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French AN XIII Cuirassier Heavy Cavalry Sword / Sabre

Guaranteed authentic, Klingenthal made Napoleonic Wars French Heavy Cavalry Sword with scabbard, blade dated June 1811, hilt dated 1813-1823 (Authentic Klingenthal Sabre de cavalerie de Cuirassier AN XI / AN XIII, lame en date Juin 1811, corriger inspecteur poinçons, acquis en Grande-Bretagne, il est probablement une capture de trophée de guerre de cavalerie napoléonienne.)

Klingenthal Juin 1811 AN XI Cuirassier SabreKlingenthal Juin 1811 AN XI Cuirassier Sword

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I truly believe this sabre to be a British capture from Waterloo.

Impressive and increasingly rare French AN XI / XIII Cuirassier heavy cavalry sabre in very good condition, manufacturer marked and dated along spine "Mf ture Imp ale du Klingenthal Juin 1811". Hilt marked with rack number "983", guard marked "F 93" (troop F, trooper 93), Coulaux (normally the private / commercial division of Kligenthal) inspector "B (under star)" (Borson) poinçon, dating the hilt / sword to 1813-1823. June 1811 made blade with the correct inspector "poinçons" (inspection marks) of Jean Pache, Jean-Georges Bick and François Louis Lobstein (see: Klingenthal Markings and Inspector Markings - also Coulaux Markings).

AN XIII Poincons

The remains of the original hilt markings (including a plain B for pre-1812 Bick) can just be made out, so the hilt is original to the blade, not one that has been rehilted. The blade has been modified to spear point, which most scholars believe started in late 1814. The noted authority and author of many reference books on French Swords Michel Petard told me the original hatchet point was not officially changed (for manufacture) until 1855 but many spear pointed versions are recorded as having been "made at the height of production". Being the height of production was after the French conflict with Russia and before Waterloo, this pretty much confirms many AN XIII Cuirassier sabres would have had spear points at Waterloo. The Coulaux inspector marks leave ambiguity as to the date of conversion and reissue, but I believe that is what they show; when the blade tip was modified and a new scabbard issued.

Coulaux B 983

The blade of this sabre has a patina as it did not have a scabbard when I bought it in England; both points heightening the prospect this was a Waterloo capture or war trophy from a fallen Cuirassier.

F 93

The scabbard (included in price) I added and am very pleased with time wise. Many people describe this pattern of scabbard as the 1816 Pattern, but I contest this. Having spoken to several people, it seems clear the 1816 pattern was made from steel; this one is made from iron. The original AN XI / XIII sabres were iron and had a lyre shaped scabbard drag, the later versions (as with this one) have guitar shaped drags. It seems logical to me this pre-dates the steel 1816 (post Waterloo) scabbard as the French would surely have changed the scabbard style at the same time as making blade point modifications. I believe this scabbard like the sabre also dates to late 1814 / early 1815

If all guitar shaped scabbards were made after Waterloo, I could never understand why so many examples of these were on sabres in British hands. The notion British army personnel never picked up these impressive items from the battlefield in Waterloo as war trophies but somehow they came over in large numbers when Britain and France were at peace simply does not make sense. I have no doubt this is a war trophy from Waterloo and am delighted I found such an authentic scabbard for it.

The sabre is on good order overall, though the blade has patina (it suffered light surface rusting as it did not originally have a scabbard). The sabre was a time capsule when I got it with the brass completely black, indicating it had not been touched for many years. The leather grip is original, fitting in with the light surface rust of the blade. The ring bindings are a more recent replacement.

The pre-Waterloo dates of the blade and hilt make this a very desirable item indeed. These sabres are becoming increasingly rare as owners seldom let them go. Further pictures available upon request.

 

 

 

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