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Napoleonic Wars / Waterloo French Heavy Cavalry Sword, sold

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.

Napoleonic Wars / Waterloo French Heavy Cavalry Sword

Sales enquiries

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 battlefield use.

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)

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