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Rare French Helvetic (Swiss) Infantry Officer's Sword, dated 1798, sold

A very rare Napoleonic Helvetic Republic infantry officer's sword, dated 1798.

Rare French Helvetic (Swiss) Infantry Officer's Sword

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An exceptionally rare Napoleonic French made sword for an infantry officer in the then Helvetic Republic, now Switzerland. Marked on the guard front "Pro Aris Et Focis Religione, Libertate Et Justitia", the guard featured with Swiss feathered "Alpen Schatz" (Alpine hat), justice bell and raft, which is probably a variant of the French Faisceau de licteur. The inside of the hilt inscribed "Fait par (made by) Cj Wag l'annee 1798"; apparently there was a sword maker by the name of Wagner in Switzerland at that time.

The 67 cm etched blade has a few period tell-tale nicks (one quite a large nick near to the point) to the blade; the Helvetic army was supported by the French and did battle against Prussians and Russians invading their territory. There is a little movement in the hilt. The grip is very worn; I actually think the grip was originally suede rather than leather based on what remains of the original under the ferrule. The unusual ring / grip bindings are in good order.

This is a very rare and unique sword which I have never seen the like of before and suspect I will never come across ever again. The Helvetic Republic did not last long and then shook its French influence, so I suspect most such items from that period would have been destroyed. This sword survived in France, and was the property of a well known French charity until I bought it from them. Given its rarity and the deep pockets of the Swiss, I suspect I have significantly under-priced this sword. Further / large images available upon request. My item reference number 887 (386).

 

 

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