French An XIII Cuirassier Trooper's Sword
& Scabbard, sold
An unusual French An XIII Cuirassier Trooper's Sword & Scabbard
in overall good condition.
This one has me beat. It is a French An XIII Cuirassier Trooper's
Sword with Scabbard, but the blade is devoid or has otherwise been
cleaned of markings, and one of the markings on the hilt I have
never seen before ("R" in an outlined circle). There is
the faintest remains of an inscription along the spine, I think,
but absolutely no poinçon inspection marks, which are not
easily removed and I do not believe they have been; I believe there
never were any. There are two French poinçons to the hilt
and the grip is definitely Napoleonic French (only 12 grip wire
turns; later sword grips had more grip turns), and the scabbard
(non-matching serial / rack number to the hilt) is French, but I
suspect this sword has been in other hands. The R in a circle is
very Russian but is not (Russians do not use an "R").
Perhaps the sword was for an Italian or other French Empire Cuirassier.
The blade has been spear pointed for battle use and as the scabbard
is a marriage, I believe it may be a Waterloo battle trophy (most
cuirassier swords fell in that battle, were picked up by allied
soldiers who then looked around for a scabbard to fit it).
The 37 3/8 inch blade is good condition but with some signs of
battle use (very slight waving to the blade towards the point and
a few old small nicks to the cutting edge) and there is a little
movement with the grip. The hilt aged but good, a few scrapes. The
original grip is excellent for its age and has retained its twisted
grip wire bindings. The heavy steel scabbard has pitting and has
been "cleaned" a little bright, but is solid and generally
good. The sword sheathes and draws well if a little loosely.
A bargain for such a great condition sword and perfect for the
avid researcher. A snip at £? (too late, now sold). Please
quote item reference T18 (0741). Further / full sized images available
NB: It should be noted that when Napoleon came back to power in
1814 (after being exiled to the Elba for a few months, from where
he eventually escaped), that the French were seriously short of
weapons and blades which may have otherwise been passed were fitted
to hilts. Also that these blades were made not only by Klingenthal,
but others in France and within the greater French Empire. So this
poinçon absent blade does not surprise me as much as the
B in circle poinçon on the hilt which I have never seen before.
If I had to bet, I would bet the blade was a Klingenthal blade which
had not passed or been put forward for inspection and pressed into
service when quantity was an issue.