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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.

Waterloo French Trophy Bladed British Cavalry Bandmaster's Sabreimage 727 2

Sold Item Notice

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.

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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.

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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).











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