In very good condition, an authentic Waterloo French An XI Light Cavalry Trooper’s Sabre & Scabbard
Sorry, this item has been sold (NB: we do not divulge sold prices). However, we have a search facility to help you find more similar items. Plus a feature that allows you to enter your email and keywords (for what you are looking for) to be notified by email when anything comes in. Or you can simply browse the various categories. See the left hand navigation column.
This An XI French Light Cavalry Trooper’s Sabre (Sabres de la cavalerie legere dits a la chasseur) is almost definitely a Waterloo battle trophy brought back to Britain by a triumphant serviceman / officer, and whose poinçons (inspection marks) tell of an interesting history. The blade is not original to the hilt but a replacement added in 1814/1815 when Napoleon came back into power after his first exile, when France was short of weapons and a general order was given “all hands to the decks” to produce more. This meant normally private makers were involved, and swords were made up from various service fit parts; this is one such sabre. The hilt has earlier poinçons plus an 1814/1815 (Joseph) Bisch mark to the inside, to approve the sword with its replacement blade. The “D” poinçon hidden under the langet on the blade is of Francois Ducret a private Coulaux inspector whose poinçon appears on many An XIs, so the blade may well have originally been destined for an officer’s sabre before it was requisitioned by the Imperial French state, not least because there is no inscription to the spine. So, the sabre in its present form dates to late 1814, early 1815, ready just in time for Waterloo.
The scabbard has a different rack number (19) to those on the hilt, some of which have been cancelled out (the most recent one would be the “51” near the pommel), testifying to the fact the hilt / guard predates the blade and required a replacement blade, so who knows where the hilt has seen battle before Waterloo, perhaps Moscow! It is therefore likely the sabre and scabbard were married from weapons retrieved by the British after the Battle of Waterloo as swords were dropped by wounded troopers while their scabbards remained attached to their horse. The victorious trophy collectors with no need to match rack numbers, simply picked up the swords and matched them with whatever scabbard was closest. This miss match of hilt to scabbard rack numbers is a pretty good sign this sabre is a war trophy from Waterloo, otherwise the rack numbers would almost certainly match one way or another if the sabre had stayed in French service.
The 34 1/2 inch blade is in very good condition and firm in the hilt. The hilt / guard also very good. The original leather grip has quite a bit of wear indicating it is the original grip to the hilt and likely enriched with one or more French trooper’s sweat! The brass grip olives are original and present. The heavy steel scabbard has age and some pitting, etc (some rust holes / gaps around the drag / chape, tension screw at mouth missing) but is overall good. The sabre sheathes and draws well, holding well when fully sheathed.
Don’t get much better as you are unlikely to find another with so much pointing to it being a Waterloo battle trophy. Genuinely worth every penny of was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference number X94. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 1376x111x17x17 (2.979).