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Thread: French 1845-1855 truly combat worth

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    French 1845-1855 truly combat worth

    I own several examples of French 45’s and 50’s and they feel like Ferrari’s compared to the Heavier British and Prussian counterparts .. My question is were they tough in combat (blade and handle design)

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    French sources are not very volubile about the capacities of their swords, at least not in that time. I have found some critics of the 1821, the 1822, the 1882, but on the 1845/55 it is mostly silence. I have heard that many NCOs preferred it to the 1882 which they say was too frail and couldn't cut, and some even kept it during WW1. As the NCOs were more likely to use their sabres at that point, it makes sense that their opinion might be more relevant. A lot of their swords tend to be beefier than regular officers though.

    What I can say is that a lot of those I have handled have a mass at the percussion point that is close to a 1796. It tends to be a pretty good cutter, and it's shape makes it very easy to thrust with as well.

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    Thanks for the reply ☺️
    Makes me wonder if one of the ones I have might be an NCO sabre which is an interesting topic really ( FRENCH NCO)rather . I too find info on the handling characteristics (in combat) rather nill . Also for the most part the one of the ways I’ve been able to identify what it is I’m looking at is by scabbard and presence of etching etc etc ...
    Soo a French NCO 1845 would be plain like a field grade officers but more robust in construction/ weight ?Name:  2614B5C3-D12A-4B1C-9C2F-07144DFFF751.jpg
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    NCO (adjudant) tend to be more robust, but not always. I have one for sale right now that is as light as it gets. Also they usually will have a serial number on the guard and scabbard. It will sometimes be identified as "adjudant" on the back spine instead of "officier", which is usually the best indicator. The sabre in the middle there is a 1882 fantaisie (non regulation) for an officer.

    As for etchings, the French were never really fond of them. You encounter etchings from time to time, but in 1845 it seems like decorations are usually limited to the guard rather than the blade. It also makes sense when you consider the way scabbards were made post 1855 as they would have been rather rough on etchings.

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    I actually own a 1845 with blade etchings and proper inspection stamps of the US civil war era and no US on the guard or etching it’s a bit of an enigma for me even etchings down the Klingenthal spine in the form of possibly loral leafs
    And yes my 1882 is a beautiful oddball ☺️Name:  F522DE40-6F84-403F-B345-7C5471CC0FD4.jpg
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    I shall take better photos

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    Name:  89F3CB33-F9D4-4225-8330-43CA4937E8BF.jpg
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Size:  95.0 KBName:  1425E6E0-0312-4795-BD4E-2FB1A1319D07.jpg
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Size:  103.8 KBOk I’ve tried to get better ones .. I have horrible lighting .. This Sabre is definitely unique as you’ve stated they are rare to have etchings.... These are hard to make out unless holding the sabre ��Name:  9A2E2CD1-DC70-4A27-815F-F0798980FD0E.jpg
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    Last edited by B.Evans; 01-14-2018 at 10:55 PM.

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    Will try tomorrow out in the sunlight for better images

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    Examples with etchings do exist, but they are fairly uncommon. Is yours a langue de carpe blade or a US type (which is like a modified 1821)

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    I guess I need to look those two types up
    I have a total of three ( what I believed to be 45’s) one of which has the etchings and shagreen all quill point and none marked national which from what I understand means export blades etc etc here is another picture Name:  1B8816DA-D0EB-4FC0-B37D-76510A2ABB1A.jpg
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    Do you have a picture of the whole blade? An absence of inspector mark does not mean that it was meant for export. National factories like Klingenthal, Versailles or Chatellerault usually have inspector marks, some private cutlers and swordsmiths had their own inspector marks but not all of them used it. If it was a trooper sabre the lack of poinçon might indeed mean an export or some sabre that didn't pass the tests, but in the case of an officer sabre the state is not necessarily responsible for ensuring quality.

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    Name:  96502704-F5D8-45BA-A186-F97E88B429F9.jpg
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Size:  97.6 KBName:  96502704-F5D8-45BA-A186-F97E88B429F9.jpg
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Size:  97.6 KBIt’s my understanding that French sabres that do not have (National) written on the spine were not used for French service ? Hence my assumptions that she is an export .. As all of my sabres do indeed have poincons B/crown , S , and near the quillion almost under the hook and a top of guard is stamped MH ( something I have not seen on another French sabre )

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    Name:  D3F3DAB2-2FF4-41CB-B2B5-8F6A5D2296F9.jpg
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    Where are my manners ? Thank you very much for your attention. It is most earnestly appreciated ��

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    So let's make a list of what would make it French and what would make it American.

