French Model 1833 Cutlass
‘Le Sabre d’Abordage’, (Sabre De Bord or Boarding Cutlass)
Presented is a pristine French Model 1833 cutlass and
its original leather scabbard, both in outstanding original condition. It is signed in 19th Century script on the
Rle de Chatellerault 9 (?) 1838”. On the obverse ricasso is a sharp inspection stamp of a 5 pointed star alongside
another mark. The original leather washer is present. A large vertical one and one half inch anchor is faintly stamped on
both sides of the blade on the right of the ricasso. This antique cutlass is so perfect it is worthy of
a museum or private collection of only the finest seagoing edged weapons. As
its French predecessors, it continued to set the standard for all European cutlasses, as well as the US Model 1860 cutlass,
which copied its design . Its distinguishing features are a cast iron hilt with a pommel in the form of a Phrygian
helmet, large shell guard, and wide blade. The M 1833 followed earlier French designs, and used an octagonal
iron grip formed over a wood core which was protected by an iron shell guard on the obverse. The upright quillion
of the M 1833 did away with the five unique lobes of the M 1801. Its iron blade is 26 1/2 inches long,
3/8 inch thick, and 1 3/8 inches wide and is marked with a faint one one half inch vertical anchor on both
sides. Except for the blade, all else was polychromed in heavy black enamel.
The Five Pointed Star Inspector’s Mark on obverse ricasso
are described throughout the listing and include a 5 pointed inspectors stamp on the ricasso alongside an illegible stamp.
The spine is inscribed in 19th Century script with the foundry’s name and the date, “Manufe Rle de Chatellerault
9 (?) 1838”. Faintly stamped on both sides of the blade is a one and one half inch vertical anchor.
There are no marks on the scabbard.
Foundry’s inscription on the spine “Manufe Rle de Chatellerault
1838” of the blade
GUARD: The knuckle bow has a
flange that accepts an elliptical guard which acts as a hand shield. The curved hand shield is brazed to the flange
at the rear and then brazed on the stirrup strap. This forms a solid half shell guard. There are small dents on
the guards face and some of the heavy midnight black enamel that covered all of the hilt is missing with the exposed
Front and back
views of the M 1833 guard and grip
Both sides of
the M 1833 cutlass and the obverse scabbard
The inside of the basket guard and the grip
SCABBARD & BLADE CONDITION: In addition to what has been described elsewhere, the blade and all individual parts
are tight and correct. The blade is factory sharp without any nicks. It has a polished Silver Grey finish with some light
spotting getting darker towards the point. The scabbard is in very good condition with all its stitching tight
with the leather showing little wear. There is a leather tab on the back hook on the back for attaching to the throg.
Obverse side of the French Model 1833 Cutlass
showing leather tab on scabbard
DIMENSIONS: Cutlass 32 1/2″ long overall.
26 1/4″ blade length Max width of blade 1 3/8″ Max thickness 3/8″
Fuller 1″ W x 20 3/4″ L
weight 3 lbs
Weight Cutlass 2 lbs 6 oz
This is a rare and superior example of an French
M 1833 cutlass and will be appreciated by those who value historic edged weapons!