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French An XIII Cuirassier's Sabre, Waterloo War Trophy (sold)

Klingenthal France made French heavy cavalry trooper's sabre and scabbard, Waterloo battlefield pickup / war trophy.

French An XIII Cuirassier's Sabre, Waterloo War Trophy

Sales enquiries

How do I know this is a war trophy / battlefield pickup from the Waterloo / the 100 Days War? First, there are no-post Waterloo inspection marks on this sabre (these sabres had long service lives, often re-hilted, and the French would have added inspection marks down the line). Second, swords that survived and stayed in French army hands would almost certainly have been re-hilted with the so-called 1816 hilt. Third, the item was bought by me from England where it had clearly been for some time (the brass was black with tarnish and the scabbard active rust pitted when I got it); this is not some later collector bring back.

Beware, the majority of An XIII's you find for sale are reproductions maliciously being masqueraded as authentic. I guarantee this is an genuine French An XIII Cuirassier sabre, not an aged modern copy. How do I know? First the aged condition I acquired this sabre in can not be faked. Second, it strictly conforms with the model of sword (no small mistakes as you find on reproductions). Third, the round inspection marks (poinçons) on the forte of the blade are a "B" under a star for Borson, a wreathed "B" for Bick, and an "L" for Lobstein (see Klingenthal poinçons); these are 100% correct for a blade made in December 1814 as declared on the blade's spine (X'bre = December) (see: Klingenthal history). Also, the Klingenthal mark and date shows "Rle" for Royale, not Imperial as the French monarchy had been restored at this time also known as the period of Napoleon's first exile (to the Elba).

NB: The sabre has a "Mk3" scabbard (introduced in 1814 and made the official model in 1816) as is common / normal. Because it is sometimes called the "Model 1816 scabbard", some people (mostly British, who are used to models / patterns being made official before introduction) question whether these scabbards were in use at Waterloo (1815); they were! The vast majority of Waterloo battlefield trophies are in Mk 3 scabbards just like this one. For my article on the An XI / XIII sabre and its various scabbards, please visit: French An XIII Cuirassier swords.

So this sabre looks 200 years old and is, near enough. I cleaned it up (removed the hilt tarnish - boy was it tough) and stabilized the scabbard rust. I also balsamed the leather grip; this is original, which is very nice as you basically come into contact more with the Frenchman who once held it. The twisted grip wire is missing but this can be easily replaced; I would actually leave it as getting the brass of new modern brass wire to match the aged, stained less glitzy brass of the hilt is not easy. The scabbard is well aged and pitted (now stable) though very sound and heavy. The sabre sheathes fine but the original wooden liners inside the scabbard have perished so it is a little loose. The highly impressive 96cm blade is patinated in places but in overall very good order and firm in the hilt. The blade has been converted from the original hatchet to a spear point as the French (and also British) did in the field just prior to Waterloo; most of the An XIII's you find in Britain (war trophies) are spear point.

This is my favorite sword of all time. This is a very good example and you can be sure it was carried by a Frenchman during the 100 Days War; that makes a lot of difference to the enjoyment. Prices of these sabres are rising steadily. Larger / further images available upon request. My item reference number is 644 (277)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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