A “must have” for any collector of British cavalry swords. This 1796 pattern Heavy Cavalry trooper’s sword was made by Thomas Craven between 1798 and 1801, making it highly likely that it saw service during the Peninsular War (1808-1814). The sword and scabbard are both marked to E Troop, although the cavalry regiment is unknown.
The 888mm single-edged blade has a flat spine above a broad, shallow fuller and terminates in a spear point. From 1812 onwards, many heavy cavalry swords had their original hatchet points ground to spear points. A general order to re-point the blades of their swords was also issued to the heavy cavalry prior to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The blade is in very good condition for its 200+ years of age and almost certain battle service. The service sharpened blade has a number of small contact nicks to the cutting edge. Both sides of the blade have a pale, speckled patina with a few tiny patches of darker tarnish. The forte bears a Tower inspection stamp, a crown over the number 8. The spine of the blade bears the maker’s name, T. Craven.
The steel disk guard has had the languets removed but is otherwise is unmodified, retaining its full disk shape. The hilt is in good condition with a matching patina to the blade. The knuckle bow is engraved with the letter E, over 29. E-Troop, weapon number 29. The leather covered grip is in reasonable condition with wear and splits to the leather wrap. The blade is firm in the hilt with some small movement to the grip collar.
The sword is complete with its steel scabbard which is marked to E troop. The weapon number on the scabbard differs to that of the sword (as does the scabbard maker) but this is not uncommon. The scabbard is in good condition and is marked at the top with the maker’s details, Osborn & Gunby. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly from the scabbard.
This is a great example of a much sought-after Napoleonic Wars 1796 heavy cavalry sword that almost certainly saw action in the Peninsular Wars.
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