How did this spur end up here ?

This old spur came as part of a collection of rather more glamorous 18th Century examples

18th century spur

Frankly I wondered why the previous collector had bothered to keep it. Yes, it was old, likely late 18th century, but not an unusual design, and not a pair.

The obsessive side of me decided to photograph it for my records anyway. Under the bright lights in the light tent I thought I could make out some engraving…. (it may help to click on this image for a larger version)

18th century spur

It was pretty difficult to read, but after a while fiddling with the lights and the camera focus I could make out
“S. Allen 2d Reg” on one side and “COnL *L*D* 1780″, the previous owner had also engraved “S. ALLEN inside the heelband.

Engraving on spur

Please click to see large image of engraving

engraving on 18th century spur

Please click to see large image of engraving

Apart from the name & rank this didn’t make much sense to me, I’d heard of 2nd Regiments, but not 2d…, but after lots of research a quick delve into Wikipedia, I think I have my answer. The spur seems to have belonged to a colonel in the second regiment of the Light Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War (or War of Independence ? please correct me if I’m wrong). The 2d was a common abbreviation of second at the time.

So, it isn’t as ordinary as it seemed. I still don’t know who Colonel S. Allen was. And I have even less of a clue how it ended up here in England – was it found by a British soldier at the time ? Or was it part of a collection in the USA & got moved over here much later ? More questions than answers, I’m afraid

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