1803 English Light Infantry Officer Saber
Lovely Light Infantry, Flankers or Rifles 1803 pattern officer sword of the Wellington Army. This is one of the most attractive of British pattern swords, the 1803 pattern has a number of little variations in design. Most notably to the royal cypher on the knuckle-bow, the lions-head pommel and the use of either a bugle or flaming grenade above the royal crown, denoting use by grenadiers or rifle companies.
The sword has a fishskin grip bounded with silver wire. The blade is 33 ½ inches long, 1.38 inches wide for a total weight of 0.785 Kg, with engraving folia designs and “Onni Soit qui Mal y Pense”, the Order of the Garter Motto and “GR” for King George. It also has another engraving that says “Dieu et Mon Droit”.
This sabre was introduced to fill an important need amongst British Light Infantry of Rifle Regiments officers who duties took them away from the safety of regular Infantry line formations. Skirmishing with the enemy as light infantry or riflemen was a very dangerous venture, and these extended formations were vulnerable to being overrun by enemy cavalry.