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Thread: Newly acquired 1767 French Officer Sword.

  1. #1

    Newly acquired 1767 French Officer Sword.

    I acquired this French Infantry Officer sword in April for very little. Other than a missing turks head it's in very good shape. I have grown quite fond of it and decided to add my own crude leather washer. The blade may have been ground down about an 8th of an inch on either side. Probably for balance as the pommel on this particular example is hollow. However that may just be an assumption of mine. While basically a military smallsword, it still has a very solid feel. The hexagonal blade is quite sturdy.
    I am hoping some other people who have examples of this model will share them and discuss what they know. While I know many of these were fit with hollowground blades, I am really interested in seeing some examples with the full unaltered hexagonal blade. Enjoy the pics!
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    Last edited by morgan butler; 05-21-2015 at 11:00 AM.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  2. #2
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    Hello, Morgan.

    Yes, that French model small-sword is a nice one and they do come with hollow-ground bladed and heavier hexagonal, oval and old cut-down rapier blades--I like the design of the hilt, a simple yet elegant form of the traditional small-sword. Enjoy!
    Tom Donoho

  3. #3
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    Good morning Morgan,
    Very nice sword.
    This kind of sword go back to the 1650's....produced mainly in Solingen but also by a plethora of cutlers.
    And most swords had an hollowground blade.
    It is not a model as such but known as "Épée française" with a "circa" date.
    Best,
    Dan

  4. #4
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    I recently found one as well...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
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    I sold one recently which had a very wide almost colichemarde blade.
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...d-colichemarde

  6. #6
    Good morning to you all,
    Dan, there was indeed an official French pattern for officers, In April 25th (1767) an order was imposed to officers to wear this design. Probably because of the great varieties that they did wear before then. Really the pattern was concerning just the hilt as a variety of straight blades were used.
    Mark,
    That is a very handsome smallsword, however I don't think it's a 67. The 67 is typified by a brass guard decorated with a single line, a striated ricasso, a striated olive shaped pommel and a double shell guard that is about the same diameter as the guard on the Brit 96 spadroon. They came with both copper and silver wire grips. Depending on what you could afford I guess. Though there are variations, especially where the pommel shape is concerned. I have posted some examples. You'll see they are all very similar. I have seen examples with hollow ground blades and the hexagonal blade. Napoloeon had one with a narrow, fullered blade when he attended the Ercole Militaire.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by morgan butler; 05-22-2015 at 12:03 PM.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  7. #7
    Hello Max,
    Yes you did. I added a pic of the one you sold in my prior post. Thanks! It does have a very interesting blade. I always think of them as "Militarized" smallsword blades.
    Last edited by morgan butler; 05-22-2015 at 11:30 AM.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  8. #8
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    Good morning Morgan,
    You are right ; your mention of the "Réglement du 25 avril 1767" is correct.
    I meant that these swords had not an official pattern designation like "Adjudant modèle 1845" or " Sabre de cavalerie légère modèle An XI" .
    These swords are not known by a "Modèle...." .
    In 1776, this model will be modified with a gilt silver hilt.
    All in all, a beautiful sword.
    Best,
    Dan

  9. #9
    Hello Dan.
    Do you mean that if the sword has a copper wire grip that it can be effectively dated as before 1776?
    Last edited by morgan butler; 05-23-2015 at 10:54 AM.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  10. #10
    Actually Dan, could you tell me more about the "Réglement du 25 avril 1767", as I have not had much luck finding more info about it.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  11. #11
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    Hi Morgan,
    Sorry, I misused the term "gilt"in my post....
    Here we are:
    1767 : silver wire.
    1776 : gold plated silver wire.
    1786 : two blade lengths depending of the stature of the officer : 70,38cm or 75,79cm.
    Michel Pétard even mentions that officers of foreign regiments wearing a silver plated gorget had to carry the same sword but with silver plated brass wire.
    So we have : silver wire, gold plated silver wire and silver plated brass wire....nothing less.
    Elegance in the army was going to great lengths in those times.....
    Dan

  12. #12
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    Hi again Morgan,
    I saw your post after sending mine.
    Here is the "Réglement du 25 avril 1767" :
    - hilt "À la mousquetaire" in gold plated brass, ornated with embossed decorations.
    - grip silver wired with turk heads ferrules.
    - blade 70,38cm long, double edge, flat center part said "demi-espadon", engraved or not as per the taste of the owner who buys the sword privately from a cutler and so pays for it.
    - leather scabbard without lining, with brass furniture assorted to the decor of the hilt; could have a button or a a small loop for carrying.
    - for the officers of light infantry the hilt will be golden silver wired.
    - the regiments "Royal Navarre", "Royal Suédois" or "Gardes de la Porte de la Maison du Roi" have special decor on the shells of their swords, respectively : "Crowned H inside a circle", " Three crowns", the "Three fleurs de lis of the Bourbons circled with a floral wreath and a ribbon inscribed : Custodes regum antiquiores" (Antics guards of the King).
    Best,
    Dan

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