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French AN XI Hussars Sabre (sold)

An interesting French Napoleonic AN XI hussar's sabre with 1814/1815 Versailles hilt and earlier (circa 1801) AN IX blade; a probable Waterloo battlefield pick-up / war trophy.

French AN XI Hussars SabreNapoleonic French Cavalry Sword

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In as seen condition, this is an AN XI French light cavalry sabre with the hilt marked by Versailles for 1814/1815 (it bears a director's inspection mark of a star over a P for C. N. Pion who held the position from January 1814 to November 1815).

The blade is much older, circa 1801. Although the blade has rust pitting that has obscured the poinçons / inspection marks there, you can still make out the beginning of the maker's spine signature "Manufacture De (feint)", which could only mean the signature was "Manufacture de Klingenthal Coulaux Freres" as this was the only signature after the blade was introduced to use the unabbreviated form "Manufacture" followed by "de" (mostly it was "du Klingenthal (date)".

This means the blade basically saw active service from the beginning to the end of the so called "Napoleonic Wars", which heightens the prospect it not only saw successful battle and defeat, but that it also has inflicted injury or worse on one of Napoleon's enemies. Although the hilt is later, this is very common because the French were short of weapons so damaged swords were cannibalized and incorporated into "new" swords. As the blade of the AN IX (which this is) is the same as the blade of the AN XI (which this hilt is), it was not a problem.

Although the sabre is in a very aged condition and without a scabbard, the later fact alone means it is most likely a Waterloo war trophy brought home by British personnel; I bought the sabre in the UK. When a cavalryman was injured he would drop the sword or pistol in his hand and then either ride or be dragged off along with his scabbard by his horse. So the absence of a scabbard is not always a bad thing. Further / full sized pictures available upon request.

 

 

 

 

 

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