British 1822 Pattern Pipe Back Early Victorian Infantry Officers Sword

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The British pattern 1822 infantry officer’s sword was the first of the “Gothic hilted” swords. The half-basket guard was also the first of its kind adopted by the British military. The P1822 was adopted with a pipe-back blade, popularised by John Prosser.

In 1845, the pipe-back blade was dropped in favour of the new 1845 “Wilkinson” blade. Although the transition from pipe-back to Wilkinson blade would not have happened overnight, the sword can be confidently dated to post 1837 and pre-1845.

The 818mm slightly curved, pipe-back blade ends in a quill point. The blade is highly polished with a single etched panel on each side containing the Royal cypher of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). The lack of additional etching indicates that this is an early Victorian sword as later models tended to be profusely etched. The original leather washer is present and the blade is in very good condition with some small areas of tarnish along the edge and spine.

The barred brass guard has a folding section and bears an oval cartouche containing Queen Victoria’s Royal cypher and the flowers of the union. The guard is in excellent condition, retaining its original gilding. The shagreen grip is also in excellent condition with the twisted and single strand wires intact and tight. The hilt’s back strap has acanthus style decoration flowing into the stepped teardrop pommel with a flattened tang button.

The sword is complete with its original leather scabbard with gilded brass fittings and ornate frog stud. The leather is in very good condition, with age appropriate wear and marks. The stitching is intact and strong. The brass throat and drag of the scabbard are in excellent condition. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.