I offer for sale a very nice and quite rare, French Model 1854 Carabinier heavy cavalry sword, together with it's matching steel scabbard. It is quite rare to find one of these highly collectable French swords on the Market, yet alone with it's matching numbered scabbard (they are using found as a mismatch in serial numbers).
The sword consists of a substantial brass, four bar hilt, bearing the following inspection stamp marks - capital letter "L" in oval, capital letter "B" with a star above within a shield and the number "11" within a square. Alongside is stamped the number "667". The identical number "667" is stamped on the top suspension mount of the scabbard. The capital letter "B" with a star above it within a shield is also found stamped at the top front of the oval dish guard.
The wooden grip is nicely covered in a dark leather and bound in brass wire, all correct and the grip terminates in a typical capstan brass pommel, the tang button of which is intact and undisturbed. The fit between hilt and blade is solid, no movement whatsever.
The substantial, straight, single-edged blade measures an impressive 39.25 inches long and tapers gradually to a spear point. It is cut on each side with twin, deep fullers running nearly to it's tip. The original black leather blade washer is still present and this slightly covers an unidentified poincon inspection stamp at the ricasso. There is a minor lateral distortion to the final third of the blade as you look along it's length, but nothing that distracts from it's overall appearance. Unsurprising when you consider that the blade was manufactured exactly 160 years ago and has almost certainly seen military service, there being about five tiny nicks to the blade edge. Some minor 'black oxidization' spots close to the blade tip also. The blade a good cutting edge.
There is a highly unique and unusual error in the original manufacture certification engraving along the flat spine of the blade, instead of it reading "Manufacture Imperiale de Klingenthal mai 1859 - carabinier modele 1854" the cutler has engraved "Manufacture Imperial de carabinier mai 1859 - carabiniers modele 1854". This blade was most probably manufactured I feel at the Chatellerault(?) Sword Factory near Poitiers, in central France.
This sword comes complete with it's original steel scabbard, which is in excellent condition. The sword draws and sheaths nicely into the scabbard.
The overall length of the sword in it's scabbard is: 47 inches. The Point of balance is 4.5 inches forwards of the hilt.
The French "Carabiniers" regiments were formed as combat troops rather than as previously as mounted police units, under King Louis XIV on 29th October 1691;
Later, under the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte they became part of the heavy cavalry units and won the right to wear the brass-skinned cuirass, following the Battle of Wagram in 1809. However, their use of the carbine rifle was discontinued. They were similar in action to the famous Cuirassiers, who also wore the breastplates but without the brass covering;
A single regiment of Carabiniers became part of the Imperial Guard under Emperor Napoleon III in 1870.
Following the Franco-Prussian War in which France was defeated, the Carabinier regiments were amalgamated with the 11th Cuirassiers on 4th February 1871. The hilt of this sword bears the stamp "11" perhaps it was reissued after this amalgamation?
The Carabinier breastplates, helmets and of the course their swords are all highly collectable and prized items by collectors.
The blade of this sword was made in May, 1859.
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