What a fascinating sword you have. Are you able to show us the whole sword from pommel to blade tip in one photo, preferably with the scabbard included?
Regarding the stamped numbers on the guard, this was not limited to the Dutch or British, but also the Germans and I believe the Portuguese. What is interesting is that in all cases the number was only applied to troopers swords, as in the common rank and file. In the late 18th and through the 19th Century officers were expected to purchase their own swords. Ergo they would not receive a government rack or troop number identifier.
There are a number of features to this sword that make me reluctant to call it French:
Fullers are too ‘defined’ these look like a channel in the blade whereas the ones on the French blades are ‘scooped’ more like a valley. The use of the ‘hunters’ hilt with the two side bars. This was a design that the French adopted for their light cavalry or ‘hunters on horse’ in year nine 1800 / 1801. I have not seen it used on a heavy cavalry sword unless it was a late 19th Century special order. Pommel ring for a lanyard. French swords normally have a slot in the guard for the lanyard / sword knot, if they even have one at all. And as you mentioned, the presence of a troop / rack number.
I would personally be looking at what was being used in the German states, Scandinavia or the Austro / Hungarian Empire during the post Napoleonic era. As there were many nations that copied the French designs in the immediate aftermath of the French conquest of Europe.
Digging further, ‘Cavalry Swords of the World 1600 - 1945’ by Harvey J S Withers has a French m1816 heavy cavalry troopers sword on page 71 that shows a blade with identical fullers.
According to Armes Blanches Symbolisme Inscriptions Marquages Fourbisseurs Manufacturers by Jean L’Hoste and Jean-Jacques Buigen:
The first lion’s figures in France decorate the swords of the carpenter soldiers of the Swiss Guards. In fact, it is these soldiers who have imported their lion, the Swiss, from the 15th Century having adopted it for their weapons. The lion is well treated. On the other hand, on the artillery swords of 1771, the lion has lost it’s mane and it is not forbidden to think, on certain variants to a dog.
The lion heads of the Bataven Arms of the Grenadiers of Picardy (1779), the Nassau Regiment, Saarbrucken (1780), Volunteers from Brabant (1791) are easier to identify. But the finest carving is carried out on lions ornament the sabres of officers of the revolutionary period, Swords with rotating hilt, sabres of the Volunteers Nationals. The fashion of lion heads will continue under the First Empire and even under the Restoration.
Image: From Left to right:
Cavalry Sabre between 1792 and 1795
Cavalry Sword or gendarmerie of the second half of the eighteenth century. The lion head is less finely detailed than that which will appear on the scabbard of sabre volunteer National. The blade is signed by Solingen.
I have to wonder if the hunter guard isn’t a later addition. To my eye, the quality of the brass doesn’t match the evident quality of the back-strap and pommel.
If this was steel I would attribute the pitting to isolated neglect (like left lying on one side) but with brass it is more likely to be a poor quality cast to have such imperfections left. It almost looks like it was cast from a sand mould.
Hey, thanks for your information! Here's another photo of the entire saber without scabbard. I should mention that the scabbard is not included! I happened to have this at home and stick perfectly I used it to protect!
bas the handle and the grip cap are made of metal, these may be gold plated it may look like it is brass in the photo, but on a number of parts the metal can be seen through, I will add a photo of this.
Thanks for the extra photos. Is that last one the length of the sword or just the blade. Is there any writing on the back of the blade? I can’t see any poicoins, but that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for an officer blade.
Does a magnet stick to the back strap or guard? Your middle photo clearly shows what I mean about the differences in casting quality. The back strap is smooth aside from a few blemishes while the guard is pitted. For various reasons the majority of French hilts are brass with Officer swords receiving a gilt covering. Often this wore off over time.
To be honest I agree with Calien that this is a composite, with the guard likely to be a reproduction.
the last photo is the length of the blade only! I can't find any markings on the blade itself, but this happened more often! I find it difficult, I think that the guard is not a reproduction because the metal is marked by age... I'm not a metalurgist so unfortunately I can't go much deeper into the quality of the steel. I tested with a magnet and attached the result with some pictures!
