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