The Mountain Artillery Sabre was introduced in 1896 for all ranks of the mountain artillery batteries. This sabre is one of the rarest regulation pattern swords, and was issued to British & Indian troops during campaigns on the North West frontier and in WW1 (see pages 228-230 of Robson's book Swords of the British Army).
Two patterns of this sword were produced, one for Indian issue and one for British issue. The more frequently encountered “India pattern” sabre has a brass stirrup guard. The rarer “British pattern” has a steel D-guard. 450 of these were commissioned from Mole on the 9th September 1896.
This sword is the extremely rare British Mountain Artillery sabre, made by Robert Mole, of Birmingham in July 1897. The sword is in as close to mint condition as it is possible to find and is complete with its matching scabbard.
The 760mm broad, curved blade has a flat spine and a wide, single fuller on both sides. The hatchet point blade is bright and clean with no rust or damage and only a few minor speckles of tarnish and marks caused by being sheathed and drawn from the scabbard.
The ricasso is marked with the maker’s mark, two Birmingham inspection stamps and the production date of 1897. The obverse ricasso bears the British Ward Department broad arrow stamp, a Birmingham inspection stamp and a bend test cross. The original leather washer is present and in excellent condition.
The steel D-guard is stamped with the production date of July 1897 and the sabre’s issue or rack number, “44.” The blackened, ribbed iron grip is in excellent original condition.
The matching brown leather scabbard with brass furniture is also in excellent condition. There are a few minor dents to the brass drag and one to the throat. The leather of the scabbard is stamped with the War Department broad arrow, a Birmingham inspection mark and the manufacture date of 1897. The brass throat of the scabbard is also stamped with the manufacture date, July 1897 and the weapons issue number “44.”
This is a near mint example of the rarest of British regulation swords in original and untouched condition.