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Old 30th October 2008, 10:46 PM   #1
celtan
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Default French Diplomatic or Court sword?

Hi guys,
I'm trying to ID this sword. I suspect its French gentleman's, or a court/diplomatic epee.. Can't find any marks, besides an inscription IGR/IGB at its ricasso.

Any help is appreciated.
Best

Manuel







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Old 31st October 2008, 05:42 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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I would agree with your assessment Manolo, that this is most certainly a court epee, and diplomatic associations quite possible. It does appear French and post Napoleonic, the checked ebony grip material was popular on the grips of officers swords through the Napoleonic period, and probably later.

These non regulation, and often custom made swords are really hard to identify, at least specifically, but the courtswords typically seen up until c.1810 were of smallsword type, with pas d'ane and shellguard placed perpandicular to blade.
This downward shellguard covering the forte of the blade decoratively seems to have appeared in early 19th c. and the heraldic knights head, profuse decorative motif and the high relief scene on the shellguard seem to have later influenced other similar swords in the U.S. as well as other countries.

I checked 'Catalog of European Court Swords and Hunting Swords' by Bashford Dean, 1929, but found nothing that would help, but one Portuguese courtsword of c.1810 (#119) did have the downturned shell like this.

I'm trying to think of other resources that might have examples of these swords, but probably only auction catalogs offer possibility at this point.

Best regards,
Jim
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Old 2nd November 2008, 04:27 PM   #3
Jean B.
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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"

Nice sword.

Jean
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Old 3rd November 2008, 09:02 AM   #4
Jean B.
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Quote:
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"

Nice sword.

Jean


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 ;-).

Best regards,
Jean
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Old 3rd November 2008, 09:54 AM   #5
fernando
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Fascinating, Jean.

That's what can be called a complete information on a piece.

Fernando

... And welcome to this Forum; great pleasure to have you here .

Last edited by fernando : 3rd November 2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Paragraph addition
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Old 4th November 2008, 05:33 AM   #6
Jim McDougall
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Absolutely magnifique Jean!!!!
and it is indeed great to have you joining us here.
Your knowledge on European military swords is unsurpassed, and it means a great deal to have such detail in learning more on these examples.
Thank you so much, and welcome to our forum!!!

With all very best regards,
Jim
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