19th Century Briquet Short Sword

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This pattern of briquette was so widely used and there are numerous small variations in the blades, hilts and scabbards making it hard to pin down exactly where and when a particular briquette was used.

Inspection stamps, if legible are the best way to identify and date a briquette, but often, briquette were made by one country for use by another and in times of conflict, it was deemed unnecessary to delay issue in order to inspect and stamp weaponry.

There are other pointers as to a briquet’s origin and age, such as the number of ribs in the cast brass hilt, the shape of the quillon terminal and the shape of the scabbard’s frog stud among others.

The ribbed hilt and acorn quillon suggest that this briquette is a variation of the French AN IX (Year 9) briquet. The brass hilt has 36 ridges and an acorn quillon. 

The brass hilt is almost without inspection stamps (they may have been polished out or were never there) and only one, on the front of the crosspiece is legible and looks like the letters “CS” within a rectangular cartouche.

The slightly curved, single edged blade is 643mm long, with a flat spine.  The spine is a shade under 7mm thick at the ricasso, which is 35mm wide. The blade has a broad, shallow fuller on both sides, beginning approximately 120mm from the ricasso and terminating 100mm from the tip. The blade is in over all good condition with some tarnish. The blade has scratches consistent with use and sharpening and there are some small edge nicks. This is a heavy and purposeful fighting blade and it retains its fighting edge.

The brass mounted black leather scabbard fits the sword perfectly and is in generally excellent condition. The stitching is intact and firm. The very long frog stud bears an illegible stamp and the chape of the scabbard is stamped with the number 823, which may be the date, 1823. There is also a number 43 and the flat spine of the chape bears an inspection stamp that looks like the letter “C.”

The brass throat of the scabbard has a period repair and the throat is firmly attached. The sword sheathes and draws well.