I offer for sale a unique and rare, Napoleonic, German or Austrian, Light Cavalry sabre, the shape and certain details of the hilt of which however exudes the French Consulate era (1799 - 1804) officer's sword style. However, highly unusually this sword has the hilt and blade constructed of high quality, Damascened (Wootz) Steel, almost certainly a private order for a high ranking Central European cavalry officer in the late 18th century to very early 19th century.
The blade measures 32 inches in length and has a 'false edge' for the last 6 inches of the blade. It is in excellent condition and retains a good edge. It is of Damascus construction, slightly curved and single edged for nearly all of it's length, with a single wide fuller running along both sides. There are no visible maker's marks, but there is an almost completely illegible eagle stamp on the counter-guard which I have not been able to identify the hilt maker from. The original leather washer is still in place.
Engraved decoration to the first third of the blade, consisting of floral motifs and a panoply of Arms both sides, the blade has been thoroughly cleaned during it's lifetime, so no gilding (if there were any) remains. The blade is totally firm with the hilt.
As previously stated the closed hilt is strongly of the French Consulate style but in wootz steel, rather than the brass, bronze or Arco hilts normally seen on this type of Napoleonic sword. The sword could likely have been manufactured, in Germany, Austria, or North Italy. This style of sword even became very popular in Poland in the late 1700's and was called the "kosciuszkowka" or "Kosciuszko's saber" named after the ultimate freedom fighter and national Polish and American hero - Tadeusz Kosciuszko who was a Polish military engineer and leader celebrated for his courageous feats fighting in the American War of Independence and for leading a daring uprising in Poland against foreign rule. Could this sabre be Polish perhaps? We will never know for sure.
The hilt guard consists of a straight flattened steel counter-guard which travels backwards and bends at 90 degrees to terminate in a highly decorative Acorn finial. A pair of finely cast or chiselled leaves form the langets and most certainly are the most decorative center-piece of the hilt. A single flattened ferrule ring sits in front of black, ebony, grip-plates and both the canted steel pommel and the ferrule show the wavy Damascus lines of this rare hilt construction. The grip plates have pyramidal diamond pattern thereon. The knuckle guard is straight and flattened the middle point interrupted with a three-ball design (slight fracture line running along the side of the spheres). A further acorn finial at the bottom of the knuckle guard.
The plain steel scabbard is without band decoration and has two suspension rings. It is a perfect fit with the sword and is undamaged.
Very rare to find a 'French Consulate' period/design sword of steel, especially of Damascus steel and complete with it's steel scabbard. This is a particularly fine and rare example.
Total length in scabbard – 97,2 cm; without scabbard – 93,3 cm, length of the blade – 80,2 cm; width – 30 mm; thickness.
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