This is the iconic French model 1822 heavy cavalry sabre, known colloquially as the “Bancal.” Owing to the lack of a spine inscription and the non-French inspection stamps, I believe that this sword was made for use in Belgium by the Guides Regiment.
The 970mm single-edged Montmorency blade has a broad, flat spine with a wide, shallow fuller running for 800mm of its length. The squared beginning to the fuller indicates that the sword was made prior to 1860. Post 1860, the beginning of the fuller is rounded. A shorter, narrow fuller runs immediately below the spine. The blade has a slight curve and terminates in a narrow hatchet point. The blade is in excellent condition with some tiny service nicks and retains a fighting edge.
The ricasso is stamped with two inspection marks, one is very worn. The second stamp shows the letter W within a circle, with a dot below and to the left of the W. The same stamp is repeated on the guard. The obverse ricasso is stamped with what looks like the Roman numeral, II.
The brass four-bar guard is in very good condition with a great patina. The knuckle bow has three clear stamps, the above mentioned, the numeral 7 and an italicised R. The beaked quillon is stamped with what I believe to be issue numbers. The front of the guard, at the base of the blade also bears a worn stamp. The stamps may be Belgian but I have not yet been able to identify them. The leather wrapped grip is in good condition with use-related wear and is missing its wire. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The sword is complete with its polished steel scabbard with two suspension rings and asymmetrical drag. The scabbard has a great patina and is rust free. There is a small area of period wear to the back of the scabbard above the shoe. The iron remains thick and strong and the scabbard is in good condition. The sword draws and sheathes smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a scarce Model 1822 heavy cavalry sabre that was probably in service with the Belgian cavalry. The Belgian guides regiment were known to have also used this model of sabre.
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