This French M1854 Navy Officer’s sword is in fantastic condition. Steel: Tempered EN9 High Carbon Steel. Overall Length: 35" Blade: 29 5/8". P.O.B.: 6". Grip Length: 4". The M1854 and its counterpart the M1837 are probably the most ornate French regulation swords ever made. The gilded brass half basket guard is decorated with ivy leaves surrounding a fouled anchor and the quillion is in the form of a mythical dolphin’s head. Naval officers were often the first contact that natives of the colonies had with the French government and in many of these societies, the rank and power of a man depended on the quality and value of his dress and personal weapons. In order to give the best first impression of the power of France the naval officers' swords were always richly ornate. The 70 cm single edged blade is similar to the M1845 infantry officers' sword having a thin, continuous fuller along the spine of the blade. A second, wider fuller runs below the first with the blade terminating in a spear point. The blade is engraved on the spine with the maker’s name “Coulaux” and the location, “Klingenthal.” The hilt is in excellent condition and retains its twisted wire binding. The gilded back strap is decorated with scallop shells and terminates in an ornate oval pommel and peened tang. The blade is firm in the hilt. The brass mounted black leather scabbard is in excellent condition with only minor age and use related marks. There is a slight bend and creases in the leather towards the middle of the scabbard. The gilded brass fitting are decorated with scallop shells, fouled anchors and ivy leaves. Over all this is a near mint condition example of a much sought after French M1854 naval sword.
This exceptional item will make a great display piece for nautical decor.
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