This French model 1845/55 senior infantry officer’s sword has an 1882 pattern blade. Only senior officers were given such leeway in choosing the blade to accompany the regulation pattern 1845 hilt. The model 1845 was one of the most popular and widely used of the French army swords. It was in service from 1845 up to and including World War one. In 1855, the pattern underwent a slight change, primarily changing from using a leather scabbard to a steel one, with a slight variation in blade design.
In 1882, the model 1882 infantry sword superseded the 1845/55 pattern. Some senior officers preferred the hilt of the earlier model 1845 and coupled it with the epee blade of the new regulation model. This privately purchased sword would have been made between 1882 and the early 1900’s.
The 850mm, double-edged blade has a single fuller on each side and terminates in a narrow spear point. The fullers are offset. The blade is in very good condition with no loss to the plating and only a few marks from drawing and sheathing the sword. There is a small patch of corrosion at the base of the blade caused by contact with the scabbard mouth.
The brass guard is richly decorated with pierced roses and laurels with a scroll quillon. The D-guard divides as it joins the capped pommel to allow for the addition of a port epee. The pommel cap is etched with a central rose flanked by laurels. The tang of the blade is peened in the centre of the stepped oval pommel. The guard is in good condition. The ridged horn grip is in good condition with some use related scuffs and grazing to the horn. There are two shallow chips out of the horn near the pommel cap. The twisted copper wire is intact and tight.
The sabre is complete with its steel scabbard. The scabbard is in good condition with a speckled age patina.
This sabre would have been the property of a senior infantry officer, serving prior to and probably during World War 1.