French child's sabre
France, Napoleon II – 19th century
Materials: Iron, Steel, Brass, Mother of Pearl
Child swords were made for children who had to show the social rank of their parents, for hunting, as toy and for ceremonial purposes in long lines of military family traditions. In the 19th century, most child swords were sabres, like the one presented here. It is actually a small version of a Napoleonic cavalry sabre of a high ranked officer. Often a child was given a similar sword as his father wore in his military career. The quality and precision on how this example was made clearly indicates that this weapon wasn’t meant as a toy. The tip of the blade is blunted, but is of very high quality.
Made similar to the Napoleonic hilts with a lion heads pommel, acorn shaped quillons casted in bronze with a decoration of flowers and ‘empire‘ style borders.
The bronze hilt is gilded and the pommel is peened to the blade. The grips are two slabs of mother of pearl which are in excellent condition.
Of traditional curved form, featuring a fuller on both sides and with acid etched decoration of floral motifs on a nickeled blade. The tip was rounded, likely for safety reasons when held by a child.
Consisting of a full metal sheet, finely chiseled in floral motifs and gilded. The scabbard has two suspension rings to attach the sabre to a belt. The chape is casted in bronze with a floral decoration and suits in the early- to mid-19th century. The front is highly decorated with chiseling, while the verso is left plain.
Condition: Very good, minor ware to the gilded fittings and some minor pitting on the blade. Missing chain on the hilt, further excellent.
Blade spine thickness: 4mm
Blade length: 51cm
Total length: 66cm
Weight: 403 gr.
Provenance: The French art market.
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