British George IV P1822 Infantry Sword

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Early example of a British P1822 infantry sword bearing the cipher of King George IV.

George IV had a short reign, from 1820 until his death in 1830, making swords bearing his cipher scarce and hard to come by.

The P1822 infantry sword was the first of the iconic Gothic hilted British infantry swords that remained in service through the reigns of George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria. In 1845, the pipe back blade was replaced with the “Wilkinson” pattern blade and in 1854, the folding guard became fixed. Examples of Victorian Gothic hilted swords are relatively common. Those from the reigns of William IV and George IV are scarce, the latter being the hardest to find.

The slightly curved, 825mm pipe-back blade has a single edge, terminating in a 220mm double-edged quill point. The blade is unetched and was service sharpened. It retains its fighting edges. There are a few small nicks to the edge, indicating fighting use. The blade is in overall good condition for its almost 200 years of age. The steel has a pale salt and pepper patina and is without damage or rust. The blade is firm in the hilt.

The Gothic guard (so called because the bars form Gothic arches) retains its original gilding and the folding section is in perfect working order. The guard bears an oval cartouche containing the royal cipher of King George IV. The gilded back strap has a stylised acanthus design, terminating in a stepped oval pommel with a flower (rose?) cap. The grip collar is engraved with a rope-style middle band.

The shagreen wrapped grip is in good order. There has been some minor shrinkage to the shagreen. All strands of grip wire are intact and tight.

This is a very nice example of a hard to find George IV 1822 Pattern infantry officer’s Sword.