Language: English
Source: In common use


Pipe-back sabers have a distinctive spine of round cross-section which runs along the back for most of its length until a raised backedge is formed, and the spine starts to move towards the center of the last double-edged portion of the blade, to terminate at its point. 

The idea was a somewhat stiffer saber that was better at the thrust than most sabers tend to be. The idea is credited to John Prosser of London, sword-cutler and belt-maker to the King, who engraved the first pipe-backs with the text "Prosser's invention".1

The pipe-back originated in Great Britain around 1810 and became a standard regulation pattern blade for officers from 1821-1845. Its popularity spread to mainland Europe where it was used by some countries into the early 20th century. 2


Cross-sections of a pipe-back saber

Cross-sections of the pipe-back saber.
The saber shown is a French Mameluke pipe-back for the Thai market.
Listed at Mandarin Mansion in 2020.



1. Such a marking was found among others on a rare East India Company saber sold by Bonhams, 24 Jul 2003, London, lot 125.

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In the style of a Malay keris panjang.


Built around an imported blade, with a human head shaped pommel.


Signed: Ricky Milnes, India 44, Burma 44, Ramree 45.


Fine German hunting flintlock with captured Ottoman barrel.


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Russet iron, one-piece construction with decorative grooves.