Napoleonic Wars / Waterloo French Heavy Cavalry
In very good condition, one of the most interesting Napoleonic
Wars An XIII Cuirassier / heavy cavalry swords we have encountered,
certainly a Waterloo battlefield pick up / battle trophy.
First, we 100% money back guarantee this is an authentic Napoleonic
Wars French heavy cavalry trooper's sword. Bought by us in the UK,
this absolutely is a Waterloo battlefield pick up / battle trophy.
It has one of the most interesting "documented" provenances
we have come across;
The above photos tell a very interesting story / history of this
sword. The blade is dated for Klingenthal December 1812, but it
does not have any inspection / approval stamps (poinçons)
and is not the original blade for the hilt. The blade was never
approved because there are very slight forging flaws to the forte;
in December 1812 when the blade was made, it would was consigned
to stores as a spare.
The hilt has quite a bit of aging (brass crazing lines) which immediately
says the hilt has been around. The original rack number "56"
has been struck out and another, "1131" stamped next to
it. This simply means the original blade was damaged and removed,
then replaced with the blade you see today. The hilt originally
was done at Klingenthal; we know this because there is no "Versailles"
stamp to the main bar. However, the hilt was given the replacement
blade at Versailles; we know this because there is a Versailles
stamp to the inside of the guard, where such repair marks were made.
So, at some stage, the original blade was damaged and replaced
with this slightly less than perfect one that has no poinçon
approval stamps. This happened during the War
of the Sixth Coalition when the Imperial French Armee was very
short of weapons; we know this because the Versailles hilt repair
stamp has an "F." poinçon next to it for Versailles
inspector J. B. Fevre, the stamp only being used from January 1811
to December 1813. So, the sword saw its original blade damaged,
most likely in battle against the Russians, and then fitted with
this replacement blade.
The sword then went on to participate in the 100 Days War (Waterloo).
We known this because the point of the blade has been ground down
from its original hatchet point to a spear point, such modification
ordered before Waterloo to improve the effectiveness of the sword
as a thrusting weapon. The blade also has some tell tale period
nicks to the forward (some say "cutting") edge. Although
primarily a thrusting weapon used to impale the opposition in a
charge, the burly heavy cavalrymen also used to wield them, a bit
like axes. We can not say whether the nicks came from the War of
the Sixth Coalition of the 100 Days War, but they clearly came from
The 96cm blade is in excellent condition, save for the the slight
forging flaws at the forte and period battle nicks to the forward
edge; it is in such good condition because long ago someone varnished
the blade (this was often done by Victorians and perhaps Georgians
to preserve metal from rust); the varnish was a real job to remove
but we are glad it was there as the blade is superb as a result.
The blade is firm in the hilt. The hilt has some slight "damage"
(a little bending commensurate with being in battle, some crazing
aging to the brass). The grip leather is original, or of course
may have been replaced by Versailles when they replaced the blade.
Buy anyway, the leather has had the grip of a French cavalry trooper
on it and in battle. The twisted grip wire is a later replacement,
but well / authentically down. The scabbard is pitted but very sound.
The sword sheathes and draws very well; the scabbard holds the sword
in place when inverted.
Truly a lovely sword with a well above average history, courtesy
of the markings and lack of them. £1300 buys you a stunning
and evocative piece of history. Further / full sized images upon
request. Please quote item reference number E91 (846)