    French:
    -I can't quite see the details of the blade, but it looks like the secondary fuller runs all the way to the guard. American sabres usually have more of a Montmorency profile, and the secondary fuller is only present at the middle.
    -You say the blade has a quill point. If it's a typical 1845 point, then I would say that it is rather French, as I have very seldom seen that blade profile outside of France.

    American:
    -The etchings look Americanish, but no Eagle. It doesn't rule out the French has they did use etchings from time to time.
    -The shark skin grip is usually found on American sabres, but can also be found on fantaisie French sabres.

    What is the length of the blade? American sabres tend to be longer than French ones.

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    Name:  06802462-6A5F-4DB9-BD0C-EC302DD9604E.jpg
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Size:  92.9 KBDo you mean what makes this Sabre a French made Export for US market during the civil war ? Because it’s got the normal Klingenthal etc etc on the spine ?
    Last edited by B.Evans; 01-17-2018 at 09:44 AM.

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    Now that you mention the Ricasso this is the only French sabre I own that basically has none .. Weird that I would not have noticed that before And the big main fuller runs all the way to the guard. Interesting Name:  FC2782AE-7FC8-463B-B7EF-0B38AD4B321E.jpg
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    Another view of the spine with leaf work Name:  EBE29096-EA8D-43C5-AC5B-7954A45D49CF.jpg
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    Max
    First things first .. Thank you kind sir for your time and efforts in trying to help me figure this beautiful sabre out ..
    Here are some photos sabre 1. Top is what i believe to be a French 1850 based on spine engravings (Klingenthal) poincons Handle and scabbard and blade style. Sabre2. Is a Chatellerault 1845 based on spine engraving etc etc ..Sabre 3. is the sabre we have been putting efforts to .. Ive posted this picture for blade comparison Etc etc other than etchings on the third one and the lack of any real ricasso north of the guard it’s shape guard and handleis similar to number2 With exception of shagreen ....Name:  6857C5AE-99D9-4342-8439-9DFFBDF7C3F3.jpg
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    Picture of stamps on blade Name:  9AE194D0-3B97-4681-8D8A-0489345EA01D.jpeg
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    Closer look at blade top 1850 ..
    Middle Chatellerault 1845
    Bottom. Klingenthal 1845 we are discussing
    Thanks again for all the help Name:  5F98D548-2FCF-4227-9BBC-6114E92B1B86.jpg
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    Here is the canon and guide on or flag
    Best Reguards
    Bufford Name:  D23A8DE1-D51B-43A9-8D70-A62085E8BD65.jpg
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    Max
    Length of blade is 29”
    Overall length of Sabre 35”
    Thanks again

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    Considered it has a typical 1845 profile, I would say this was probably made for French service. It's a fantaisie (non-regulation) blade, and a very nice one. Did someone cord wrap the grips?

    Also, the first one would be an 1845 or 1855 pattern, there is no 1850. If 1850 is inscribed on the spine, it is likely the date of production of the blade.

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    Thank you for the Help Max ... I tend to wrap the handles of the Sabres I use for solo drilling with natural hemp twine ( on shagreened handles ) and leather on the horn ones ... I’m stoked about this Sabre .. I was under the understanding that French made for French use would have National inscribed on the blade ?? Though this certainly is one of the nicer ones I’ve seen and can see a wealthy high ranking French official or officer ordering a custom Klingenthal..... I wonder How saught after one of this caliber would be ?
    And man.. Thank you for the attention.. I look forward to growing and myself being able to contribute

  25. #25
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    "I was under the understanding that French made for French use would have National inscribed on the blade ??"
    I am not sure what you mean? The Garde Nationale would have had such inscriptions sometimes on th eback, but I have never seen army sabres with the inscription "national" on them. a lot of sellers try to pass off French sabres as American Civil War types based only on the fact that they have no stamp or marking, which I find dishonest. An unmarked French officer blade in no way indicates an export.

    Yours would likely be for an officier subalterne (between the rank of cadet and captain), or maybe an NCO who desired a fancier sabre. Superior officers (commander to colonel) had longer, three fullered and straight blades.

    Glad to have been of help!

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