March 15-17, 2022 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/15/2022
Scarce officer’s variant 1864 pattern cavalry trooper’s sword by Wilkinson. The sword is numbered 22602 on the spine, purchased June 1878 by Lt. William Hall Mackintosh Stewart before leaving in October for India, where he served with the 43rd Regiment and was attached to the 1st Punjab Cavalry. Some 12,000 1864 pattern swords, offering better protection for the hand, were ready for use in the Second Afghan War in 1878, but are considered scarce. Stewart likely expected to be mounted on frontier duty. The sword uses the 1864 style cup hilt with Maltese cross piercings, but instead of sword knot slots in the face of the guard uses a conventional slot in the knucklebow near the pommel, which is pistol shaped like the earlier 1821 patterns. Born in India on November 2, 1858, the son of a British officer, Stewart attended Cheltenham and Sandhurst, was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, or Ensign, in the 35th Regiment, and transferred to the 43rd in May 1878, reaching Bombay in November and served in India for almost 30 years. In 1881 he was promoted to Lieutenant, transferred to the Bengal Staff Corps and attached to the First Punjab Cavalry, part of the Punjab frontier forces. In 1889 he made Captain and was also appointed a Political Agent 2nd Class. In 1891 he saw action in the campaign against the states of Hunza and Nagar, in present day Pakistan, as one of a dozen British officers leading a mixed contingent of about 1,200 native officers and men. He acted as Assistant Political Agent and aide to the expedition commander, supervised the transportation services, and commanded a detachment of the 20th Punjab Infantry. The fighting involved storming an enemy fort and scaling the cliffs behind it while under fire. It was sufficiently fierce to result in the award of 3 Victoria Crosses. After the surrender of the 2 states, Stewart remained there as chief British political representative, with a garrison to back him up. We find him promoted to Major in May 1898 and eventually Lt. Colonel. His postings included Baroda as the officiating resident in 1901, Political Agent in Gilgit from 1901 to 1903, Consul for Kerman and Persian Beluchistan, residing in Kerman 1905-06, and lastly to Bikanir in Rajestan. He retired soon after, returned to England, and died in London on August 24, 1908. He is mentioned in several dispatches and reminiscences of British officers in India, and was affectionately nicknamed “Curly” by fellow officers. This is a scarce sword pattern carried by an officer with some active field service as well as important political postings in the British Raj. CONDITION: The blade is heavily worn and exhibits pitting as well as spotting with evidence of cleaning. The once noticed scrollwork is significantly muted and only few traces of any blade decoration remain. The Wilkinson etching on the ricasso is faint but present. The guard, backstrap, and pommel also exhibit pitting and spotting. The wood handle has lost most of its leather wrap and the wood is exposed revealing various chips. The leather wrapped scabbard remains strong with intact stitching. There are visible creases in some areas, strap exhibits cracking. Overall fair. SBR/JLD
Blade Length
Overall Length
Information Folder
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $250.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $704.00
Estimate: $500 - $700
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items