Indian Army Cavalry Trooper’s Sword, c.1900-1920
An Indian Army cavalry trooper’s sword from around WW1. This type of sword was originally introduced in around the 1870s (perhaps after the India Arms Act of 1878 forbade Indian companies from making weapons), marrying a 1796 sabre type blade, called the ‘Paget blade’, to an 1821 pattern 3-bar hilt. Most were manufactured in Britain and exported to India (Mole, Thurkle and Wilkinson were the main makers). They were still being used in WW1 and were not replaced with the British 1908 pattern thrusting sword for all Indian cavalry until after the Great War. This model of sword usually features a steel hilt, but this example has a nickel-plated brass hilt, which makes me think that either it was wartime economy (as will many artillery officers’ swords) or the hilt was made locally in India. The blade has some light pitting in some areas, but is in reasonable condition structurally. It is solid in the hilt without movement. The nickel-brass hilt is in quite good condition, though could benefit from cleaning, and the shagreen of the grip is in good condition – with no grip wire though.