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Boer War British heavy cavalry officer's sabre / sword (sold)

In good condition, an 1821 P cavalry sword which belonged to a famous officer of the 2nd Life Guards, with 100% Boer War action provenance.

Boer War British heavy cavalry officer's sabreBoer War British heavy cavalry officer's sword

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This sword was the property of then Lieutenant Arthur Edward Bruce O'Neill, 2nd Life Guards who bought it in 1899 prior to leaving for South Africa where he fought with distinction in the Boer War; he was present at the Relief of Kimberley, and at operations in the Orange Free State, at Paardeberg and in Cape Colony including the actions at Driefontein and Colesberg. He was promoted to captain and adjutant of the 2nd Life Guards plus awarded the QSA medal and 3 bars. The son of 2nd Baron and lady O'Neill of Shanes Castle in Antrim, Ireland. He went on to become the British member of parliament for Mid-Antrim in 1901 and then as an MP fight in WW1. Capt. The Hon. Arthur Edward Bruce O'Neill was gallantly killed in action on the 4th November 1914 on the Klein Zillebeke Ridge (Ypres). He was the first British Member of Parliament to die in the "Great War".

Capt Arthur Edward Bruce O'Neill, 2nd Life Guards

This sabre was with Lieutenant then Captain Arthur O'Neill when he was in action in South Africa. The blade has been sharpened (period sharpening). It therefore is a bloodied sword, one that has inflicted a wound or worse upon an enemy.

I bought this evocative sword together with a 2nd Life Guards (household cavalry pattern) sabre which is stated by repute to have been Arthur O'Neill's other (Household Cavalry) sword; the one used for state occasions while riding and protecting the great Queen Victoria. This 1821 pattern cavalry sabre of O'Neill's was made by Wilkinson (serial number 37095 for 1899). I would be prepared to offer a reasonable discount for both in order to keep them togther.

The 34.5 inch nicely etched blade is mostly good but with some areas of pitting; it is firm in the hilt. The hilt is in good order, the fishskin worn from obvious considerable use, the ring bindings (twisted wire) in good order. The scabbard is also in good shape though a little loose on the sword, so I suspect one or both of the wooden liners is / are very worn. Further / full sized images available upon request. Item reference number 277.

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