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.
The 794mm slightly curved, pipe-back blade ends in a quill point. The lack of etching is consistent with the period. Later, Victorian models tend to be profusely etched. The original leather washer is present and the blade retains much of its polish with areas of tarnish and some shallow pitting on the pipe-back and at the point. The edge has been repeatedly sharpened and has wear. It retains a fighting edge.
The barred brass guard has a folding section and bears an oval cartouche containing King William IV (1830-1837) Royal cypher. The guard is in reasonable condition, with some distortion to the bars and a partial thickness crack at the base of the first bar where it joins the knuckle bow. Remnants of the original black leather inner lining of the guard can be seen around the grip collar. The action of the folding section is crisp and tight. The shagreen grip is in good condition with two strands of copper wire. The hilt’s back strap has acanthus style decoration flowing into the stepped teardrop pommel.
The sword is complete with its original leather scabbard with gilt brass fittings, twin suspension rings and an ornate frog stud. The leather is in good condition, with age appropriate wear and marks. The stitching is intact. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a fair to good example of a scarce William IV infantry officer’s sword.