Folding Guard or Attack Hilt Swords

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Folding Guard or Attack Hilt Swords

Postby Brimage » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:15 am

Hi Guys

I am attempting to put together an article on this unusual pattern for our local collecting newsletter and I am having difficulty finding out much to work with.

The majority of the examples I have found are French, although a friend of mine has a fabulous blue and gilt example that appears to be English. Mine posted here is a typically French one that were used by both the navy and mounted infantry or cavalry.

Any information and or additional examples will be most welcome. The references I have found thus far are:
May and Annis Swords for Sea Service Plate 97 and referenced on Pages 143-144
Sim Comfort’s book Naval Swords and Dirks Page 380-381
SOUTHWICK Leslie The Price Guide to Antique Edged Weapons Pp 98 No 254

Officer’s Mounted Folding Guard Sabre
Nationality: French
Date: Circa 1780 Described as Pre-revolutionary period
Maker/Retailer: n/a
Overall Length: 33” (84 cm)
Blade length: 27.3/4” (70.5 cm)
Blade widest point: 1 3/8” (3.4 cm)
Hilt widest point: 4 7/8” (12.4 cm)
Inside grip length: 4 ¼” (10.7 cm)
Marks, etc.: n/a

French Officer’s Mounted Folding Guard Sabre (Possibly Naval).
These swords were prominently used by the French Infantry, but also by the French Navy in the French revolution-Napoleonic era. Brass folding hilt with a steel button mechanism. The folding guard moves smooth & the mechanism perfect. Back-strap in brass, as is the knuckle guard & pommel. Grip bound in tight twisted brass wire & in 100% perfect condition. The hilt, back-strap & wire binding are just about pristine perfect, save for a tiny hairline crack in the top of the guard, hardly noticeable the crack not passing all the way through the brass. A diamond shaped pommel also in brass. The blade has a wide shallow fuller for most of the blades length as well as a narrow fuller running along the back of the blade. No markings or engravings. No scabbard.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
_EUR-Folding Guard-French-c1780-Officer’s Mounted Sabre.jpg
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Re: Folding Guard or Attack Hilt Swords

Postby sword335 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi Cathey,
Have a look at a post from Mike Royle in the Collectors Showcase thread for a British example.

Seasons greetings to you both.

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Re: Folding Guard or Attack Hilt Swords

Postby Richard » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:30 pm


Here a couple more (and non-French): the first from Sotheby's House of Hanover Sale in 2005 (probably German) and the second from Tajan sale 10 December 2005. The Tajan one has a blade by Runkel which makes me think its British.


PS, if you want a better photo of the Tajan sword, you can download a pdf of the auction catalogue from their website
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Re: Folding Guard or Attack Hilt Swords

Postby Richard » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:10 am


Here are another couple of folding guard swords from Wallis & Wallis famous sale no. 189 on 30 Nov 1972.

Lot 1157 is described as a 1788 Light Cavalry Officers sword and is by Knubley of No. 7 Charing Cross.

Lot 1163 is by Thomas Gill and is described as a 'Georgian officer's fighting short sword of the 65th Regiment'

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Re: Folding Guard or Attack Hilt Swords

Postby alan campbell » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:10 pm

There is a British example coming up in the forthcoming Anthony Cribb auction which might be of interest: ... a800f24e8e
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