English P1803 Infantry Officer’s Sabre


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SKU: SS1472 Category:


The British P1803 infantry officer’s sabre is considered by most collectors to be the most
attractive British model sword ever made. Because it features the royal cypher of King
George III cast into the knucklebow, its official use ended with his death in 1820, so its
service life was relatively short. Considerable variations to the pattern exist; this example
closely following the regulation pattern with gilt brass guard featuring lion’s head pommel
and integral backstrap. Pierced guard with down-turned rear quillon integral with the
knucklebow that features a pierced George III cypher and joins the pommel at the lion’s
mouth. Grip wrapped with ray skin and twisted iron wire in the grooves flanked on each
side with a single strand of iron wire. The deeply curved 32 3/8″ blade features a broad
full-length fuller and is blued on it’s top half and etched with gold-filled designs depicting
stands of arms, the royal arms of Great Britain, and crowned “GR” royal cypher. Original
black leather scabbard with decorative gilt brass mounts with double carry rings and long
drag; the top mount engraved on reverse side with the framed maker’s name
“PROSSER/Charing Cross/LONDON” and “DBS/Captain” in script on the other side with
the decorative frog button. Scabbard leather is complete and generally sound, but shows
field wear, a 1 1/4″ tear at the rear edge about 3″ above the drag, and a section of the
seam on the reverse loose. John Prosser Sr. operated a shop at 9 Charing Cross from
1795 until his death in 1837. He was appointed sword cutler and belt maker to King
George III in 1795 and also sword cutler to the Board of Ordnance. The sword’s owner, a
captain with the initials “DBS”, has not been positively identified but could certainly be
narrowed down to a handful of possibilities with a little research. Overall the sword is a
fine quality complete example that shows signs of field and battle use with wear to the
gilding on the guard and scabbard mounts and some loss of bluing on the blade.