Waterloo Battle Trophy: French An XIII Cuirassier
In good to very good condition, a Napoleonic French cuirassier
(heavy cavalry) sword, dated January 1815, Versailles hilt, matching
serial numbers, clearly a battle trophy.
Guaranteed authentic (this is NOT a reproduction). A Klingenthal
bladed, Versailles hilted Napoleonic French Cuirassier's sword.
Spear pointed blade, matching hilt and (Mark 3) scabbard rack /
serial numbers. The blade's spine is dated Janvier (January) 1815
and is very poignant with the fact of the matching serial numbers
as this proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Mark 3 scabbard
came into production before Waterloo (see An
XII Sabres Article).
As you can see from the 3 poinçons (little round inspection
stamps on the blade), these are correct for January 1815 (the date
on the spine of the blade), being the poinçons
for Borson, Bick and Lobstein. The "C" under star
poinçons on the hilt next to "Versailles" is that
of Versailles inspector Chateaubrun. The hilt serial / rack number
522 matches that on the scabbard suspension mount and the fact you
see a single serial number (not one crossed out and another applied)
is yet another indication that the sword "left" French
active service at or just after Waterloo.
A little bit of background to the history of this sword is that
we bought it from a lady (a grandmother) who remembers her grandfather
teaching her to do the Highland Sword Jig (Dance) over this very
sword, so it had been in Britain for many years. In addition, as
it was in Scotland, it is likely therefore that a Scotsman brought
this sword back from Waterloo. Who knows, maybe a cavalryman of
the Royal Scots Greys who drove the French heavy cavalry over a
The 37 1/2 inch spear pointed blade is in very good condition generally,
some wear to the spine, not much, some ageing to the blade, not
much. The blade is firm in the hilt, the brass hilt in very good
shape (could be cleaned with a brass polish but we think it has
the right balance of patina to match the scabbard). The grip still
has its original leather, which is rare and a big bonus, as it brings
your hand into contact with the leather once held by one of Napoleon's
feared Cuirassiers. The twisted brass grip wire is a later replacement,
but quite authentically done. The steel scabbard has been browned
(a chemical process developed by the French to give their scabbards
a pleasing brown look). There is a little former rust here and there,
not too much; the scabbard is very solid. The sword sheaths and
draws very well.
These swords are becoming harder and harder to source at a reasonable
price as collectors simply do not want to let them go. Therefore
you have not only a good price but the basis for a very sound investment.
Further / full sized images available upon request. Please quote
item reference D91 (757)