Two British/Canadian Sabers: Similar, Yet Different!

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Two British/Canadian Sabers: Similar, Yet Different!

Postby JustJulian » 25 May 2016 18:27

Hello Again Schola friends! I have a question about identifying different types of British Sabers. I'm Still waiting on my copy of Swords of the British Army 1788-1914, so in the mean time i'm using the google machine to try and identify a couple swords I have here:

Sword 1 :


sword 1 schola 4.jpg
sword 1 schola 4.jpg (102.2 KiB) Viewed 930 times

sword 1 schola 3.jpg
sword 1 schola 3.jpg (88.67 KiB) Viewed 930 times

sword 1 schola 1.jpg
sword 1 schola 1.jpg (115.3 KiB) Viewed 930 times


And it seems i can only upload 3 images...the other sword in question is very similar to this, only it has a very faint (most likely from polishing) Queen Victoria Cypher as well as her Coat of Arms at the forte, and is proof marked and made by WK&C. The blade-in fact the entire sword itself- is also smaller in every imaginable dimension! 33 inch blade length, 1 inch blade width, 1/2 cm thick at the forte, the honeysuckle guard is smaller, even the grip is mean for smaller hands. I've seen all sorts of swords that look like these...some say they are 1821 pattern, some say they are 1889 pattern, some say they are 1896 pattern, some say they are a combination of any of these. I thought I was getting pretty good at identifying swords, but these ones have me at a loss. They have so many features that are both similar and dissimilar from others.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I want to get these properly cataloged and out on display so that i can start tackling some Boer War photographs. Cheers everyone!!

Julian
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Re: Two British/Canadian Sabers: Similar, Yet Different!

Postby MattS » 26 May 2016 13:06

The 1821 heavy cavalry sword was the first to use the honeysuckle design. It was then used later on and those swords get called by a few different patterns. I've seen Matt selling 1896 patterns which had the honeysuckle hilt. I have an 1887 pattern heavy cavalry sabre (made by Wilkinson in 1899), which was owned by an officer in the Royal Dragoons, and it's got the honeysuckle style hilt too.

All the honeysuckle variants I've seen and played with have a regular sized grip. If it's a smaller hilt, it could be a leveé sword they have smaller grips from fighting swords. A quick Google turned this 1887 dress sword up: http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/aucti ... 3e00f7c88d

I hope that helped a bit.
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Re: Two British/Canadian Sabers: Similar, Yet Different!

Postby JustJulian » 26 May 2016 14:29

Thank you MattS, and yes, I've turned out a lot of search results like that. Here are some pictures of the second sword if i can get them uploaded

sword 2 schola 1.jpg
sword 2 schola 1.jpg (100.74 KiB) Viewed 909 times

sword 2 schola 2.jpg
sword 2 schola 2.jpg (176.03 KiB) Viewed 909 times

sword 2 schola 3.jpg
sword 2 schola 3.jpg (58.62 KiB) Viewed 909 times
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Re: Two British/Canadian Sabers: Similar, Yet Different!

Postby JustJulian » 26 May 2016 18:16

MattS wrote:The 1821 heavy cavalry sword was the first to use the honeysuckle design. It was then used later on and those swords get called by a few different patterns. I've seen Matt selling 1896 patterns which had the honeysuckle hilt. I have an 1887 pattern heavy cavalry sabre (made by Wilkinson in 1899), which was owned by an officer in the Royal Dragoons, and it's got the honeysuckle style hilt too.

All the honeysuckle variants I've seen and played with have a regular sized grip. If it's a smaller hilt, it could be a leveé sword they have smaller grips from fighting swords. A quick Google turned this 1887 dress sword up: http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/aucti ... 3e00f7c88d

I hope that helped a bit.



The Levee bit was amazingly helpful! it almost settles everything in regards to that sword.

i guess the real question in all of this is how do you identify a pattern of sword when there is no serial number to match with a record? Do different pommel designs, backstraps, fuller lengths and so forth characterize the patterns? Because i'm seeing swords from 1821 right up until 1896 all having the exact same guard. What makes an 1821 pattern an 1821 pattern? what makes an 1887 pattern an 1887 pattern when it looks exactly the same as an 1821 pattern? This is what is confusing me in my search.
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Re: Two British/Canadian Sabers: Similar, Yet Different!

Postby MattS » 26 May 2016 22:52

JustJulian wrote:The Levee bit was amazingly helpful! it almost settles everything in regards to that sword.


I have my moments :lol:

JustJulian wrote:i guess the real question in all of this is how do you identify a pattern of sword when there is no serial number to match with a record?


That's a bloody good question! As you say to all intents and purposes the various models look the same, and I have no idea how you tell them apart. I'm sure there's some subtle nuances, but that's beyond my collector knowledge! My assumption was always that the 1821 stopped being made between 1821 and 1887 and was then re-instated in 1887, so it's all down to age. I could be completely wrong though....
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