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Thread: French Napoleonic Sword?

  1. #1

    French Napoleonic Sword?

    Hello

    • What are your thoughts on this sword?
    • My first thoughts are French, but I don't see any markings anywhere.
    • I thought there would be something on the spine, it's blank.
    • It looks like part of the hand guard is missing.
    • Blade measures about 33.50 inches.
    • Date this around no later than 1815?


    Thank you very much
    Tony
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  2. #2

    pictures

    2.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    947
    This is an An XI officer sabre, or at least inspired by it, probably Restoration era judging by the blade and scabbard.

  4. #4
    Hello Max
    Thank you for the ID of the sword, I really appreciate.
    Tony

  5. #5
    I have read somewhere one way of identifying a first empire An XI officer sabre is a flat back on the scabbard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    947
    I can't say that I have ever seen that. These sabres are hard to definetely date, but a few things that tend to determine the period according to experts are:

    -Blade size: Restoration era blades tend to be narrower and lighter than Empire ones.
    -Scabbard ring mounts: Empire sabres tend to have bulging and large ring mounts, where restoration era ones tend to have smaller ones more in line with what you see through the rest of the century, like this one.
    -Decoration: It doesn't seem to be a really reliable criteria, but can be a good sign in general for An XI sabres. Restoration era sabres tend to have more elaborately decorated hilts, and also have these plumes at the top of the blued part, where Empire ones are usually more austere (at least for regular officers) and have blued parts ending squarely.
    -Symbols: Of course, any imperial or royal symbols should be regarded as a sure sign, as well as poincons and makers marks, at least if all the parts are orginal and not assembled at a later date....

    Also, keep in mind that An Xi were popular sabres throughout the XIX century even after the model was replaced. You will find officers carrying old Napoleonic models even by WW1, or buying some 1822s with An XI type hilts. Some sabres were also carried by officers who served through the Empire and then the Restauration, so they could have been modified during their service life. So... a very complex subject!

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