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Waterloo French 12th / 14th Cuirassier Regt AN XIII sabre (sold)

A Waterloo war trophy French AN XIII sabre, 12th Cuirassier Regiment. In very good order, original grip leather and ring bindings / twisted grip wire.

French 12th / 14th Cuirassier Regt AN XIII sabreWaterloo French An XIII cuirassier sabre

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A very interesting An XIII Cuirassier sabre indeed, with two most likely histories, both of which would place it at Waterloo and make this a war trophy, taken back to Britain where I bought it.

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This AN XIII has 17 grip wire turns, 6 more than normal. This means it was almost certainly made for the Dutch 2nd Cuirassier Regiment, which became the 14th French Cuirassier Regiment when Napoleon incorporated Holland and Belgium into the French Empire. The blade marked to Klingenthal, August 1811. The inspection marks / poinçons are those of Pache, Bick and Lobstein, as they should be for August 1811 (see: Poinçons).

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Unusually also, the hilt is marked to Versailles and Boutet (the later making this sword more valuable), but not in the normal place, again likely indicating this was for a special non-French regiment. The interesting things about the 14th French / Dutch Cuirassier Regiment is that it was disbanded after the retreat from Russia, where the 14th served with distinction, and the remnants incorporated into the 12th. However, in 1815, the Dutch aligned with the British and their allies, so this sabre either a) went with a Dutch trooper into service with the Allied armies, or b) stayed in the 12th French Cuirassier Regiment. Either way, it would have seen battle at Waterloo, either against or for the French! If it was the former, the Dutch trooper who held it probably fell, and it was collected by the British as what it appears and truly is, a French sabre. Or it was taken from the field of battle or shortly thereafter from the French. It did not see service in the French army after 1815 because there are no re-issue marks; no post 1815 markings.

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I suspect it was held by a Frenchman serving for the 12th Cuirassier Regiment, as it is spear point (post modification). The French were short of weapons during their wars so an AN XIII previously carried by a Dutchman in the 2nd Dutch AKA 14th French Cuirassier Regiment would not have been decommissioned. I believe this fine sabre saw action against the Russians in the hands of a Dutchman serving France, and then a Frenchman serving his Empire at Waterloo. For me this makes the sword doubly interesting.

Reading: An XIII Sabres

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I guarantee this sabre, bought by me from the UK is a battle trophy from the 100 Days War; the spear point modification you see on this sword means it saw service after the winter of 1814, as this is when this field modification was first carried out. The impressive 37.5 inch blade is in very good order if a little worn. The lovely "Mk 3" scabbard was originally browned (had a brown finish) and looks the part more than most AN XIII scabbards. The hilt is firm and in good order. The leather grip is in very good condition compared with most you find. The ring bindings / twisted grip wire is also in good order generally though one turn is missing; personally would leave it as is, not replace the wire. The sword sheathes well and is one of the better AN XIII's I have come across. Further / full sized images available upon request. Item reference number 62 (88).

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