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English P1803 Infantry Officerís Sabre
The British P1803 infantry officerís 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 lionís 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 lionís 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 itís 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 makerís 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 swordís 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.
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