EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
I just wanted to thank you for posting these pages from the incredibly hard to access Christian Aries sets of material on French swords and the amazing drawings by Michael Petard!
The sword hilts of this early 19th century/Napoleonic period are pretty fascinating, and your example is a most notably designed hilt among the array that apparently existed.
As noted, the slotted guard, (also often 'four slot') which were popular in British swords clearly gained popularity in France. While the French seem to always be leaders in sword hilt designs, it does seem that in these times from c. 1780s into early 1800s, English designs had notable influence on the French.
This same slotted guard was notably part of the most attractive British M1803 infantry/flank company officers sword.
Also, the British 'spadroon' , of which the 'five ball' hilt was one, became popular in France with these orb groupings on the guard, and were termed
The term Montmorency is also notable as this particular cross section blade became quite popular with British sword makers, and it seems that James Wooley used it on his blades from the M1788 patterns, and later with Deakin as his partner, on M1796 type blades.
Interesting cross influences between England and France in these times in their sword designs.