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