1803 Light Infantry Sword
For the most part the British Infantry used a blade known as a Spadroon. The first of these to be an established pattern was introduced in 1788 and its design was further refined to the pattern 1796 Line Officer Sword. These were not government issue, but an approved pattern of sword by the Army used by the Infantry and Foot Artillery and were purchased from well established blade smiths in England by the officers themselves. The pattern remained in service until 1821. However, during the Napoleonic wars Officers of the Flank Companies of British Line Regiments often purchased their own unapproved curved sabers for use in battle. As a result the Government approved the pattern 1803 saber for Grenadier and Light Infantry within the line regiments. The blade shape can vary in curvature, length, grip and refined details, but for the most part were based on the standard model offered here with a shorter blade than the Cavalry version.
This example has its original leather scabbard with brass gilt fittings, two strap rings and leather scabbard stud. The gilt has worn off the fittings and the frog stud is intact, the leather is in good shape retaining its black finish, but some stitching has come loose along the seam. The leather remains supple, the internal wood sleeve still functional.
The blade has a subtle curve to it and has no etching, bluing or gilt finish. It is a plain steel fighting blade. The brass hilt has lost most of its gilding and the leather grip is in good condition with its wire wrap. A classic sword of the period that would have been carried by British regular Flank Officers during the Napoleonic Wars.