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Napoleonic War Era French Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI – Infantry Short Sword

Napoleonic War Era French Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI – Infantry Short Sword

$1,150.00
Product code: 177

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

AN ORIGINAL NAPOLEONIC WAR ERA FRENCH SABRE BRIQUET MODÈLE AN XI – INFANTRY SHORT SWORD, PROBABLY MANUFACTURED IN CHARLEVILLE, FRANCE BETWEEN 1802 AND 1814 AND MARKED WITH THE POINÇON DE CONTRÔLE (H ÉTOILÉ) OF EITHER ARNOLD OR JEAN BAPTISTE HARDY AT CHARLEVILLE BEFORE 1814 AS WELL AS A REFURBISMENT STAMP FROM 1836, INDICATING THAT IT CONTINUED IN SERVICE WITH THE FORCES OF THE RESTORED MONARCHIE DE JUILLET.

Details

AN ORIGINAL NAPOLEONIC WAR ERA FRENCH SABRE BRIQUET MODÈLE AN XI – INFANTRY SHORT SWORD, PROBABLY MANUFACTURED IN CHARLEVILLE, FRANCE BETWEEN 1802 AND 1814 AND MARKED WITH THE POINÇON DE CONTRÔLE (H ÉTOILÉ) OF EITHER ARNOLD OR JEAN BAPTISTE HARDY AT CHARLEVILLE BEFORE 1814 AS WELL AS A REFURBISMENT STAMP FROM 1836, INDICATING THAT IT CONTINUED IN SERVICE WITH THE FORCES OF THE RESTORED MONARCHIE DE JUILLET.

 This Napoleonic War Era French Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI – Infantry Short Sword, was the fourth of five Sabre d'Infanterie modèle type swords issued to French troops from 1767 onwards. These short swords were carried by French infantry soldiers between 1767 (Louis XV) and the mid 1800’s. Although not a definitive list, this family of French short infantry weapons can be designated as follows:

  • Sabre d'Infanterie Modèle 1767 – (1767 – 1790)
  • Sabre d'Infanterie Modèle 1790 – (1790 – 1800)
  • Sabre Briquet Modèle An IX, Premier Empire - (1800 - 1802)
  • Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI de la Premier Empire, Monarchie de Juillet – (1802 – 1860 approx)
  • Sabre Briquet type An XI allégé, la Garde Nationale – (1816 – 1860’s approx)

This sword is an outstanding ‘museum quality’ example of the Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI.  This typeis distinct from its predecessor by the ball shaped finial at the end of the guard and the 28 flutes in the grip (as opposed to 36 on the earlier model).  Between 1800 and 1815, at least 418,639 Modèle An IX & XI short swords were produced in Versailles, Klingenthal and Turin.

This Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI is a superb example of that later pattern which was carried by French Grenadiers and Voltigeurs of the Napoleonic Wars and the restored monarchy (Monarchie de Juillet) between 1802 and the mid 1860’s. Although swords from this period are very difficult to definitively date (unless they were produced by Manufacture de Klingenthal, who inscribed the back edge of the blades) this sword does have a number of distinctive marks which can be dated and attributed. The obverse ricasso is stamped with the Poinçon de Contrôle H* (H Étoilé) of either Arnold or Jean Baptiste Hardy working at Charleville before 1814 (according to the ‘Liste des Poinçons’ published in 2017). The reverse ricasso is stamped with an incomplete manufacturers stamp while the underside of the crossguard is stamped with what appears to be an N ownership mark and the letters ROI which are variously attributed by collectors as ownership marks from the Monarchie de Juillet or the Garde Nationale.  The upper face of the guard quillon is stamped V over 1836 which indicates the sword was re-inspected (Vérifié) in 1836 while the obvers D guard is stamped with the Poinçon de Contrôle D (Cerclé D) of Martial Dombret working at Tulle between 1824 & 1834.

In summary, what all of these marks indicate is that this Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI was probably manufactured in France between 1802 and 1814 during the Napoleonic Wars and that it remained in use with the forces of the restored monarchy probably well into the middle of the Nineteenth Century.  Attached to this listing for interest is an excellent photograph of Sergeant Taria, Grenadier of the French Imperial Guard 1809-1815, wearing his original grenadier bearskin and sabre briquet. Sergeant Taria was a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and a survivor of the Russian campaign, this photo was taken in 1858, when he was at least 70 years old.  Also attached is a copy of a period etching of a French Grenadier and Voltigeur also carrying sabre briquet.

This particular example is the variant described on Page 148 of Harvey J.S. Withers ‘World Swords 1400 – 1945’’.Withers states that “A common type of sword carried by most French infantry soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars (alongside the musket and socket bayonet) was the “sabre briquet”, a brass hilted short hanger. It had a curved single edged blade with brass and leather mounted scabbard. This sword was widely copied throughout Europe and was adopted by many countries during the the early to mid 1800’s”. The correct French designation of this particular sword is Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI which accurately reflects its employment as an Infantry soldiers issue brass hilted short sword with ridged brass grip and a ‘sabre’ profile blade.

The Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI was the variant issued to Grenadier and Voltigeur in the French Army.  As well as being employed in close combat these short swords were used to clear paths through difficult terrain (including forests), establishing and clearing defensive obstacles and constructing fighting posts. These weapons remained in service for a considerable period of time and some were still in use during after the end of the Nineteenth Century

This is an original Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI short sword with its ridged brass hilt is in ‘museum quality’ condition.  It’s fitted with a ‘sabre’ profile steel blade in excellent patinated condition.  As Withers comments, these swords “are rarely found with the original scabbard” which fortunately this sword retains. The sword shows clear evidence of use consistent with age and employment but is all the better for it.

Type: Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI
Overall Length: 735.0 mm
Blade Length:  595.0 mm
Blade Width (at guard): 35.0 mm
Scabbard: Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI
Overall Length of Scabbard: 610.0 mm

From Australia, this is a very original ‘museum quality’ example of the seminal French Infantry Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI of the Napoleonic War era. All up, a cracking sword, and a really evocative weapon, you will not find a better example.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 1.5000
Country of Origin French
Sword Type Enlisted, Infantry
Maker Charleville
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1814
Overall Length (mm) 735
Blade Length (mm) 595
Blade Width (at guard) (mm) 35
Scabbard Sabre Briquet Modèle An XI
Overall Length of Scabbard (mm) 610