Questions on a rifles sword

I saw this today at local Army surplus store in Washington state.

“Rifle Volunteers” is etched on the blade.
There’s a proof slug but the manufacturer’s mark is worn off.
Any ideas on the maker or authenticity?
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
British infantry officers' swords through most of the 19th century were based on cavalry officers' swords, and so are generally curved. They differed from cavalry swords in being generally a bit shorter and lighter to make them more suitable to fighting on foot instead of horseback.

There are a few exceptions to these, such as highland officers' broadswords, 1796 pattern spadroons, and very late in the 1890s when swords became straight and oriented more towards thrusts than cuts. Also some officers bought non-regulation swords, some of which may be straight, but as the name implies, these were not according to regulation.

I do understand the basics, thanks.
 
I do understand the basics, thanks.

They were generally curved until 1897 when the pattern was changed to straight blades.
The 1796 infantry sword had a straight blade too but rifle regiments and flank company officers generally carried a curved blade based on the 1788/1796 pattern light cavalry weapon until the 1803 patt. was adopted across the infantry with the exception of the rifle regiments (we always were contrarians).


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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
They were generally curved until 1897 when the pattern was changed to straight blades.
The 1796 infantry sword had a straight blade too but rifle regiments and flank company officers generally carried a curved blade based on the 1788/1796 pattern light cavalry weapon until the 1803 patt. was adopted across the infantry with the exception of the rifle regiments (we always were contrarians).


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John Gaspard Le Marchant had a hand in that new light Cavalry sabre.
 
Finally dug out my list of known proof marks.
As far as I can tell, with all known information, it was made by Silver & Co. of Liverpool and, having the post 1845 'Wilkinson' type blade, was made before 1897 when the pattern changed.
Apologies for the delay, I had to sort through a few years worth of bits of paper.


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Occasionally, if enough Ruperts could not be called upon for wotever ceremonial/put on a show for the worthies/ great unwashed, I would have to pull on my greens and wear my sword which was an old volunteers, pre 1897 job that I had had refurbished, on slings and in a steel scabbard, hitched to my belt unlike others in black f/s type scabbards in a frog.
It stuck out like the South end of a North-bound baboon.


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Finally dug out my list of known proof marks.
As far as I can tell, with all known information, it was made by Silver & Co. of Liverpool and, having the post 1845 'Wilkinson' type blade, was made before 1897 when the pattern changed.
Apologies for the delay, I had to sort through a few years worth of bits of paper.


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I believe that Silver were a tailor/outfitter, so the sword itself was probably made by someone else and resold by Silver under their label.

A lot of swords were sold that way, as an officer would often buy everything through a tailor/outfitter. I don't know much about Silver in particular, but for many military tailors the swords they sold were of variable quality, with some good and some bad.

The top end swords were often purchased directly from a top end maker such as Wilkinson. Of course a premium brand sword will typically command a premium price on the antique market, so whether it's worth paying extra for a particular brand depends on how serious a collector someone is.
 
Just quoting the known sources. Outfitters could have their own name etched on the ricasso as many did but the proof marks were largely, and where can be identified, specific to the sword cutler. There is little internet info. regarding many lesser known cutlers (at this time and earlier there were many that most people will not be familiar with).
All that I am quoting is from the known information as to the 'proof' marks employed by sword cutlers of the period and that that mark was employed by J. Silver prior to 1901.
If they were going to have their own 'proof' mark added to the blade from a cutler, why not spend an extra 6d to have your retail establishment name etched to the forte? It makes no sense as the purchasor will not associate that stamping with the retailer.
If you have any other information of that proof mark used by another named cutler, I will be more than happy to be corrected.
As I said in my original response, this is all of the information regarding this mark that is available.
By the way, I am more than aware that most swords were purchased through military outfitters although some outfitters bought up cutlery companies but thanks for the breaking news.
On that bombshell...

ETA Did you read my original reply or could you not be Arssed?


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Last edited:
Just quoting the known sources. Outfitters could have their own name etched on the ricasso as many did but the proof marks were largely, and where can be identified, specific to the sword cutler. There is little internet info. regarding many lesser known cutlers (at this time and earlier there were many that most people will not be familiar with).
All that I am quoting is from the known information as to the 'proof' marks employed by sword cutlers of the period and that that mark was employed by J. Silver prior to 1901.
If they were going to have their own 'proof' mark added to the blade from a cutler, why not spend an extra 6d to have your retail establishment name etched to the forte? It makes no sense as the purchasor will not associate that stamping with the retailer.
If you have any other information of that proof mark used by another named cutler, I will be more than happy to be corrected.
As I said in my original response, this is all of the information regarding this mark that is available.
By the way, I am more than aware that most swords were purchased through military outfitters although some outfitters bought up cutlery companies but thanks for the breaking news.
On that bombshell...

ETA Did you read my original reply or could you not be Arssed?


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Ah, J. Silver. I was thinking of SW Silver, so quite possibly a different company altogether.
 
@terminal , not at Old Sausage. My info just comes from persons who know (or knew, possibly no longer with us) far more than than I ever will.


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