Ok, that’s certainly unique, both are made from steel / iron. Interesting how the patina on the guard doesn’t match the patina on the backstrap. As you say you can clearly see how the gilt is fading on the pommel and back strap but not on the guard.
Very nice pallasch. My two cents: I would look in the direction of South Germany, Bavaria. Also maybe Denmark. Reason: The very wide side bars and also the typical fuller design are often seen there. I have only seen this type of fuller on German/Solingen blades. The scabbard looks like it does not belong to this pallasch. I cannot see any signs of wear, no dents, nothing. Rings fully intact, no worn out ring mounts. With this type of ported scabbard there should be some signs of wear around the very fragile ports. As far as I can see for now, a reproduction with mouthpiece and liners missing. If not, you're very lucky. Problem here is that this pallasch is a private order. That alone makes it virtually impossible to determine the source. To make matters even more interesting, there were many civillian militia groups around too. Solingen blades often went unmarked. The lettering on the underside of the guard is not French, but more German/Scandinavian. Edit: I would look into the civil militia of South Germany, probably Bavaria or Württemberg.
"The scabbard looks like it does not belong to this pallasch. I cannot see any signs of wear, no dents, nothing. Rings fully intact, no worn out ring mounts. With this type of ported scabbard there should be some signs of wear around the very fragile ports. As far as I can see for now, a reproduction with mouthpiece and liners missing."
He doesn't mention where the scabbard came from.
"I should mention that the scabbard is not included! I happened to have this at home and stick perfectly I used it to protect!"
What seems to be quite unusual to me is the ring/bail on the pommel for a sword knot.
I don't think we have mentioned Belgium or Romania yet.
Belgian, Romanian, possible. Kingdom of Naples also. That is the problem with unmarked private orders. The E 43 does not help to pin down the maker. Only place where there is possibly a chance to find something conclusive may be on the tang. Cannot find a lion head with a sword knot ring through the head or mane itself. Not even a dagger. Normally there's a channel made through the mouth. Seems like a very personal solution for the sword knot problem. Hitching a knot to a round knuckle bow is near impossible.
Look at the convoluted way this was done.
This looks so easy, but it isn't, at least for me.
Spend much sweat and swearing to get these two right. Mostly ended with the knot poking out at the wrong side and always one strap much longer than the other. Good grief! Former owner may have had the same frustrating experience. Drill a hole through the darn pommel, get a ring in there and be done with this torture!
OK as promised here's my opinion on this sword. It is s very nice looking sword but I'm very sorry because I have to crap all over it....
The hilt: for a start the lion pommel is unmistakably taken from the French ''Petit Montmorency'' sword which was used a bit before but mainly during the Revolution (1790's) until the early 1800s'. The great majority were made entirely of brass which this one isn't but because of the troubled production at the time I wouldn't be surprised it was made of iron or steel and then gold washed.
Also no other nation made them like that, ever. So it can't be Dutch, Prussian, Russian, Spanish and etc.
Big historical problem there is that these were chiefly Infantry short swords and never used with anything but curved blades. Light cavalry officers could be seen wearing them but Heavy cavalry officers had their Garde de Bataille swords, not these lion head swords.
The ring thing is completely wrong, there were never used in France and for a reason, the thing would break instantly as a sword knot.
See here the many forms of these models, the lion head being consistent in its shape:
The guard Since it is magnetic it is made either of iron or steel. From what I can see the guard has been gold plated over the markings so that process made later (if it were older gold gilt it wouldn't flake away as seen here). I'd go with what Uhlan said and also say it was from South Germany and possibly Swiss confederation. Only these had the French style An XI ferrous guards with letters and numbers that weren't regimental markings.
Another historical problem, if the lion head pommel is definitely French, the guard is from another nation and of a style that appeared too late to be mixed in this form. Maybe it was a last-ditch mariage made in 1814 when weapons were lacking?
The Blade definitely taken from the French heavy cavalry model 1854. Look at the rounded fullers, these only started to appear in the 1850's thanks to improvements in metallurgy. It could also be of the Prussian pallasch but even these were made after the 1850's.
