The model An XI/XIII sword was so called because it was originally designed in the eleventh year of the Revolutionary Calendar (1802). Early versions of the sword were criticised for the weight of the blade and the weakness of the guard and scabbard. The final version on the sword was approved on the 22nd September 1804 (AN XIII). The modified sword is referred to both as the AN XI and the AN XIII (some experts describing it as a version of the year nine and others arguing that the modifications made it a new pattern). The final incarnation of the Cuirassier sword was virtually the same as the earlier versions of the AN XI. Most notably, the three bars of the guard, which became a single thin bar before joining the pommel in previous versions, now extended into the base of the pommel, considerably improving the strength of the guard. Production of the final version of the AN XI/XIII sword took place from October 1804 until 1816.
Most sabres were produced at the Klingenthal armoury. Klingenthal blades were also sent to the Versailles armoury to be hilted and some rarely encountered sabres, marked AP (L' Atelier De Paris) were purchased from private forges.
The 964mm straight, single edged blade has a flat spine and twin fullers that continue to the spear point. Around 1815-1816, the original hatchet points of these swords were ground to spear points. The blade was made at the Klingenthal factory in March 1811 and bears the Klingenthal inspection stamps of François Louis Lobstein, a Klingenthal inspector since 1804, Claude Marion, inspector from 1808 and Jean Georges Bick, an inspector from 1809. The spine is engraved with the Klingenthal armoury name and manufacture date.
The blade is in very good condition with minimal speckles of pale grey tarnish. Nicks on the edge and spine are consistent with fighting use.
The barred Arco guard is stamped with the Versailles armoury mark and poincons and the “V” meaning verified or passed. The leather wrapped grip is in fair condition with the leather cracked and missing in places. The remaining leather is firmly attached to the cord bound wooden grip.
This is a guaranteed genuine Napoleonic Wars Cuirassiers sword dating from 1811 and has been used by a Cuirassier in Napoleon’s Grand Army.