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British Victorian Royal Artillery Sabertache
Originating in Hungary with the mounted Hussar light cavalry regiments and known as a Tarsoly, the sabertache is a decorated leather pouch hung from an officer’s belt and used to carry important documents. They became very popular during Napoleonic times and were still in use in the 20th C. The uniforms of the day were highly decorative and generally made without pockets, so the sabertache was used in their stead. This example dates to the third quarter of the 19th C. It consists of a heavy board covered with black leather (lower part of leather on back complete but detached); its face features a black felt background surmounted with the royal coat of arms, oak leaf clusters, a gilt cannon, and the motto "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT" (The right and glory lead). This is embroidered in high relief in gold and silver bullion thread and gold, silver, red, blue, and green silk thread. There is a broad gold sewn textile border. On the reverse is a leather document pouch with button flap (securing strap fragile and broken). Of the three brass hanging loops at the top, one is missing and another broken. Condition is fair, with considerable tarnish to metal, small thread losses (especially to the body of the horse in the coat of arms), minor mothing to felt, and soiling. An embroidered band at the top is complete but partially detached. Leather scuffed, primarily to the edges of the document pouch. This piece could be greatly improved with proper cleaning. 13 3/8" high by 10 7/8" wide.
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