The 1853 pattern British cavalry sword was the first sword to be issued to troopers of both light and heavy cavalry regiments. The sabre was also issued to troopers of the Royal Horse Artillery. It was also the first issued sword to utilise Reeves “Patent Solid Tang,” the blade and tang being of one piece instead of the iron “rat-tail” tang that was traditionally forge-welded on to the steel blade. This of course made for a much stronger sword, more rigid and far less likely to suffer a catastrophic failure having eliminated the junction between blade and tang.
The 1853 pattern universal cavalry sword was developed prior to Britain’s entry into the Crimean War at the beginning of 1854. Production was stepped up at the commencement of the conflict and by the end of the Crimean campaign in 1856, all branches of the British line cavalry had been issued with the sword.
The 906mm single-edged blade is slightly curved and has a thick, flat spine with a single fuller and terminates in a spear point. The blade is in very good condition, bright and clean with only a couple of small and shallow patches of pitting and tarnish.
The spine bears the Mole maker’s name and the ricasso is stamped, “Robert Mole & Sons, Birmingham.” Robert Mole & Sons were not one of the primary contractors for this sword, but produced a quantity to aid the Crimean War effort. The majority of P1853 swords were produced by Reeves and RSAF, Enfield. Those produced in Solingen or with Belgian (Liege) markings were also of wartime production.
The iron 3-bar guard comprises a single knuckle bow and two side bars and is in good condition with some shallow pitting and patina consistent with its age. The “new” solid tang is almost the same width as the blade and is gripped with two impressed leather scales secured by five rivets. The grip scales are firmly in place and are in good condition showing use related wear to the leather.
The sword is complete with its early iron scabbard. The scabbard is in good condition and is free of major dents and damage. There is a patch of shallow pitting on one side below the first suspension ring band. There are a few shallow spur dents on the outside edge of the scabbard around 260mm from the bottom. The top of the scabbard, below the throat is engraved with the regimental markings of the 3rd Kings Own Hussars, E company, weapon number 4. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly.
This is a very good example of an increasingly hard to find Crimean War period British cavalry trooper’s sword with prestigious regimental markings.