British 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre. Dawes, Birmingham. Circa 1800-1812

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An iconic Napoleonic Wars period 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre made by Dawes of Birmingham. Dawes produced 1796 light cavalry sabres from 1800 until 1812. William Dawes died in 1813.

The 820mm curved blade has a flat spine above a wide, shallow fuller and terminates in a hatchet point. The blade has been service sharpened and retains a fighting edge. There are edge nicks consistent with combat use and the blade is in overall very good condition. The forte is stamped with a Board of Ordnance inspection/ownership mark of a crown over the number two and the spine is clearly marked with the maker’s name, DAWES BIRMM. The Board of Ordnance mark indicates that this sabre was issued originally to a regular cavalry regiment.

The iron stirrup hilt is bright and in good condition with a mild age patina. The cord wrapped wooden grip retains its leather covering with use-related wear. There are old woodworm holes as well as a small area of loss of the cord and leather covering and a repair to the wooden grip near the pommel. The grip remains in overall good condition and is strong and without movement. The wear to the grip coupled with the sharpening and nicks to the blade suggest that this sword saw combat action. The blade is firm in the hilt.

The sabre is complete with its iron scabbard with two loose suspension rings. The scabbard is in overall good condition with marks and dings from age and use, and shallow pitting along its length.

The sword sheaths and draws smoothly and is firmly nicely within the scabbard.

Overall, this is a very nice example of a Napoleonic period light cavalry sabre.