EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Norman and Kubur, thank you so much for those explanations. It is interesting to see weapons which may be related to that conflict which brought in diverse international participation. In realizing this was the Greek War for Independence, I am reminded of a friend in Greece who was seeking some of the 'rat tail' pistols, many of which were of that period.
It seems these French blades were very much sought in colonial contexts and were typically acquired through native interactions with forces or of course sometimes diplomatic situations. I do not believe they were ever a part of the trade blade circumstances which were typically German, with lesser instances of Spanish or Italian prior to their dominance.
Actually the Ottomans were in degree already beginning their interest in 'westernization' which culminated in very notable changes in styling of their weaponry such as the Ottoman pistol type hilts with knuckleguard sabres.
It is always tempting to think of these incongruent combinations of blade and mounts as having been the blade captured in battle. These may have been spoils of pitched combat and picked up later, or weapons either left in emplacements or abandoned. In less combative circumstances such as in France's colonial occupation in North Africa, troops are believed to have 'traded' their weapons in 'recreational' activities and claimed them lost. This well known but apocryphal lore is of course known with forces of many countries, and simply may be one of many possibilities.
Whatever the case, the result is a most attractive and exotic sabre probably worn proudly by an officer, who very well might have been French. As we know, they were quite enamored by Ottoman style hilts after the Napoleonic Egyptian campaigns and the Mamluks, and their officers often wore these style sabres.