17th c Shotley Bridg Household Cavalry Sword
A late 17th Century English household cavalry officer’s sword possibly attributable to the 2nd Troop of Life Guards: double edged blade 77cm broad short fuller SHOTLEY and running wolf to one side and BRIDG and wolf to reverse ‘Walloon’ type cast brass hilt with double shell guards, knuckle bow with 2 supporting bars to the guards large spherical pommel, brass wire bound grip with turks head knots at the top and bottom; both sides of each guard and the pommel adorned in relief with a crowned leaf mask or ‘Green Man’ composed of oak leaves and with pendant acorn, flanked by a lion and a unicorn and supported by winged and robed figure
The troops of Horse Guards formed part of the Army of the restored Stuart King Charles II. The 2nd, or Queen’s Troop, replaced the Duke of York’s Troop as 2nd in seniority in 1670, when upon the Death of the Duke of Albermarle it came under the patronage of the Queen. The Horse Guards came to be designated The Life Guards, which title is generally used irrespective of the period referred to. The Lion and Unicorn are the supporters of the Royal Arms, which is the badge of the Life Guards 1. The figures on the hilt are much like the angels which appear to this day on the trumpet banners of the Life Guards. These appear, furthermore, to have belonged particularly to the 2nd Troop in the 17th Century, when they bore “The King’s Cipher….sustained by two angels of silver, that on the right having a sword in his hand and that on the left a Palm branch”2. These figures also appeared on the standard and guidon (1685), and the drum banner (1693) of the 2nd Troop3.
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