In very good condition, a Waterloo era French An XIII Cuirassier Heavy Cavalry Trooper’s Sword
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One blade poinçon (inspection mark) and the date inscription along the spine is partially worn out, the year is no longer legible. But, the remaining two clear poinçons include a wreathed B (for Klingenthal controller Jean-Georges Bick) which was only used from the beginning of 1812 until May 1815. The month “Octobre” is clear, so the blade was finished in October 1812 or 1813 (could not be 1814 as the blade inscription reads “Imperial” and in October 1814 Napoleon was locked up in his first exile on the Elba, and French blades were then marked “Royale”). The B under star poinçon on the guard / hilt is that of inspector Borson, who used that mark from the 1st August 1814. So the blade is earlier and it is likely the original hilt was damaged in an earlier battle (against Russia), with the blade given a new hilt a few months before Waterloo (a very common occurrence as weapons were in very short supply then).
The W under star poinçon on the guard / hilt was added later; it is the mark of Controller Wiedman (1836-1843), so the sword stayed under French service / control after Waterloo. Most An XIII’s at Waterloo were taken home by the British as war trophies. However, the characteristics of the sword indicate it was at Waterloo, but was retained / given back tot he French. How come? The point has been spear pointed; these swords were spear pointed from their original hatchet points in the field just before Waterloo. The sword is separate from its original scabbard which indicates it fell in battle. The grip has not been recovered (they used many more wire twists after 1815) which it would have been had it stayed in active service as an An XIII. The hilt was not converted to an 1816 Model which the vast majority of An XIII’s remaining in French service were. So, it appears this sword was separated from its scabbard at Waterloo, put into French stores, inspected by Wiedman years later, given a damaged (one suspension ring missing) later scabbard, and eventually decommissioned.
The 36 3/4 inch blade is in very good condition and firm in the hilt. The heavy solid brass hilt is in very good condition also. The original leather grip and twisted grip wire bindings are complete and good (very rare). The later scabbard is in good condition. The sword sheathes and draws a little loosely.
Go on, try to buy one of these in such good condition anywhere else for this ridiculously low price, just was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference Y41. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 1434-116x27x26 (3.423).