British 1796 Pattern Light Cavalvry Sabre

Certificate of Authenticity

British 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry Sabre

The British 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry trooper’s sabre was designed to improve the horseman’s ability to wield greater cutting power on his opponent. Rather than a thrusting edged weapon it was created to disable an enemy with a slashing motion. The blade was short, thin, wide, and light weight.
The design proved very effective and British cavalry wielded their improved sabre with great success. The campaigns against Napoleon proved the value of the new design and the 1796 Pattern slashed its way through ranks of French Hussars and light cavalry. Soon, other countries were adopting versions of the illustrious sabre.
One of the most prolific copiers of this pattern were the sword smiths of Germany’s exceptional Solingen region who had been producing fine swords for centuries. An unknown European country was doubtless the origin of this particular example. The blade was beautifully decorated with bluing and gold chased patriotic motif of liberty cap, what appears to be the American rattlesnake “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, cannon tube, and shield with 15 stars. (Our 15th state, Kentucky, was admitted in mid-1792 and the 16th in 1796, so this sword might have been made before word reached foreign shores.)
In any case, the sabre is unmarked and we can but surmise the date, origin, and maker of this fine example of a variant of the famous Pattern 1796 British light cavalry sabre.
The grip was made with a fine, thin leather wrap held tight by thin, twisted brass wire. These are the most fragile and easily worn pats of swords. Their disappearance is a predictable and common casualty of use and age.
This is an original and unrestored rare variant of the Pattern 1796 British Light Cavalry sabre. Its condition is a testimony to the reverence in which previous owners extended to it.