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1850's French Heavy Cavalry Sword

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This lovely heavy cavalry sword is French and probably in use for the early 1850's. I understand it was the pattern used during the Crimea War. I have not been able to find a lot about it and would appreciate confirmation of date and also if it is an officer's ?

There is an old engraving on the blade with manufacturer's markings - but, polishing has made it indistinct.

I think that it may be the 1822 since it has similarities with the Light Cavalry sword of that period. This was the sword bought from the French by the US and eventually made in America for the Civil War.

French sword hilts are always distinctive with their pistol grip.

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Not my area of specialty at all, but it looks more like a French Mle. 1845 infantry officer's sword, or possibly a Belgian Mle. 1850 (based on the French Mle. 1845). I can't make out the etching on the blade--what does it say? Are there any other markings on the sword?


Edited by Jonathan Hopkins
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Hi - Jonathan. It is very rubbed - however, I think it is French and there is part of an address - but, not sure which City. I had thought of it as more like the British pattern for Infantry officers - cavalry would have more of a curve to the blade. However, it came with a label saying Crimea War , French heavy cavalry. We all know how a quick look at the net. gives a wrong ident. - which becomes Gospel after a few years !

I think I agree with you - I thought the condition was good - obviously has been looked after. Haven't you added to your collection recently ? I've

only got a few left from the last batch - although I saw a nice collection last week and will probably take a few.

Thanks for your help. Mervyn

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’ve been away from French swords for a while, but my immediate recollection is that the ID as a French Infantry Officer's sword is correct. As for the French heavy cavalry swords of the period, here is an image of the hilt of an uncleaned example of the model 1854. Showing the four bar hilt and the relatively deeply fluted blade typical of this pattern. A little less massive that its predecessor it’s still a fairly large sword with an overall length of about 44 inches (112 cm). With what I think is an interesting side note to the Crimean War itself being the fact that the Russian cavalry used copies of earlier French swords made in Russian armories. With some types being reasonably exact copies, while some of the others might have had some kind of modification. FP

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