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Rare Waterloo Captured French AN XIII Cuirassier's Sabre (sold)

Exceptionally rare original (unmodified) clipped point French Napoleonic AN XIII heavy cavalry trooper's sabre - this sabre has inflicted a serious wound on someone - plus it has Waterloo provenance.

Clipped point AN XIII  Cuirassier sabreAN XIII Waterloo Capture

Sales enquiries

The provenance, the circumstances, the (minor) blade point damage and the facts of this AN XIII French Cuirassier sabre says it inflicted a terrible if not fatal wound on someone, probably a British / Allied soldier, and that is absolutely is a Waterloo pick-up (war trophy); that it saw battle at Waterloo. On top of this, it has an exceptionally rare original full 97 cm "clipped point" (unmodified) blade that all AN XIII collectors drool after. It has rarity, it has kill point damage, it has Waterloo Provenance, it has EVERYTHING.

original clipped point

First, the sword was made in December 1814, so any damage was done after the disastrous "Russian Campaign". The Klingenthal blade is signed along the spine with the date and the forte shows the correct inspector "poinçons" (inspection stamps) of Louis Etienne Borson, Jean-Georges Bick and François Louis Lobstein (see: Klingenthal Blade Markings and Inspector Markings. It is 100% authentic of course.

poinçons

The tip of the blade has the tell-tale "wriggle" damage of a strike against an enemy soldier. It is almost impossible to fake such damage and the circumstances of where it was bought (by me) rule out subterfuge anyway, as they never claimed it as such. It is rare to hold a sword with a high degree of certainty it killed someone in battle, but this sabre has that. The damage also helps confirm this sabre is a Waterloo war trophy; that the Cuirassier who held it himself was a victim. It is very likely the French heavy cavalry trooper charged the Allied line, took out a British, Dutch or Belgium soldier, then was himself seriously injured or killed in the attack. Let me stress, being injured in battle at that time especially if you were on the losing side means any trooper who dropped his sabre is unlikely to have survived.

strike damage to blade point

It is made more likely because this sabre would have still been serviceable if it had been converted to a spear point, as was common both before and after Waterloo. You see, the damage to this sabre is right at the point, so it could have been put back into service with a simple spear point modification. As the blade was never corrected / modified as was so easily possible, it means it left French military service prematurely. The fact this sabre has no scabbard also supports this thesis; when a cavalryman was injured he would drop the sword in his hand and likely ride off injured (or be taken / dragged away by his horse) and with it the scabbard. Sabres without scabbards or with mismatched scabbards are signs of a battlefield pick-up / war trophy.

The sabre was bought from a deceased's estate sale where it and another AN XIII (see this other sword here: Spear Point AN XIII Waterloo Capture) were hung in a smoking room for many years. The deceased gentleman was not a collector in the traditional sense, he had just these two sabres both rumored to have come from Waterloo. When I found them the brass hilts were so tarnished with the unmistakable dark brown taint of tobacco smoke, I believe these swords must have hung in that room for at least 50 years. This is fairly important as it takes them to a time before swords became popular collector's items. The many years of smoke actually helped preserve the leather grips (which reeked of smoke) which is why they are both in such very good condition. The blade conditions are commensurate with being outside a scabbard for around the same time as the hilts.

Versailles hilt

I therefore have absolutely no doubt this and the other sabre I bought as a single lot are 100% Waterloo battleground pick-ups; please see AN XIII article.

The hilt is marked to Versailles, the blade is firm in the hilt, the grip is in excellent condition with the original twisted wire ring bindings intact (a little loose in places), the blade is straight apart from the point strike damage. Further / full sized pictures available upon request.

 

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