There lies the biggest problem, the gap between the blade and hilt is at least 60-70 years. Officers mixed older blades with the new swords but not the other way around and these lion head models were by then completely out of fashion, even for non-regulation models.
These are the anachronistic features of this sword that betray its origins, a composite sword made by somebody trying to do something with a lot but resulting in something that makes no sense.
The one good thing is that is nice looking despite all but just don't value it too much. Also you can use it for stuff that no antiques should do such as cutting and heavy use.
Pino - please forgive my ignorance. Would you be so kind as to explain a bit more regarding your statement,
“Look at the rounded fullers, these only started to appear in the 1850's thanks to improvements in metallurgy.”
What is the connection between rounded fullers and metallurgy? I knew the French had made the change, but I didn’t know the cause. I had assumed it was some improvement in manufacturing technique or simply fashion. Thanks.
Pellius: it's basically the result of a mix in metallurgy and improved forging techniques. The steel used was becoming more purified and homogenous either by being melted (not to be confused with cast steel) or by refinement but it was more specifically the simplification and increased precision methods of forging, sharpening and polishing of said steel that made these fullers.
The flat fuller ricassos were made with a grinding tool that was discarded following these changes in manufacturing (this saved $$ in production cost too).
durinnmcfurren: He is using a picture of my viking equipment. He has nothing to do with me. This is a very niðinger-like act on his part! Not drengr at all.
Sept 17, 2021 0:16:30 GMT
aldarith: account name sanxxjones
Sept 16, 2021 23:55:25 GMT
aldarith: Scammer is at it again
Sept 16, 2021 23:55:15 GMT
lebleuchevalier: I just got a new Windlass sword and was surprised some of these are coming pre-sharpened from Museum Replicas. There's a big secondary bevel, but it came nice and sharp.
Sept 12, 2021 15:44:39 GMT
theshadowrealm: I was in Vegas for the week, just got back from the flamingo. Did a whole lot of stuff.
Sept 11, 2021 17:26:39 GMT
treeslicer: Glad you're alive. If we had dead people posting here, it could ruin the site's reputation.
Sept 11, 2021 17:23:00 GMT
nerdthenord: I'm alive. Had a pretty terrible weekend but I am alive.
Sept 8, 2021 0:40:52 GMT
Ouroboros: Master shotokan, been good if not busier than busy. Think the family has only been home 2 weekends and a week all summer. Camping fun before the winter grinds us to grist. Hope your labs come back a.o.k. long haul symptoms suck.
Aug 31, 2021 1:15:59 GMT
LoE: Lemme guess... wants a private check, no refunds. Shares stock photos. Doesn't want accountability. But has exactly whatever it is you're looking for.
Aug 30, 2021 23:19:06 GMT
LoE: Never selling it himself of course. Just a zero post guy that "knows" of someone who has one, if you'll reach out to him privately. I get tired of the scam artists. Wish they'd get arrested.
Aug 30, 2021 23:16:49 GMT
LoE: Watch out for tomk001. Seems to be the next occurrence of the same scammer aldarith pointed out. Hitting me up in PM's offering whatever I have listed in WTB.
Aug 30, 2021 23:15:13 GMT
Ouroboros: Decided to compare custom blades between rhe site listed below and hanbon (read the faq and it mentions hanbon) same options it would appear to be same? New face, old business?
Aug 30, 2021 4:42:46 GMT
tmoney: Can I get some feed back on my new store please. son-samurai.com
Aug 30, 2021 1:44:10 GMT
LoE: aldarith lemme guess, he creates an account, has zero posts, then PM's someone stating a friend of his has exactly the sword you listed in the WTB section.
Aug 28, 2021 16:00:22 GMT
shotokan: Thanks, i’m good now but it wasn’t fun for 4-5 days…
Aug 25, 2021 16:02:30 GMT
asanatheist: get better shotokan
Aug 25, 2021 12:33:50 GMT
shotokan: But I work in a level 1 trauma ER 4-5 days a week that’s been hammered by it since the beginning.
Aug 23, 2021 2:55:52 GMT
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