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"Curious Imperial Guard Sword " Topic

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581 hits since 18 Nov 2017
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Comments or corrections?

Sir Able Brush Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2017 10:01 a.m. PST

Am I miss reading this or is this a garde d'Honneur sword – but from 1803 – can't add up?

N0tt0N Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

The description says "similar to"

Le Breton18 Nov 2017 3:48 p.m. PST

This was being sold 10 years ago with the same description (was much more shiny then) :

The E31 and DUC markings are clearly more modern typeface – but could be inventory marks made any time.
The brass rings or wrapping around the baseof the grip are utterly atypical – and I think made of a modern alloy. At best, it bespeaks of some substantial repair.
The carving to make the ram's head design looks like it might have been done at least in part with a powered rotary tool (or one was aggressively used to polish it)

The first nominations for the Légion d'honneur were published in September 1803. By March 1804 the process of declaring an Empire was in train – and it was declared on 18 May. The first actual awards of the Légion d'honneur were presented in July 1804.

The phrase "l'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur" does not appear in it's initial legislation:
See : link
It was not even "l'ordre impérial" until the *second* empire. The phrase "l'ordre royal" arose during the restoration. The phrase "l'ordre national" arose under the third republic (after 1870).

So …. maybe …. if someone had been awarded a sabre d'honneur and had lost it, or wanted a sabre to use everyday in place of it …. and knwoing that they would be members of the new Légion …. then they maight have invented the phrase "l'ordre national" and had it applied to a sabre made from September 1803 to March 1804.

The poinçons do not look like those in use at Klingenthal ….



Nor Versailles Boutet ….


Outlaw Tor18 Nov 2017 3:49 p.m. PST

"French custom-made Hussar Officer's Sword from the period of the Consulate…similar to the pattern "Sabre des Chasseurs-à-Cheval de La Garde Consulaire puis Impériale, 2e modèle 1803"

this is perhaps a presentation sword associated with the early period of establishing…L'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur"

So, an "honor" sword. You seem to be reading garde with "d'honneur instead of with Chasseurs as in Chasseurs-à-Cheval de La Garde.

Le Breton18 Nov 2017 4:12 p.m. PST


I think you are reading it correctly. However, I think the timing makes it almost impossible …. not to mention that "l'ordre national" was not an official name for Légion until after 1870.

Also, it is not overally similar to the actual modele used by the guard chasseurs.
It *is* similar to an hussar sabre of the later revolution/consulate period. And that was the basis for the design for the guard chasseurs.

This is a sabre d'honneur :


You could be awarded an arme d'honneur in the period before the Légion was started : sabre, musket, grenade (it was a brass device for your sleeve), pistols, boarding axe, etc. It was supposed to more or less match the weapon you used when you won the award. The first Légionaires were these guys – automatically.

The armes d'honneur – which were award to company grade officers, NCO's and soldiers – were inscribed with the recitation of the award, as you can see on this grenade d'honneur for an artilleryman ….


Senior officers might get special presentation weapons by act of the government, or from a town or some such – but that was not a institutional practise such as was the presentation of armes d'honneur.

Outlaw Tor19 Nov 2017 3:49 p.m. PST

Heh, not really a comment on legitimacy of the item, just on the reading of the listing.

But thanks for all the good info.

Le Breton19 Nov 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

I realized that …. I was just saying that I agreed with how you were reading it.

The legitimacy is "problemmatic" – but it a rather cool piece, because a hussar officer cicra 1800 might indeed have such a sabre (if not such an inscription). If priced as a replica, they might sell a few of them.


The sabres for the gardes d'honneur de la garde (1813-1814) were like this :

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