French hunting sword with a colichemarde blade, dating from between 1680 - 1730.
The colichemarde blade was popular in France from the mid 1600's until early 1700's. This style of blade was particularly popular with the French Royal court until around 1720 after which fashion changed and production tailed off.
The 42.5 cm blade is double edged and, typical of the form, has a wide hexagonal cross section forte that abruptly narrows to a diamond cross section 16 cm forward of the hilt. The forte is engraved with the motto "Champion Qui Surmonte" meaning "The one who overcomes everything," and the initials (presumably of the owner), "JCS". The sword's total length is 55.5 cm.
The blade retains its edge and has the grey patina of old steel. The engraved motto and initials are worn. The blade is un-damaged and rust free.
The brass D-guard and pommel cap are beautifully hand engraved with hunting scenes of hounds after stags and foxes (one of the hunted beasts is a mythical creature). The brass quillon is a beautifully detailed "dogs" head. The hilt is fruitwood, nicely worn and with a great patina.
The shell guard of this hanger is missing and from the patina looks to be a period break. There has been some age shrinkage of the wooden hilt resulting in a small amount of play in the hilt. The blade is held firmly and the tang is peened where it emerges from the pommel button.
Despite the missing shell guard, this is a beautiful and highly collectable hunting sword from the turn of the 17th Century. Most hunting swords had single edged blades, making this double-edged colichemarde blade a rarity.