I offer for sale a truly superb example of an early 19th century Spanish Cavalry Sabre of The Royal Guard, related almost certainly to the military established by the 'Carlist' pretender to the royal throne of Spain - the Infante Carlos, Carlos de Borbon - the Count of Molina (born 29th March 1788 died 10th March 1855), sometimes referred incorrectly to as Charles V of Spain, but who strove to become Carlos V - king of Spain.
This sabre almost certainly dates to The First Carlist War, which ran for seven years between 1833 to 1840 and which took in most of Spain, but centred chiefly around the Carlist Basque territory. This was the first of a series of civil wars in which the contenders fought to establish their rival claims to the vacant throne of Spain, through their military forces.
So who were the Carlists which this sabre almost certainly relates to?
When King Ferdinand VII of Spain died of a Gout related illness in 1833, his fourth wife Maria Cristina became Queen regent on behalf of their infant daughter Isabella II. This action splinted Spain into two factions known respectively as. 1. the Cristinos (or Isabelinos) and 2. the Carlists. The Cristinos were the supporters of the Queen Regent and her Borbon government and they were the party of the Liberals. The Carlists were the supporters of Carlos V, a pretender to the throne of Spain and brother of the late deceased king Ferdinand VII.
Carlos V denied the validity of The Pragmatic Sanction of 1830 established by his late brother, which did away with the inherited Salic Law and allowed for the eldest daughter of the late king to inherit the throne as Queen, as was Spanish custom. Carlos V was a traditionalist, and he rallied to the cry of "God, Country and King" espousing Legitimism and Catholicism over Liberalism. Literally "Religion and the King - this is my law". Carlos V wanted a return to autocratic monarchy.
And so on to the details of this fine sabre:
The cavalry officer's sword is fitted with a sharply curved, single edged, 31.5 inch (80 cm) long blade, cut with a single broad fuller and richly decorated along half it's length with scrolling foliage, stands of arms and laurel wreaths, all highlighted in gilt on a blued background, the majority of which remains and is only slightly rubbed at the forte. This fine blade is in excellent overall condition and a good tight fit with the hilt. The blade is unmarked, except for the initials "S.H.F" finely engraved at the forte and seen underneath one of the two lozenge shaped langets. I have been unable to identify these initials. Could they relate to a regiment, or the cutler perhaps?
The highly ornate white metal (Silver?) hilt consists of a three-bar guard inset with a partial solid guard plate. Upon the guard plate is engraved the initials "C.V." within a shield, surmounted by a Crown and flanked by a Royal Lion. The guard plate also bears the engraved inscription "Religion Y Rey" and "Esta Es Mi Ley", which is Spanish and translates to "Religion and King - this is my Law". This would fit in perfectly with the absolutist monarchy mantra of Carlos V. The back-strap is further engraved with the initials "B.V." but I have been unable to identify what these initials could stand for. The owner's initials possibly, or something to do Carlos V's homeland territory the Basque region perhaps?
The remainder of the hilt has been beautifully chiselled with stylised laurel leaves. Also to be found is a nice wire bound Ebony grip, surmounted by a flat capped pommel and prominent tang button.
The white metal (Silver?) and leather scabbard has a throat, mid suspension section and drag interspersed with leather inserts (one of the leather inserts is lifting at one end slightly but nothing serious). The scabbard is simply outstanding. It has been richly decorated to match the sword, with an engraved Lion head, Sunburst and floral swags, even the Drag is highly ornate and neo classical in style. Two loose suspension rings are fitted to the broad scabbard.
Possibly the finest early 19th century Spanish cavalry sabre I have seen and almost certainly with Spanish royal connections.