The sabres de la cavalrie legere dits a la chasseur an XI, as it is known in French is one of the iconic sabres of the Napoleonic period. Year eleven (An XI) light cavalry sabres were issued to all French regular light cavalry regiments, including the Lancers, Hussars and Chasseurs. These sabres saw action throughout Europe and against Wellingtons’ troops in the Peninsular and at Waterloo.
The 876mm curved blade has a broad, flat spine and wide, shallow fuller. The blade ends in a hatchet point. The blade is in great condition with very mild speckled tarnish. The spine is hand engraved with the Klingenthal maker’s inscription and the date of July 1805. The engraving is worn. The ricasso bears inspection poincon that are concealed by the languets.
The three bar guard has long, lozenge shaped languets and a leather and cord wrapped wooden hilt with “half olives.” The guard is of gilded bronze alloy called Arco. The left languet is stamped with the rack number 97, which has been over stamped with a zero to cancel it. The bar of the D-guard is stamped with the number 51 and an oval poincon containing an italicised B. The opposite side of the first bar is stamped with worn inspection poincon and the number 28. The blade is firm in the hilt and the guard and grip are in excellent condition.
The sabre is complete with its original heavy steel scabbard. The scabbard is in good condition, with some shallow pitting and a mild age patina. There are some small corrosion perforations on the bottom at the junction with the drag. The second suspension ring is a historic replacement and the throat is missing its screw. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard. The first suspension band bears the number 19.
This is a rare and guaranteed genuine Napoleonic light cavalry sabre in very good condition. It dates to 1805 and would have been used by a cavalry trooper in Napoleon’s Grand Army. This sabre has been in a private family collection and is fresh to the market.