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Thread: French An XIII cuirassier sabre - hilt poincons?

  1. #1

    French An XIII cuirassier sabre - hilt poincons?

    I own what should be a French An XIII Cuirassier sabre. I found all information about blade markings and poincons, but cannot find information about the markings and poincons found on the hilt.

    The blade shows the inscription Manf re R le du Klingenthal Janvier 1815 and the poincons of Borson Etienne-Louis (starred B), Bick Jean-Georges (wreathed B) and Lobstein François-Louis (L). Hence the blade should indeed have been made in January 1815.

    The hilt seems to have been reequipped with this new Klingenthal blade in January 1815: it shows a struck out 836 and a new 1069 rack number.

    Other markings on the hilt are the barely visible upper part of Versai (Versailles) and a few B poincoins that I cannot identify: a 5-pointed starred B (but another star than Borson's starred B) and two other plain B's. I found on the internet pictures of exactly the same B poincons on hilts of cuirassier sabres, but they were never identified and/or dated.

    Attached you'll find two amended pictures of my sabre and the B poincon pictures I found on the internet and which are exactly the same as on my sabre. I hope you can help me with the identification and/or dating of the hilt's poincons. Many thanks for your advice.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
    Dirk.

    The poincons on the hilt are from Versailles,where the blade was hilted.The 5 pointed star B is for P.Bick(July1813-September1818).The V means verifié or approved.

    The Versailles poincoins are in one of Petard's volumes,possibly the first volume of 'Sabres et Epees' which I dont have.
    Maybe somebody on the forum has a complete list

    These sabres stayed in service for a long time after 1815 so more likely it was double stamped and reissued in that time.Have you a photo of where the branches join the pommel?Is it the later style of hilt?
    Last edited by niall dignan; 01-02-2015 at 02:12 PM.
    Niall Dignan

  3. #3
    Hi Niall,

    Thanks for your reply. I would be really interested in a list of the Versailles markings and poincons. Contrary to the Klingenthal ones there's virtually no information on Versailles poincons on the internet.

    Attached extra photos.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Dirk Schoorens; 01-02-2015 at 02:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Dirk.

    As you show,it has the later An.XIII style of hilt where all the branches join at the pommel.Unlikely to be a rehilt,just reissued.

    It shows a hatchet point which would suggest it wasn't modified in 1816 although it has the M1816 scabbard.What is the length of the blade??..Unmodified it should be 97.5cm.
    Last edited by niall dignan; 01-02-2015 at 03:15 PM.
    Niall Dignan

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Petards book shows the oval with star over B as being Klingenthal #23 in his book, inspector E.L. Borson 1814-1816

    Dirk, sent you a pm

  6. #6
    Hi Will,

    After your and Niall's suggestions I must say that on my search on the internet I found two 'B with star' poincons, both with a different star:

    Borson Etienne-Louis
    Directeur de la Manufacture d'Etat 1 august 1814 - 1 septembre 1815
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    Bick Philippe (as suggested in the thread)
    Entré à la Manufacture de Klingenthal en l'an 5, compagnon en l'an 7, maître en 1807 (http://www.klingenthal.fr/familles/K...s/fiche200.htm)
    Contrôleur et Réviseur à la Manufacture de Versailles juillet 1813 to septembre1818
    Name:  Bick Philippe.jpg
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    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Dirk Schoorens; 01-03-2015 at 01:54 AM.

  7. #7
    Any suggestions for the B poinçon without star also found on the hilt?

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  8. #8
    Another question concerning the scabbard. My scabbard has a brown color, partly rust and partly brown paint (there is at least 1 large stroke mark of a painting brush). The original clear metal color is visible where flakes of the brown material have chipped off.

    I read somewhere that originally a chemical procedure was used to make the scabbard brown. However, on the internet I see mostly pictures of unaltered metal gray scabbards. What color should such a scabbard be? Should I carefully clean my scabbard?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by niall dignan View Post
    What is the length of the blade? Unmodified it should be 97.5cm.
    The blade's length is 97 cm.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Good afternoon Gentlemen,
    You are all correct in the identification of the markings.
    Blade : E.L.Borson, J.G.Bick and F.L.Lobstein at Klingenthal.
    Hilt : P.Bick at Versailles.
    The "B", struck as a single letter without surrounding can be anything at a regiment armory level.
    The hilt is born with the blade.
    The blade has its original hatchet point because, if tinkered with, it would be much shorter than 97cm.
    A nice polish would be O.K.; also, the hilt seems sanded; a nice polish would also be O.K. as a good oiling of the leather would be.
    The scabbard needs some TLC; never heard of brown color applied; could it be a coat of old varnish? in any case, a good polish would be in order.
    But always remember that too much is like not enough.
    Now, the marking of the spine is in full length: "Manufacture Royale du Klingenthal, janvier 1815" .
    The length of the marking seems longer than the abreviated form you state above....don't you see the name "Coulaux" in it ? the photo is a bit shiny.
    And here is my An XIII for your viewing pleasure.
    Best regards,
    Dan

