British 1845 Pattern Victorian Infantry officer's Sword. Mole 1856-1860

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This British P1845 infantry officer’s sword was made by Robert Mole of Birmingham. The sword was retailed by Firmin & Sons, London and dates to between 1856 and 1860.

The 825mm single-edged blade has a flat spine above a broad single fuller on both sides and is the Wilkinson 1845 pattern. The blade was service sharpened and has a 280mm upper false edge and terminates in a spear point.

The blade is in very good condition and is deeply etched on both sides with foliate panels and the crowned cypher of Queen Victoria. This is a robust fighting sword. The spine is 9mm thick at the ricasso, which is 28mm wide. The spine is marked with a centre of percussion arrow between the letters C & P.

The ricasso is etched with the cutler’s name and address: “Firmin & Sons 153 Strand & 13 Conduit Street, London.” Firmin and Sons used this mark and traded from these addresses between 1856 and 1860. The obverse ricasso bears the proof stud of Robert Mole of Birmingham.

The barred, gothic arched guard is the early 1845 pattern with a folding section. The gilded brass guard bears the Royal cypher of Queen Victoria above the Flowers of Union – the rose, thistle and shamrock and is in over-all good condition. There is slight distortion to the bars and some marks and nicks consistent with age and use. The folding section works perfectly and the action is crisp.

The ray skin hilt is in good condition with a small section chipped from the rear of the grip and corresponding loss to the shagreen. The three strands of twisted copper wire are intact and tight. 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 steel scabbard with two suspension rings. The scabbard is in over-all good condition with a mild salt & pepper patina and a couple of minor, shallow dings. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.

This is a fine example of a Victorian infantry officer’s fighting sword by a top English maker.