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Waterloo Battle Trophy: French Heavy Cavalry Sabre / Sword, sold

In very good condition, a Napoleonic French heavy cavalry sabre / sword, dated August 1814, with all the indications it was picked up as a war trophy after the Battle of Waterloo.

Waterloo Battle Trophy: Napoleonic French An XI / XIII Heavy Cavalry Sabre / Sword

Sales enquiries

First of all, we absolutely guarantee this is an authentic Napoleonic French heavy cavalry trooper's sword; be warned, most on the market are modern aged reproductions; not this one; again, guaranteed 100% authentic.

Second, this sword bears all the indications it was actually picked up off the battlefield directly after Napoleon was ultimately defeated at Waterloo. Why? Well first, there are no post-1815 French inspection or other marks. Also, the scabbard is not original to the sword; it is correct and period for the sword, but it came from another trooper. How do we know this, because the rack numbers on the hilt and scabbard differ, which means the sword was picked up where it fell, and then a scabbard was found to fit it. If this sword had stayed in French government hands, the rack numbers would have been struck out and new ones applied. Finally, most people would not even spot it, but the hilt is very slightly damaged; the outside bar has come away from the hilt ever so slightly. The slight separation where the bar was originally cast onto the front guard could only have been caused by hard pressure from inside the hilt; the trooper's hand / fist as he crashed to the ground for example. The break is clearly period as the patination shows. Again, unless you look hard you would not even see the separation, so it certainly does not spoil the appearance of the sword, it just adds to its provenance.


The blade's spine bears the maker's mark and date; Klingenthal August 1814. It is marked "Rle" for "Royale" as Napoleon had abdicated at the time the blade / sword was made, during a period called the "First Restoration" (of the French monarchy). So, although it was marked to the monarchy, not the Imperial emperor when Napoleon resumed power in March 1815, this sword was absolutely in service with the Imperial French Grande Armée on the 18th June 1815, as the French were short of weapons and nothing was wasted on the grounds of markings. The poinçons (round inspection marks) on the blade of Borson, Bick and Lobstein are 100% correct for August 1814.

The 37 1/2 inch spear pointed blade is the final proof this sword was at Waterloo, as the French army ground down the original hatchet points of these blades into spear points, as this was much more effective at piercing an opponent's clothing. The blade is in great condition, with some patina, just enough to confirm its age, and the blade is firm in the hilt. The hilt is also in very good condition, save the slight separation of the end bar from the front of the guard; this could easily be repaired but our advice is "Don't be mad / don't you dare!". The brass hilt is good, not too much age, not shiny bright; the perfect mid way point. The grip is excellent, well above average and with the original twisted grip wire bindings; the leather grip is very good and sound with only slight surface flaking of the leather, so the colour is original too. The steel scabbard is lovely; that is not patina you see but the chemical browning the French used to make there steel scabbards more attractive and rust resilient. And it worked, there is very little rust to the scabbard. The sword sheathes and draws like a dream. Truly, a well above average example with all the provenance you can hope for.

These swords are becoming very difficult to source and they only appreciate in value. Therefore, our price is a very good investment for sure. Further / full sized images available upon request. Please quote item reference number D49 (747).

 

 

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