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British Napoleonic Era, Pattern 1786 Infantry Officers Sword, 1st Regiment

This item is listed for historical interest only. It was listed on our site previously but has been sold and is no longer available for purchase.
Sold for: $395.00
Item #39102

Original era manufacture. This wonderful old sword certainly displays the patina of a rather hard life during the past 200 years, yet it retains an aura of dignity and great charm.

The sword represents a pattern introduced for Infantry officers in 1786, and remained the regulation sword until the introduction of a new pattern in 1796.

Straight, double edged blade measuring 32.5 inches in length, with traces of the original gilding remaining in the etched design on each side of the blade. There is a royal cypher on each side in a style used up until 1801.

Simple, yet elegant, steel guard with a cushion style pommel, ribbed ivory grip, with a gilded  brass band displaying period engraving. On the obverse, a crowned belt or garter with a Latin inscription, "Pro Rege, Et Patria" (for King and Country), and within, the letters R.D.V. On the reverse is a ribbon which is engraved, "1st Regiment".

I did a little checking on-line, and while nothing definitive came up, a number of references to Irish Militias did, what with the letter V (volunteers?) perhaps this is the answer.

The steel exhibits an even, very dark patina finish, but amazingly very little corrosion pitting, almost none to be exact. There are a few very small nicks in the cutting edge but nothing dreadful. The elephant in the room is of course the large missing section of grip on the obverse. It certainly is a distraction, and of course would be better if not there, however, I've grown to overlook it, and regard the damage as just part of the story of this great old sword. Perhaps you can overlook it as well.

While the 1785 sword pattern came too late for the American Revolution, it certainly was in use during all of the Napoleonic Wars, and our own War of 1812. 

 A short postscript, I posed a question on the British Badge Forum, requesting help in identifying the badge engraved on the grip band of this sword. Numerous replies were generously given, however most were providing the same information as previously discovered by me. One gentlemen, a Dublin Ireland resident, did provide an interesting idea though, Royal Dublin Volunteers, 1st Regiment, 1793-1800. So, with that, perhaps the mystery has been solved.      

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