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

Divider

Sidesaddle cane with spur

 
The Swiss Army knife of sidesaddle canes ?
The handle of this cane is both a spur and a hammer (sometimes known as a locksmasher – although it looks a bit dainty to smash many locks…).
I had seen this design in old saddlery catalogues, but was excited to get the chance to buy one.
Sidesaddle canes are carried in the right hand and are used to replace the aids that the offside leg would deliver. In this example one can imagine a rather formidable rider turning the cane upside down to deliver a more forceful message… No wonder the French for sidesaddle is “selle d’amazone”

It is a beautiful object though. It was made by Ashford & Co, a company of whipmakers based in Birmingham in the late 19th century, they held a royal warrant.
The handle is silver plated, the collar is decorated with a fox mask. There is a blank cartouche or shield on the collar.
The shaft or stock is made of red-gold malacca cane. There would have been a keeper or loop of rawhide at its end, I will have this replaced.
Sidesaddle cane with spurSidesaddle cane with spur
 

Divider