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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Hi again,
    The saber is born during the 1st Restauration, while Napoleon was in exile at Elbe island.
    Napoleon came back in march 1815....since the only difference in the cuirassiers regiments was the color of the cockade, this saber saw service during 100 days in the 1st Empire.
    Best,
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Beware the chemically browned description some less than honest sellers use to describe "rusted"
    When there is light even pitting on a scabbard the original finish is long gone.
    I have a 1908p cavalry troopers sword that is browned and it has absolutely no pitting, you can see the pristine metal under the finish.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by DanR View Post
    Now, the marking of the spine is in full length: "Manufacture Royale du Klingenthal, janvier 1815" .
    The length of the marking seems longer than the abreviated form you state above....don't you see the name "Coulaux" in it ? the photo is a bit shiny.
    I inspected the spine marking with my magnifying glass: no Coulaux, maybe "Le" Manufacture and the "R ale" part is barely visible.


    Quote Originally Posted by DanR View Post
    The scabbard needs some TLC; never heard of brown color applied; could it be a coat of old varnish? in any case, a good polish would be in order.
    Many thanks for your relies. Very helpful.
    I'll apply a careful posilsh to the scabbard.

    Thanks!

  14. #14

    re

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Schoorens View Post
    I inspected the spine marking with my magnifying glass: no Coulaux, maybe "Le" Manufacture and the "R ale" part is barely visible.




    Many thanks for your relies. Very helpful.
    I'll apply a careful posilsh to the scabbard.

    Thanks!
    One notice, the grip is redone, new leather, new wire...so likely it is re-angeld...I posses also a late one, with brownish scabbard, it's a old patin from hanging years above a stove...

  15. #15
    I think that a previous conclusion concerning a B poinçon on the hilt might not be correct.

    We all agree that the following poinçon of a starred (standing on one point) B within an oval and present on Klingenthal blades is of Borson Etienne-Louis, Directeur de la Manufacture d'Etat 1 august 1814 - 1 septembre 1815:

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    This is the pinçoin present on the hilt my sabre:

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    It was suggested that this is the poinçon of Bick Philippe, Contrôleur et Réviseur à la Manufacture de Versailles juillet 1813 to septembre 1818
    However in a scan I received from a book of Michel Pétard and repeated in Armes Blanches by Jean Lhoste the poincon of this P. Bick, Réviseur en juillet 1813 puis Contrôleur de décembre 1813 à septembre 1818 should be a starred B in an octagon, not a circle:

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    The same books assign the following name to the starred B (standing on two legs) within an oval: J.A. Bisch Contrôleur et Réviseur à la Manufacture de Chatellerault 1844-1861

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    Any remarks. Can or should I assume that the B poinçon on the hilt is indeed of J.A. Bisch Contrôleur et Réviseur à la Manufacture de Chatellerault 1844-1861 and hence that my sabre is made in January 1815 and somehow reissued between 1844-1861?

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    You can find very similar poincons for different time periods. The size of the "B" in the oval is different in the later example. Just having a "B" in an oval is not enough to determine which inspector.
    The 1816p replaced your sword and your hilt was no longer produced.

  17. #17
    I have the Michel Pétard book volume 3 and it shows the B in the oval standing on two legs and the B in a octagon as both being P.Bick 1813-1818.

  18. #18
    I see. An all 1815 sword it thus remains.

    It's a pity that my photocopied source (I don't know the name or author of the original book) which seems to contain the same information as Armes Blanches by Jean Lhoste doesn't contain the poinçon information of Pétards 3rd volume.

    Thanks for your replies! Time to start searching for my own copies of Pétards books?

  19. #19
    You won't believe it, but look what I found on Abebooks. These pictures come from Les sabres des hussards - L'histoire des sabres des hussards de Louis XIV à nos jours by Michel Pétard and confirm what you told me:

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    Thanks for the lesson.

  20. #20
    Here is one with the oval mark like yours and my own sword that has the octagon mark.

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...-pre-1822-Help

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