An interesting infantry officer's sword
An interesting infantry officer's sword by Bland and Foster c 1790. The tapered double edged blade is etched "Bland & Foster", with crowned GR cypher, pre 1801 Royal Arms, trophies of arms with rococco foliage, and is blued and gilt for half its length with two burnished vacant panels. The hilt of gilt brass has chased and engraved borders and incorporates flat guards, a pair of shaped quillons and a knucklebow divided into three bars at the base, the pommel is urn shaped with a flat top. The grip is bound with strands of straight and twisted silver wire and retains its original woven turks heads. Contained in its black leather scabbard with gilt brass mounts, the locket is signed "Bland & Foster. St James's". This sword retains virtually all of its original gilding overall, and most of its original blued and gilt decoration. The scabbard leather has been expertly replaced.
Blade length 28" (71cms) Overall length including scabbard 36" (91.5cms)
swords with this design of hilt and by these makers are closely associated with King George III and George IV as Prince of Wales. See "European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London" p 33, Pl 92b for the sword of George III; and Laking No 618 and 620 illus and extensively described in Arms & Armour Society Journal Dec 1979, by A.V.B. Norman, both with Bland & Foster invoices to the Prince of Wales (1784 and 1788 respectively) the latter described as a "Gilt Windsor Uniform hilt". The partnership of John Bland (Royal sword cutler to George III) and Robert Foster was established in 1787 and ended with the former's death in 1791.