31.75" spearpoint blade with 18.5" double median fullers. Steel full basket guard of regimental pattern complete with buff leather liner covered with red wool and trimmed with blue silk. Wire-wrapped shagreen grip. Blade engraved with floral motifs. Obverse of blade shows Victorial royal monogram and crown surmounted by a sunburst. Reverse shows 72nd Regiment of foot with "HIGHLANDERS" designation surmounted by crown and sunburst. Obverse ricasso marked in panel "J.G. DOWNING/1876".
John George Downing is listed in the 1874 as a Lieutenant in the Royal Anglesey Light Infantry, a militia unit of the 23rd regiment of foot. The appointment with the Angleseys was his first posting after his graduation from Staff College, Sandhurst. In November 1875 he was transferred to the 72nd Regiment of Foot with which he served until at least 1878, at which time he was appointed to the 11th Native Infantry in India. It is believed that during this time he participated in action which earned him the Matun Medal. He would continue to serve in the Indian Army until 1909.
Blade appears to have been cleaned, nevertheless showing an attractive gunmetal patination, leaving markings somewhat worn but legible. Guard is in good condition with minimal imperfections including some light discoloration. Liner is in similarly good condition with some minor-moderate loss of blue silk. An attractive sword from the golden age of the British Highland soldier.
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