British P1899 Enfield Cavalry Sabre

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Enfield made P1899 British cavalry troopers sabre used during the Anglo-Boer Wars by the Mounted Engineer Division.

A small force of mounted engineers was formed in 1885 - called the RE Division - for service in the Anglo-Egyptian War. Initially the Mounted Engineers served along-side the Corps of Mounted Infantry but in 1894 it was made a permanent part of the Cavalry Division and was renamed as the 'Mounted Detachment Royal Engineers'. One of the unit markings on the bowl guard of this sabre is “1 D. R. E.” over “30” and is likely to be “1 Division Royal Engineers.”

The 82.5cm slightly curved blade has a broad single fuller on both sides is in very good condition with minimal age related tarnish and pitting. The ricasso bears the War Department arrow and bend test marks, EFD maker’s mark and an Enfield inspection mark. The obverse ricasso has numerous inspection and armoury stamps as well as several dates – ’99, ’00, ’01 and ’06. It is likely that the last date stamp, that of 1906 was the date on which the sword was decommissioned. The spine of the blade bears the date stamp for 1899 and another Enfield inspection stamp.

The "EFD" manufacture stamp also appears on the steel bowl guard along with the war department broad arrow and Enfield inspection stamp. The inside of the bowl has a struck-out “7/05” above “1 D. R. E” over the number “30.” 

The leather grip scales are in excellent condition without loss or damage and the tang of the sword bears the numeral “1.”

The steel scabbard is in excellent condition without dents or damage and is clearly marked on the throat with “EFD” an Enfield inspection stamp and the date stamp “’01.” The left-hand mounting ring is stamped with the pattern designation “P 99.” Further down on the flat edge of the scabbard are additional stamps, a crown over “R” over “C 3,” the War Department arrow, date mark “’00” and two inspection stamps. The scabbard is also stamped on the drag. The sabre sheaths and draws beautifully and is held firmly with no rattle or play.

This is a beautiful example of a Boer War British cavalry trooper’s sabre in very good condition for its age and service and regimentally marked for the Detachment of Mounted Engineers.


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