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Portuguese 19th Century Cavalry Trooper's Sword

£410.00
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Portuguese 19th Century Cavalry Troopers Sword 2
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Description

Curved, single fullered unsharpened sabre blade, black leather washer, three-bar steel hilt with forward curving comma-shaped quillon and pierced thumb guard. Steel backstrap with integral oval pommel cap and riveted ‘ears’ over a wire-bound brown shagreen grip. Plain steel scabbard with single hanging ring. Blade 34 inches in length past the washer, the sword 40 inches in length overall.

One side of the quillon is stamped ‘AE’, and faintly, ‘F’. The AE mark stands for ‘Arsenal do Exercito’, the Army Arsenal of Portugal. The opposite side of the quillon is stamped ‘D63 2’, a serial or unit number. The scabbard is also stamped on the band with ‘AE’ on one side and ‘G67’ on the other.

Swords like this one were manufactured outside Portugal on contract for the Arsenal, principally by Reeves of Birmingham as well as by German makers and Ballesteros of Madrid. It is an imitation of the British 1821 Pattern Light Cavalry officer’s sword (with the fullered sabre blade used after 1845). While this example does not bear a maker’s mark, this perhaps having been polished off over time, it is probably by Reeves.

The blade is bright and unsharpened with no edge damage. The metal parts of the hilt are likewise bright with only tiny spots of light patination. There is slight side-to-side movement to the hilt and a few small dents to the guard. The shagreen of the grip is in good condition with light handling wear, the wire binding of the grip is all intact with fractional movement to two of the loops.

The scabbard would have been formed by curling sheet metal into a cylinder and brazing the join together at the trailing edge: this is normally very strong but for unknown reasons Reeves used 0.7mm thick sheet metal on their scabbards compared with the 1.5mm used by the other contractors. This makes the scabbard noticeably light - it weighs 495g while a British 1821 Pattern scabbard that I compared it with weighed 861g. There is one noticeable dent at the chape on one side, below which is what appears to be a period repair, and there are a few other smaller and shallower dents including one next to the band. None of these interfere with sheathing and drawing. The brazing of the scabbard has short cracks in three places, perhaps due to the same knocks that formed the dents.

 

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