British 1845 Pattern Infantry Sergeants Sword. Pillin

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This is a scarce British 1845 pattern infantry sergeant’s sword. The sword dates to between 1845 and 1852 and was made by George Alfred Pillin.

The 820mm single-edged blade has a slightly rounded spine above a broad single fuller on both sides. The blade has a 280mm sharpened upper edge and terminates in a spear point.

The blade is in very good condition and retains a sharp fighting edge. There are some tiny nicks along the edge indicative of use. Until 1852, these swords were an infantry sergeant’s primary weapon. From 1852, company level sergeants no longer carried swords, the use of swords amongst NCOs being limited primarily to Staff Sergeants.

The large ricasso bears a brass proof stud showing the word, “Proved” over a dot. This proof stud was used by George Alfred Pillin from 1840.

The barred, gothic guard is the folding 1822 regulation pattern. The guard bears the Royal cypher of Queen Victoria above the Flowers of Union – the rose, thistle and shamrock and is in reasonable condition. There is some slight distortion to the first of the bars and to the base of the knuckle bow but it is almost unnoticeable. The action of the folding section is no longer crisp and there is some looseness in the open position.

The ray skin hilt is in great condition. The three strands of twisted copper wire are intact. The hilt’s back strap has acanthus style decoration flowing into the stepped pommel with a flattened tang button. The blade is firm in the hilt.

The sword is complete with its polished steel scabbard with two suspension rings. The scabbard is in very good condition. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.

This is an overall very good example of an early Victorian infantry sergeant’s fighting sword.


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