Swords were carried by all Cavalry and by infantry officers and some NCOs at Waterloo. Generally speaking Cavalry swords were heavier and slightly bigger than the infantry ones. A great
deal of variation can be found in the Swords carried but few have any provenance that can be traced directly to the battle itself.
Of all swords coveted by collectors Cotton collection ones are the most sought after.
Hardly any will still have inventory tags and only very few still have the paper cotton labels attached.
My favourite of all Waterloo stories is that of an officer who collected a large number of swords lying on the battlefield and on his return home he made them into a garden fence
surrounding his house.
All the swords listed in this section with the exception of the Harriman sword come from the Derek Saunders collection.
Derek was a very well respected Historian and published author. He made many trips to the battlefield and was involved in the repair and reconstruction of the well at Hougoumont. Derek
built and was curator at the Waterloo museum in Broadstairs. This was opened by the current Duke of Wellington in 1990. Sadly ill health forced Derek to close the museum in 1999. The contents was
eventually auctioned and we have now obtained the last of the swords placed in storage. Most came with their original Cotton collection storage tags and have the 1909 auction numbers on the back. All
the swords for sale below were originally exhibited in Edward Cottons museum on the battlefield and remained there until the sale of 1909.