Category: short sword


British Officer’s Hanger, c.1810-20

Broad 61.5 cm pipe backed blade with quill point, ornate gilt stirrup hilt, the pommel in form of a lion couchant, the back piece cast with trophies of arms, the knuckle guard cast with acanthus leaves and shells, wire bound fish skin covered grip, together with a modern leather scabbard with engraved brass mounts, two suspension rings, the locket engraved with a naval presentation inscription.


British Saw Back Pioneer’s Sword, 19th Century

Wide, slightly curved, single-and false-edged blade with saw-back and mark above the tang; mono-quillon, solid brass hilt with pommel shaped as lion’s head, opening for a sword knot. length 67 cm.

Why Did Some Infantry Soldiers Carry Short Swords in the Gunpowder Age? Pioneer Short Swords

Toledo Bladed Sabre with Steel Hilt – French 1882 Variant

This is a rare variant of a French model 1882 Infantry Officers sabre, with a reinforced steel hilt, and a toledo style sabre blade with a reinforced forte for enhanced parrying.

The toledo blade style features one wide central fuller flanked by two narrow fullers, and makes the edge thicker, preventing damage when parrying. It also makes swords that are very stiff for their weight.

This sword is short, and lightweight (590 grams, 91cm), and was thus likely a levy weight or piquet weight sword.

This sabre is a true sabre under both British definitions, having a curved blade, and French definitions, which go by hilt design.

It was made by Francois Backes and Francois Delacour in Paris.


British Pattern 1895 Drummer’s Sword

One piece brass grip, pommel and crossguard, the centre of the crossguard having the Royal cipher V.R.  Steel twin edged blade marked Mole and date year 00, reverse marked with WD mark over crown B3 and X , shoulder edge with crown over B3.  In its brass mounted black leather scabbard. Locket has a decorated frog stud and mark crown over B3 as does the chape. Overall length 46.6 cm, blade 33.1 cm.


British Pattern 1897 Infantry Officer’s Sword and Pattern 1856 Pioneer’s Sword

This lot from Bonhams offers us a chance to visually compare the dimensions of an infantry officer’s sword and an other ranks sidearm.

On the left, a British Pattern 1897 Infantry officer’s Sword carried by Lieut. T.H.F. Roberts of the Cheshire Regiment. 22 inch blade etched with conventional motifs and inscribed THF Roberts/12 Batt. Cheshire Regt. Ricasso marked Hawksworth/Sheffield. Semi-basket hilt of standard pattern and retaining the brown leather sword knot. Brown leather-covered field scabbard. Lieut. T.H.F. Roberts served abroad during World War I with the Cheshire Regiment and is listed as such on the Great European War Memorial in Prenton, Cheshire.

On the right, a British Pattern 1856 Pioneer’s Sword

by Robert Mole with 22 ½ inch sawback blade bearing War Department marks. Brass hilt of standard pattern. Brass-mounted leather scabbard.

Why Were Short Swords Sometimes Better For Military Soldiers?


French Sapeurs’ Swords, 19th Century

From top to bottom:

  1. European Sapeur’s Sword, Line Infantry
  2. Composite Sapeur’s Sabre, blade marked 8t Hussars, c.1810-15
  3. Sapeur’s Sword, Infantry of the Line, c.1808
  4. Composite Sapeur’s Sabre, c.1810-1815
  5. Sapeur’s Sabre, Infantry of the Line, Second Empire (with sawback blade)
  6. Massive Sapeur’s Sabre, Infantry of the Line, c.1810-1815 (with sawback blade)
  7. Sapeur’s Sabre, Infantry of the Line, date 1840

Swords from The Charles Bremner Hogg Jackson Collection sale at Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco, 1996.


Hudson’s Bay Company Short Sword/Hanger, 1860

38 cm flattened diamond section blade etched H.B.Co over 1860 in a shield-shaped panel on the forte, white metal hilt with recurved crossguard, white metal pommel cap, tapering ribbed horn grip, contained in its white metal mounted leather scabbard.


British Pattern 1895 MKII Drummer’s Sword

This Model 1895 Drummer / Bugler Sword is a smaller version of the Model 1856, wearing a blade that only measures 13 inches in length. Blade is double edged and remains in good condition with only some minor staining. Brass hilt and guard are one piece. There is one ding on the backside. On the front there is a date of 12/98. The leather scabbard is brass fitted, also remaining in good condition with only one ding in the drag fitting. Overall measuring 19 ½ inches in length.

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