1815 French Trophy Bladed British Cavalry
Bandmaster's Sabre (sold)
An 1815 British cavalry bandmaster's sword / sabre made with a
Waterloo captured French blade.
The very fine 34 inch blade is signed "J Spol M Fourbisseur
à Metz"; it is French and Spol would never had made
a sword for the English. The blade is almost certainly from a senior
French officer's sabre as it is fine and slender, not a fighting
blade. Jacques Spol was a craftsman dealing in the finest quality
items. The hilt however is 100% English; lions head and absolutely
typical acorn finals to the quillons. The langets of the hilt cover
the forte / ricasso of the blade and with it the maker's name; Spol
would never have done such a thing himself (over his own name),
so the hilt is an English replacement. Spol produced swords from
1770 to 1809.
Up until 1820 bandmasters and regiment bands for that matter were
civilians, so the wearing of a blade without the British monarch's
royal cypher on it was acceptable. Possibly from the Peninsula War
but most likely from the 100 Days War (Waterloo), a British cavalry
regiment captured a senior French officer's sabre, took it home,
re-hilted the blade and then listened to their band with extra pride
and mirth, given the ban's master was wearing the spoils of war
with the French.
For these reasons, this is such a rare, actually unique sword.
Made before bandmasters became army personnel and issued with regulated
patterns of swords, just after Waterloo. I can safely say you will
never find another of these. For that reason the sale price is £800
and when you think you are getting a senior Napoleonic officer's
blade within that price, it becomes a bargain. Further / full sized
images available upon request. My item reference number is 727 (278).