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Clip Point French An XIII Heavy Cavalry Trooper's Sword, sold

In very good condition, a very rare clipped point Napoleonic French An XIII heavy cavalry trooper's sword.

Clip Point French An XIII Heavy Cavalry Trooper's Swordimage O62 1

Sold Item Notice

We guarantee this sword is 100% authentic. Clipped point An XIII's are the hallowed ground of Napoleonic sword collecting because virtually all blades were ground down to spear point, one way, one reason or another, both shortly before and then thereafter Waterloo; the reason being, a thrust weapon as this is, is far more effective with a spear point. It should be noted that all straight French heavy cavalry sword blades of the 19C were made spear point, but were then ground down by the regiments. It is therefore exceptionally rare to find a pre-Waterloo blade still with its original clipped point. And the various blade and hilt markings tell the story of why this one avoided the grinding stone.

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The date inscription to the spine has been intentionally removed in part (the year and the ruler, Imperial or Royal, designation). The only poinçons to the blade are not on the blade itself, as is normally with An XIII blades (and this is an AN XIII blade as it has a flat spine; they became rounded in 1816), but to the forte (as was normal post 1822), and only two of them (not three as was normal in Napoleonic times). One of the Poinçons is for Victor Joseph Guidonet, director at Klingenthal 1823. The hilt has been reissued as the original rack number "513" was struck out and a new rack number "1564" added. The grip has been re-leathered and bound post 1822; we can see this from the number of grip wire turns, 18 as opposed to the normal 11. The hilt / guard like the blade is original An XIII (in 1816 they changed the design, and again in 1822). The scabbard is a Mark 3 (also known as 1816M). We bought it in France, not the UK.

Therefore, almost certainly, the history of this sword is as follows: The hilt / guard pre-dates the blade and saw active service in the Grande French Armee of Napoleon. The original blade was damaged or otherwise considered unserviceable. The sword was sent to Klingenthal for a new blade; what is left of the blade inscription shows that it once fully said "Manuftre Ryle de Klingenthal Xbre 1814" (made during the brief restoration of the French monarchy while Napoleon was exiled to the Elba); what is left of the inscriptional and spacing means it could only have been "Ryle" (not "Impl") and therefore the year had to be 1814. When Napoleon came out of exile in March 1815 and regained power, he militarized but there was a shortage of weapons. Even private sword makers were enlisted to produce weapons. It was at this time our sword's hilt was married with it's new blade, a blade that had not been inspected and therefore had no poinçons, but such was the rush, this oversight was not important (caveat: the blade could have failed inspection, but we see no reason why).

The sword was issued to a heavy cavalry regiment that was not at Waterloo with the new rack number 1564, or one that was but somehow was one of the very few at this famous battle but that did not have it's point ground down to spear point and also stayed in French military service after Waterloo (was not a war trophy), when both French and Allied armies were dramatically reduced in numbers. The lack of inspection marks probably saved the blade from being rehilted into the new 1816 model sword and / or being retained as an An XIII full service sword (which would have seen the point ground down to spear point), as it may have been considered a second. A rare of rare events; a spear pointed An XIII which stayed in French military service, albeit in stores! In 1823, someone decided that the sword needed to be regripped, probably as the old one had aged. Because this happened, it was necessary to inspect the sword and put poinçons on the blade to show it had passed. Because poinçons were then punched to the forte, not the blade, and only two were then normally used, that is what happened.

Result: a rare, rare clipped point An XIII which managed to avoid having it's nose trimmed to a spear point, and as such is now worth a lot more than normal spear pointed An XIIIs.

The full length 97.5 cm blade is in good condition and firm in the hilt. The hilt / guard very good, the leather grip with some wear / small scuffed bits missing, but generally very good, as is the twisted grip wire binding. The steel scabbard (yes, the full sized clipped point blade just, and only just full sheathes into these 1816M / Mk 3 scabbards) is on good condition. The sword sheathes and draws well.

Rare, rare, rare. A solid investment. Yours for £(too late - now sold - but we will divulge the original sales price for a small fee if it helps). Please quote item reference number O62 (1373). Further / full sized images upon request.

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