Shopping Cart ( 0 )
View cart
Item:
ON10633

In stock

Original British Napoleonic Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre by Dawes

Regular price $1,295.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Just received out of a very old Collection in England! This historic pattern of saber is quite remarkable! Napoleon Bonaparte himself complained about the design, opining that the "hatchet point", the broadening of the blade at the very front end, constituted an "inhumane" weapon because of the horrendous wounds it inflicted. We should point out that the Prussians, under General BLUCHER adopted the Saber as well and for them it become known as the "BLEUCHERSABEL".

Our example is a complete SLEEPER, left uncleaned as we found it, and retains its wood ringed bound leather grip and stirrup steel guard together with its original heavy iron Scabbard. The curved hatchet point blade measures 33" x 1 1/2", with an overall length of 38". The blade is substantial and the base of the spine bears the marking DAWES  who was a very respected London based sword smith.

These swords are often marked with regimental markings, however, this example is not. One of the two langets, a small shield shaped protuberance suspended in front of the stirrup handguard is absent, the other is present.

A substantial saber from the Napoleonic Wars found recently acquired from an old English collection offered as found after countless years in storage.

The Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre is a sword that was used primarily by British Light Dragoons and hussars, and King's German Legion light cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars. It was adopted by the Prussians (as the 1811 pattern or "Blücher sabre") and used by Portuguese and Spanish cavalry.

Background
During the early part of the French Revolutionary Wars, the British Army launched an expeditionary force into Flanders. With the invading army was a young captain of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, serving as a brigade major, John Gaspard Le Marchant. Le Marchant noted the lack of professional skill displayed by the horsemen and the clumsy design of the heavy, over-long swords then in use and decided to do something about it. Among many other things Le Marchant did to improve the cavalry, he designed, in collaboration with the Birmingham sword cutler Henry Osborn, a new sabre. This was adopted by the British Army as the Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre.

Design
An eastern influence can be detected in the blade form, and Le Marchant is recorded as saying that the "blades of the Turks, Mamalukes, Moors and Hungarians were preferable to any other". The blade profile is similar to some examples of the Indian tulwar, and expert opinion has commented upon this.This similarity prompted some Indian armourers to re-hilt old 1796 pattern blades as tulwars later in the 19th century.

Trooper pattern sabre
The 1796 sabre had a pronounced curve, making the kind of slashing attacks used in cavalry actions decidedly easier. Even cavalrymen trained to use the thrust, as the French were, in the confusion of a melee often reverted to instinctive hacking, which the 1796 accommodated. Its blade, unlike other European sabres of the period, widened near the point. This affected balance, but made slashes far more brutal; its action in the cut has been compared to a modern bacon slicer. It is said that this vicious design prompted unofficial complaints from French officers, but this is unconfirmed. The blade of the light cavalry sabre was from 32.5 to 33 inches (83 to 84 cm) in length and had a single broad fuller on each side. The sabre was lighter and easier to use than its heavy cavalry counterpart, the pattern 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword, which had a less 'scientific' design. The hilt was of the simple 'stirrup' form with a single iron knucklebow and quillon, so as to be free of unnecessary weight; the intention of this was to make the sabre usable by all cavalrymen, not solely the largest and strongest. In common with the contemporary heavy cavalry sword, the iron backpiece of the grip had ears which were riveted through the tang of the blade to give the hilt and blade a very secure connection. The grip was of ridged wood covered in leather. It was carried in an iron scabbard, with wooden liners, and hung from the waist via sword-belt slings attached to two loose suspension rings.

The blade is remembered today as one of the best of its time and has been described as the finest cutting sword ever manufactured in quantity. Officers of the famous 95th Rifles, other light infantry regiments and the "flank" companies of line regiments adopted swords with an identical hilt to the 1796 light cavalry sabre, but with a lighter and shorter blade. The sabre was also copied by the Prussians; indeed, some Imperial German troops were equipped with almost identical swords into the First World War. The Americans also adopted a pattern which was directly influenced by the British sword.

Shipping Restrictions

    This product is available for international shipping.

Payment Options

    Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal, Amazon & Sezzle

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Cash For Collectibles

WE BUY MILITARY ANTIQUES