1624) Scottish Officer's Sword of the Seaforth Highlanders c.1898, with Field Service Cross-Guard. 32 3/4" claymore blade, maker "S.J.PILLIN / 31 GERRARD St. / SOHO / LONDON", with Pillin's proof-mark (Septimus John Pillin, 31 Gerrard St. from 1881 to 1922, then absorbed by Wilkinson). Blade etched with Royal Arms, Victorian Cypher, 19 Battle Honours including "JAVA, MYSORE, SOUTH AFRICA 1885, HINDOOSTAN, SEVASTOPOL, KABUL 1870, LUCKNOW, AFGHANISTAN 1878/80, EGYPT 1882, TEL-EL-KEBIR" (no Second Boer War Honours). Further etched "SEAFORTH / HIGHLANDERS / ROTHSHIRE BUFFS / THE DUKE OF ALBANY'S", also "ASSAYE" over elephant and regimental motto "CUIDICH 'N RIGH" (Guard the King). The family crest of a chained goose over the motto "FEIGHT" appear above the initials of the owner, The Honourable Charles Henry Murray St.Clair ("S" entwined with small "T" and large "C" enclosing small "C"). Charles St.Clair was the younger son of the Right Hon. Charles William St.Clair, 15th Baron Sinclair. He was born 1878, educated at Eton and Royal Military College Sandhurst. Gazetted to 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders in May, 1898. Served in South African War of 1899-1902, advance on Kimberly, engagements of Magersfontein, Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, and Driefontein. Action at Wittebergen.
Posted as Captain to 1st Battalion Seaforths in Agra, India, and landed in France Oct., 1914 with Indian Expeditionary Force. Killed in action 20th Dec., 1914.
At this early stage in the Great War, British officers still commonly wore their swords in action. When Captain St.Clair's sword was returned to his family, the leather field service scabbard (perhaps damaged) was evidently replaced with the all-steel nickel-plated dress scabbard worn only with the full-dress claymore basket-hilt, not the field service hilt the sword still bears. See pics for complete research done by former owner.
Blade is edged professionally for active service, VG+ condition, all etching clear, only small patches of light pitting. Pommel and cross-guard have some pitting and wear to nickel finish (they were used in two wars), grip retains original shagreen covering and twisted silver wire wrap. This cross-guard is the one provided by Pillin with the sword; the inside angles of the rectangular hole in the guard are cut to precisely fit the taper of the tang perfectly - when in place it is snug and permits no movement at all. Comes with all related research material.