This sabre is the 1890 pattern which is a slight re-work of the 1885 pattern cavalry sabre. The P1885 had a thinner blade which was prone to breaking so in 1890 the blade was thickened slightly. Apart from looking at the date marks or getting out a ruler it is very difficult to distinguish between the two patterns.
The clean 875mm slightly curved blade has a flat spine with a single fuller on both sides and spear point. The blade has been sharpened for action as too have the first 20cm of the top edge. The blade is marked on the ricasso with a “WD” for the War Department and their arrow a faint inspection mark, bend test and YC marks and the letter “M”. The obverse ricasso has faint date stamps and inspection marks. The blade retains its point. Often the points were rounded when the sword was passed to the Yeomanry Cavalry.
The sheet steel guard is pierced with the Maltese cross and an oval for a sword knot. The front of the guard is stamped with “WD”, an arrow and an Enfield inspection mark. The inside of the guard has several crossed-out unit markings and dates, the first being “3/91” over “74. I. A.” over “20.” Below this is “5. 96” over “V” followed by “3 K. A.” over “15.” To the right of these markings is “”8” over “1895” over “Y” and below that is “N. ST” over “265.”
The steel back strap is stamped with an Enfield repair mark, the letters “K” and “M” and an unidentified sickle-like mark over the number “7.” There are additional markings on the back strap but these have been almost polished out.
The hilt scales are poor. They have clearly seen a lot of use but they are still firmly attached.
Over-all the sabre is in good used condition with a wealth of unit markings allowing for plenty of research.