A very rare pattern 18th century British army officers coffin hilt sabre. This sabre belonged to a high ranking officer in the 87th Prince of Wales Irish regiment of foot, formed by general sir John Doyle in 1793. This rare coffin hilt sabre of 37 inches with a plain, curved, central fullered blade of 31.5 inches. The hilt still retains some of its original gilding, with D knuckle bar and coffin shaped pommel giving the type of sword its name. Ebonised chequered grip. The hilt shows the Elgin harp and the prince of Wales feathers and this is repeated on the pommel. Signs of ware throughout. Having been formed in 1793 the 87th soon found themselves engaged with the French republic and saw action at Flanders ( 1794). In October 1796 the 87th embarked to the West Indies, seeing action at Puerto Rico in 1797. They then did a tour of duty round the West Indies from Saint Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, Curacao, Antiqua and Saint Kitts before embarking home in July 1804. In 1806 to 1807 they took part in a disastrous expedition to South America, seeing action at Montevideo and Buenos Aires before returning home. The first battalion saw action in India before being amalgamated with the second battalion in 1817. The second battalion 87th Prince of Wales own Irish regiment of foot saw action during the Napoleonic war and saw action during the Peninsular war 1809, Battle of Barossa in 1811 when Ensign Edward Keogh and sergeant Patrick Masterson captured the French imperial eagle of the 8th regiment de Ligne. Keogh was shot, bayoneted and killed but Masterson after killing several men took the eagle from the dying bearer Lieutenant Gazan. The actions continued and the 87th took part in the siege of Tarifa in 1812, battle of Vitoria in 1813, battle of Nivelle in 1813, battle of Nive 1813, battle of Orthez 1814 and the battle of Toulouse in 1814.