbard.

British Infantry Officer’s Sword, c.1800-1820

The 76 cm markedly curved blade with single broad fuller, etched with the crowned ‘GR’ cypher, Royal Arms and floral swags, gilt brass double shell cross piece, stirrup shaped hand guard, brass back strap and silver wire bound grip; together with its black leather scabbard, this with three brass chapes, the reverse of the top one engraved, ‘Dean 9 Strand London’.


British Naval Dirk, c.1800

Napoleonic period naval officers dirk, Read, Portsmouth, the ivory handle above the named and engraved scabbard, steel blade.  

When you get hungry but the only thing you have to eat is a sword.

British Pattern 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer’s Sword

89 cm plain blade, regulation pierced steel hilt, wire bound ribbed leather covered wooden grip, contained in its black painted steel scabbard.

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.


British Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Officer’s Sword

Wide, curved, single-and false-edged blade with large, central fuller, the base engraved with crowned, royal monogram, trophies and floral motifs on one side, and with royal coat-of-arms and motto “DIEU MON DROIT”; remains of gilding; iron, finished, mono-quillon hilt, leather-covered grip, with iron wire binding, faceted ring-nut; complete with scabbard with two suspension rings.

Royal Artillery Swords in the Napoleonic Era

A look at all the swords used by the British foot and horse artillery in the Napoleonic era. All swords shown are original antiques of the period.


British Naval Dirk, c.1790-1800

Georgian naval officer’s Dirk in its associated brass mounted leather scabbard. Curved 27.5 cm blade with traces of blue and gilt etching. Chequered bone grip and brass guard. Scabbard locket marked ‘Bennet, Sword Cutler to the Prince of Wales, 67 Royal Exchange’. Probably John Bennet Jr. 1773-1802.