This heavy cavalry sabre, commonly referred to as Model 1840 “Wrist-breaker” was one of the military sabres used by U.S. mounted forces before and during the American Civil War (1861-65). These sabres were a copy of the earlier French Mdle 1822 Cavalry Sabre and the development of the US M1840 closely followed that of the French M1822. French Mdle 1822 sabres were however only produced in France.
Made by W.R. Kirschbaum of Solingen, Germany, the single-edged blade has a pronounced curve with a flat wide spine. The later, 1860 model has a rounded spine.
The blade measures 885mm, with a long, wide fuller beginning with a flat line at the ricasso which dates the sword to between 1840-1860. From 1860 onwards. the beginning of the fuller is rounded at the ricasso. The blade has sharpening scratches along the edge but is otherwise in excellent condition and retains its fighting edge. The ricasso is marked with the knights head and W.R.K maker’s mark of W.R Kirschbaum of Solingen (1878-1883). The obverse ricasso is plain. The blade spine bears a crowned inspection stamp.
The heavy, three-branch brass hilt is stamped on the beak quillon with a crowned inspection stamp. The guard is in good condition and exhibits a beautiful and untouched age patina. There is a hairline crack on the surface of one bar but it does not go all the way through. The grip is in good condition for its age and use. The twisted wire is missing. The original leather is in good condition with some age and use related marks. The leather covers a wooden handle wrapped with cord for added grip.
The scabbard has a mild salt and pepper patina and is in great condition, without dents or damage. The sword sheaths and draws smoothly and is held firmly in the scabbard. The scabbard is marked on the drag with a crown and a partially struck “WRK” mark of which only the “W” is legible.