An original British 1804 Pattern Naval Seaman’s Cutlass. This is an real and honest example of the classic “figure-of-eight” British Napoleonic naval cutlass of a type that was carried during the Napoleonic Wars and had a long and illustrious service life. It is the most famous cutlass style associated with British seaman during the age of sail and wooden warships. Up until the late-eighteenth century, short swords or hangers had been the mainstay of edged weapons for ordinary British sailors whilst on board a ship of war.
They were not issued to every man and it was usual to have one between five or six sailors. The introduction of a tubular, smooth gripped cutlass in the 1790’s was the first serious attempt by the British Navy to introduce some kind of uniformity into the supply of cutlasses to naval ratings. It had a distinctive “figure of eight” rolled iron hilt that varied considerably in thickness. There is some debate as to the origin of this style of cutlass and it has been suggested that they might actually be traced back to earlier American designs, particularly during the Revolutionary War. The fledgling American Navy issued a cutlass (Model 1797) which bears a great resemblance to these British cutlasses and it is probable that the British actually copied the design from the Americans. This is the later official, regulation version. This cutlass comprises an iron hilt with grooved grip. The blade is straight, unfullered and flat-backed. It is also double-edged. It obviously shows signs of wear, particularly in a salty environment but I believe this adds to the charm of the piece. There are many copies of this sword in the market but this is 100% original and guaranteed for life. Blade length is 28.5 inches (33.5 inches overall).
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