18/19C Prussian made British marked Briquet
In good condition, a contentious Prussian made British marked
briquet, possibly a British naval cutlass.
If you want a strange and contentious sword, this is the one for
you. A French An XIII model briquet, made by the Prussians in Solingen,
marked to the British crown! These exist fairly regularly but not
too often onto the market, so we can be sure quite a number were
made. But that is where collectors and dealers divide, as to why.
Some claim it was some dirty trick by the Prussians to sell swords
to the USA on the basis they were quality British swords, but why
would a newly independent country want swords with the British crown
mark on them? Others say the Prussians made them for the British
army but they were rejected; as the British army never used the
An XIII model / pattern of sword, why then would they have ordered
them in the first place? Others, like me, believe this is a cutlass,
made in Solingen for British ships where the captain required cutlasses
that could store better than the bulky hilted British made items
of the early 1800's. I do not believe the facts of design (the model)
and where it was made are in doubt, and so naval service seems the
most likely explanation, as sea captains basically could decide
upon which weapons their ships carried for many years after the
army were regulated.
So, anyway, an interesting sword; I 100% guarantee it is period,
the blade aging confirms this; the scabbard I suspect is a later
French replacement (how it came to be in a French made scabbard
only thickens the plot). In any event, a sword that invokes so many
opinions and questions is well worth the price tag, well worth it.
Further / full sized pictures available upon request. Please quote
item reference number A86 (544).