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Thread: A sabre briquet but from where?

  1. #1

    A sabre briquet but from where?

    I recently found this sabre in 'sleeper' condition. It matches criteria for a French AN XI model but there again similar sabres were made all over for the rest of the century.

    It has the (maker's?) name PRATIER on the ricasso, a partially visible poincon on the other side - possibly the same 'B' in an oval - which is stamped on the guard. The hilt is stamped 20 and also with V.1837. The latter stamp seems more recent than the rest.

    There are also numbers/letters partially showing where the blade meets the hilt - I cannot really get to them without disturbing the remains of the 'cravate de drape rouge'

    I would be grateful for suggestions...

    Many Thanks
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  2. #2
    The maker's name is PRADIER not PRATIER. I found one of the same manufacture in an auction catalogue - described as "mid 19th century" - didn't the 1831 model (gladius) replace the "briquet"?

    I notice there have been no replies to this post - have I posted to an inappropriate forum?

  3. #3
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    Larry,
    That is a very nice briquet. IMO, it is more appealing than most in that it is maker marked and has other markings. You have posted in the correct forum, but this thread has probably just not been read by the right person yet (meaning a collector of French swords). You may want to PM Jean Binck or Marc Marbot.

    Jonathan

  4. #4
    ...many thanks for your advice.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Thomas View Post
    I recently found this sabre in 'sleeper' condition. It matches criteria for a French AN XI model but there again similar sabres were made all over for the rest of the century.
    ........
    Many Thanks
    The hilt of this briquet is indeed of the style of Model An XI.
    It is possibly one of these briquets privately purchased by the "Garde Nationale" units or local police (Gardes Champêtres)

    PRADIER is a "fourbisseur" (swordmaker/assembler) from Paris having made numerous Briquets and Gladius during the 1816 untill end 1830s.
    (Source: Buigne, Jarlier - Le "Qui est qui" de l'arme en France - Ed. du Portail 2001)

    For SFI readers, here is a quick method to identify the pattern of the French briquets:

    Model An IX:
    Blade length 59.5 cm
    Hilt with 36 grooves and trumpet style quillon.
    Maker Klingenthal (sometimes hilted in Versailles)

    Note that a similar sword with a 65 cm blade was issued to the Naval Infantry (anchor on blade). Note that they were not sailors but embarqued infantrymen

    Model An XI:
    Blade length 59.5 cm
    Hilt with 28 deeper grooves and rolled style quillon.
    Maker Klingenthal (sometimes hilted in Versailles)

    Model 1816:
    Blade length 59.5 cm
    Hilt with 21 grooves and rolled style quillon. Handle slightly thiker.
    Maker Klingenthal

    Similar style briquets were still produced by Chatellerault in 1854 for the Second Empire Imperial Guard.

    (Source: Aries - Armes Blanches Militaires Françaises - Nantes 1967)

  6. #6
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    Hello, Jean.

    Thanks for this 'quick-guide' to French briquets, I find it particularly useful!

    Spanish ones were normally (I'd say, nearly 100% of those made after 1815) marked with "...Toledo..." , so they are easy to tell...

    Best,
    Juan
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  7. #7
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    Good stuff, Jean. I think that briquets and artillery gladius swords are some of the most difficult antique swords to identify.

    Your information on the French briquet would be a nice addition to the tips for the sword collection threat pinned above.

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  8. #8
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    Sorry to hijack the thread, Larry.
    I also have a 28 rib (27 groove) grip briquet, therefore model An XI. However the knuckle guard is marked Puteaux, besides the regimental marks 188* 2e L Be.
    Jean, have you heard of briquets having been assembled in Puteaux ? Would they be military issue ? I am trying to associate these regimental marks to the armies that belonged to the Peninsular war, namely the Portuguese invasions, as this piece was acquired in Portugal.
    A pitty the maker's (?) mark on the blade is much faded and can't be read, at least by me.
    Your coments will be much welcome.
    Fernando
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by fernando viana View Post
    Sorry to hijack the thread, Larry.
    I also have a 28 rib (27 groove) grip briquet, therefore model An XI. However the knuckle guard is marked Puteaux, besides the regimental marks 188* 2e L Be.
    Jean, have you heard of briquets having been assembled in Puteaux ? Would they be military issue ? I am trying to associate these regimental marks to the armies that belonged to the Peninsular war, namely the Portuguese invasions, as this piece was acquired in Portugal.
    A pitty the maker's (?) mark on the blade is much faded and can't be read, at least by me.
    Your coments will be much welcome.
    Fernando
    Hello Fernando,

    To my knowledge the French swords of the 1st Empire had no regimental marking but only the usual rack number. The style of marking is not familiar to me.

    Actually I do not know when the "Atelier militaire de Puteaux" on the bank of the river Seine started operating. They were mainly known for having participated to the fabrication of the Chassepot rifles as from 1866 and later the first machine guns.

    The sabre briquets were rebuilt during the Second Empire for the infantry regiments of the Imperial Guard. It would be very useful to read the marking on the spine of the blade. If Chatellerault, then it is clearly after 1819 possibly Second Empire. No legible stamps on the ricasso of the blade?

  10. #10
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    Thank you for your input, Jean.
    In fact there aqre no engravings on the blade spine.
    The inspection punction on the knuckle guard looks like a D uncer a crown. The punction on the blade ricasso seems to be similar.
    Do you have any records on this inspection mark? It's very dificult for me to locate, not being Klingentall or Chatellerault; there is no Puteaux web site in the Net.
    However and according to your reasoning on the regimental markings, this piece is most probably a recreation of the An XI briquet during the second Empire, right ?
    Fernando

  11. #11
    Very interesting...as for post Napoleonic weapons turning up in Spain and Portugal - French and British Armies returned later in the century.

    Has anyone been to the Military Museum in Lisbon? As well as a great collection there are two double doors made up of Modele 1831 glaives...seriously. They are (where a maker's mark can be seen) stamped JEAN on the ricasso and 1832 on the guard.

    Martin Windrow ("Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion") suggests that the Legion's progenitors carried the briquet as late as the Carlist War of 1836-37.

    Some interesting pictures here.....http://auxarmesanciennes.free.fr/sab...XAnXIa1854.htm

    The "Identification of -perhaps- fireman's sword" thread has a Detaille illustration of Paris Firemen of the July Monarchy...carrying the Sabre Briquet in 1840.
    Last edited by Larry Thomas; 03-05-2008 at 06:07 AM.

  12. #12
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    Full photo

    How long is it? None of the pics y'all posted show the whole thing.
    Thanks,
    D
    What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
    I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
    The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
    Rush in and die dogs--I was a man before I was a king!
    ---From The Road of Kings

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