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Chasseurs à Cheval French Light Cavalry High Ranking Officer's Sabre Sword

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This Important Relic Has Been Sold. Thank you!

Chasseurs a Cheval 
French Light Horse Regiment 
General or Colonel's Sabre

  First Empire ~ Ca 1803




Presented is a saber of a superieur (colonel) or general officer's (major d'Etat)  serving in a Chasseurs a Cheval, French Light Horse Regiment during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821.
 
This sabre was used by an officer in one of these regiments, other than the Imperial Guard, with a rank of colonel or general. It may also have been used by an officer of the mounted artillery of equal rank. This high rank is indicated by its elegant and expensive scabbard only fitting for a wealthy officer. 
 
This light horse saber is a magnificent weapon made and assembled at the Versailles factory, and had a blade that was reportedly made by the Klingenthal facility or in Soligen. There is engraving and what may be writing under the langets that can not be read so consider this blade as with no markings.
 
The saber's Doré brass hilt has a distinctive pommel with lion head mask pommel that turns ninety degrees to the hilt. Do not confuse this design with a Mameluke's. The lion's mane becomes the back-strap of the hilt. The "D" formed knuckle guard joins the mouth of the lion and forward, becomes the cross guard with a two branch Langet. It has a small wedge shaped repair where it turns up. The crossguard terminates in a forward facing button quillion. The grip is made of ivory which has mellowed with age and has a pleasing patina. The curved, blade with false edge and single fuller was at one time blued and gilded, one third its length, but none of this is remaining except for the five engravings on each side. A very large and original gold bullion portepee (sword knot) is attached. As the only example seen, the rare German portepee has serious value on its own, in the neighborhood of $400.00.



 
The two suspension ring scabbard is brass and at one time was gilded. On the obverse it has three raised panels with remnants of gilt. The first panel is the goddess "Athena", the next is an angel with large wings leaning on a ship's anchor, and the last is a symbol of two opposing wings interlaced with lightning bolts and elongated spirals. Geometric designs are elsewhere. The reverse of the scabbard is decorated with a random series of small stars its entire length. Large drag.

 

Noteworthy descriptors are:
  • 90 degree lion's mask pommel 
  • Two branch Langet with military cartouche
  • Embossed figural panels on scabbard
  • Luxurious fittings and embellishments
DIMENSIONS: Saber 36 3/5" long overall. 31 1/2" blade length

             In scabbard 39"                   Sword weight 1 lbs 8 oz               Max width of blade 1"    
Max thickness 5/16"             
Fuller 7/8" W x 26 1/4" L                 
False edge 5"


An example of this sword is pictured and discussed on page 157, item 229, in "Les Sabres Portes par L'Arme'e Francaise" by Lhotse and Resek. Other of its variants are on page 156, 168 and 169

 
BRIEF HISTORY: The Chasseurs à Cheval  (light horse cavalry)  was comprised of various regiments 1 to 12. The regiments were created as early as 1773 when legions of foot soldiers and horseback hunters were separated to form separate regiments of both types. Over time, the Chasseurs a Cheval grew to 12 distinct regiments of light cavalry the most famous of which was Napoleon's Imperial Guard. They also included the Hussars, a Polish regiment.
 
For much of their history one regiment served as Napoleon's Imperial Guard and also in the Royal Guard of the Restoration.
 
Although the Chasseurs were a light cavalry regiment, it was the Chasseurs that usually provided personal escort to Napoleon, and he often wore the uniform of the regiment in recognition of this service. The regiment was not only known for its lavish uniform, but its combat history, as well. A second regiment (2e Regiment de Chasseurs-a-Cheval de la Garde Impériale) was created briefly from Regiment d’Eclaireurs Lanciers in 1815.
 
Where Napoleon went, so did his Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde. They campaigned from Austerlitz to Waterloo, and Napoleon's cherished children fought hard for their emperor.
 
                                Langet with two branches and reverse quillion
 
It is in such remarkable condition and rarity that it will make a perfect choice for the astute collector who seeks only the most unusual and is prepared to pay a commensurate price.

 

 

CONDITION: Except for the scabbard missing its throat, a small repair to the guard, and that the bluing and gilding on the blade lacking, this saber is in remarkable overall condition. The blade is tight in the hilt. It has some mild spotting on its length and a pleasing grey color. The ivory grip, which may not be original, is intact and has a nice mellow patina. There are a few small dents and scrapes on the scabbard's trailing edge.
 


 
 
 
 

This is a very rare example of a presentation grade Napoleon War saber of a senior or major (general) or superieure (colonel) officer
 
 
                                   Close up of  Lion mask pommel and Ivory grip with age cracks
OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are  included in this offer if the error is due to our fault

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