This French Infantry short sword is the Model 1831, “glaive des troupes à pied modèle 1831,” known colloquially by the troops as the “coupe choux” meaning “cabbage chopper.” The Neo-classical design was based on the Roman Gladius.
The 490mm double-edged blade has a flattened diamond cross-section and terminates in a spear point. The blade is in very good condition with some patches of very shallow pitting and pale tarnish. The base of the blade is engraved with “Chatellerault” and the manufacture date of 1832. The obverse is engraved “Pihet Freres” with a flower-head stamp. The Pihet brothers were private contractors who cast the hilt and then assembled the sword using a blade made by the Government armoury at Chatellerault.
The solid brass hilt has a grip patterned of 26 raised ribs. The front of the hilt bears five lettered and numerical stamps. The centre of the crosspiece is stamped with the weapon number 860. The same number is stamped on the scabbard.
The original issue scabbard is in good condition for its 189 years of age. The leather is sound and the stitching intact. The original finish is mostly lost and there are creases towards the chape. The brass locket is stamped with the weapon number 860, indicating that the scabbard is original to the sword. The sword sheaths and draws smoothly from the scabbard.
This is a great example of the famous French infantry short sword.
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