Italian Prototype M1900 '09 Cavalry Trooper's Sword

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This very rare Italian M1900/09 prototype Cavalry Trooper’s sword was made by the Serafino Gnutti Arsenal in Brescia, Northern Italy.

The narrow 91cm pipe-back blade tapers to a spear point. It is an ideal thrusting blade made at the turn of the century when the debate as to whether the point beats the edge had finally been decided. Cavalry regiments across Europe were adopting thrusting blades over cutting blades and were experimenting with the hilt and blade designs of their existing cavalry sabres. The frequently encountered Italian M1871 sabre was re-worked in 1909, receiving the designation 1871/09 and is a good example of this.

The Model 1900 sword was a purpose built experimental cavalry sword with a ridiculously long thrusting blade which was shortened to 91cm in 1909 and this new sword was designated the Model 1900/09. As a prototype weapon, only a small number were made and issued to chosen regiments for testing purposes. Despite the excellence of the design (similar to the British P1908 and USA Patton Sabre), this sword was developed at a time when the use of swords in combat was at an end and as such it never went into full production.

The ricasso is marked with an oval cartouche containing the letters “SFG” for the Serafino Gnutti Arsenal and above that an Italian armoury acceptance stamp. The obverse ricasso bears the number “1552.” The blade has an unusual fullered spine.

The blade is bright with a pale age patina and very mild pitting in places. The original washer is present and the blade is firm in the hilt.

The two-strap steel bowl guard has a pronounced beak and is similar in design to the M1860 Heavy Cavalry bowl guard. The steel of the guard is bright with areas of age related tarnish.

The shaped wooden hilt has a cross-hatch pattern and is in good condition. Four deliberately incised groove (tally?) marks have been cut into the left-hand side of the wooden hilt. The hilt has a contoured steel back strap with cross-hatch pattern.

This very rare experimental Italian Cavalry Sword is in overall good condition. These swords are very hard to find and do not come on to the market often.