Originally Posted by Jean B.
The small sword was made in Solingen. The marking IGB is often attributed to the Broch family but there are no formal evidences.
It is a First Empire officer or civil official épée.
The "clavier" (shell) shows an extract of a period painting of Marguerite Gérard "la clémence de l'Empereur"
More info: The painting was done in 1808, this allows to date the sword between 1808 and 1815.
The scene describes Napoleon's mercy toward Madame de Hatzfeld, wife of the Berlin Governor during the Prussian campaign of 1806-1807.
On the recent arrest of her husband, the Princess Hatzfeld, in a panic and eight-months pregnant, burst into the Emperor's office. Throwing herself at Napoleon's feet, she protested that her husband was not guilty. The Emperor showed her a letter proving the governor's guilt, and the young woman recognised the handwriting. But moved by her tears, Napoleon asked her to burn the letter so that he could no longer pursue her husband.
This scene was widely spread in the German society and served well the French propaganda. Communication with the media was already of major importance ;-).