Originally Posted by thinreadline
Very interesting article ... I cannot go with the idea that it was used by the Spanish for hamstringing French horses ..... why go to all that trouble to design something so elaborate and requiring so much skill and daring to use ( with probably little hope of success ) when you can blast a cavalry charge with grape shot or canister from a safe distance ?
To me this looks more like a fashion statement sword ... an extreme expression of the taste for mameluke swords following Napoleon's invasion of Egypt , worn by the military equivalent of a Macoroni .
I very much agree with this. As the link posted shows, one of these in more austere character, was discussed some years ago. These cannot have been a widely known form, and actually I do not believe they were weapons at all (not saying they might not have been called on for same, just as many implements and tools were).
It is my impression these were perhaps for foraging of fodder for horses.
The notion of characterizing this item as a sword was quite likely a sort of tongue in cheek gimmick perhaps, but could have well served as a kind of scythe to gather fodder.
Ideas like 'for hamstringing of horses' falls into the category of camp folklore much like the later idea of sawtooth bayonets intended to cause hideous wounding (they were saws for utility use).
Interesting to see one of these in what appears officers level dress, as it would seem these would have been for duties delegated to support forces rank and file.