Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

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Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby Bryce » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:19 pm

G'day Guys,

Has anyone ever noticed that Cavalie Mercer's (of the Royal Horse Artillery and Waterloo fame) Waterloo sword looks a lot like a post Napoleonic German Officer's sword? It has the exaggerated P stirrup hilt, heavy guard, small langets, and Solingen style decoration of a German blucher sabre, not to mention the decidedly un-British looking scabbard. Cavalie Mercer may have owned it at some stage, but I am pretty sure he wouldn't have carried this sword at Waterloo. Family history can be a very unreliable source as we all know.

https://www.gtrooprha.co.uk/about/mercer



Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby Will Mathieson » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:49 am

Bryce I agree that family history of some objects can be completely wrong. For most a sword is just a sword. Swords made later than the provenance suggests is a common mistake.
If this sword was Waterloo era, he may have traded his sword with a German officer though I know of no examples of this.
Did not Charles Ewart use a 1796 LC sword to secure the French eagle though museum shows a 1796 HC sword?
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby Richard » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:30 pm

Will Mathieson wrote:Did not Charles Ewart use a 1796 LC sword to secure the French eagle though museum shows a 1796 HC sword?


Really? I've never heard that one before ....
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby Will Mathieson » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:00 pm

I read that some time ago so I don't have a reference for it. Could be someones mistaken idea? I thought it was strange but accepted it at the time.
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby sword335 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:34 pm

I first saw Mercer’s sword when it appeared in an auction back in the seventies. Some years ago I met the owner, a descendant of Mercer, and we discussed the sword at length. I told him I had doubts about it’s authenticity but said that as it was now “with the family” it would be accepted by most people as genuine. It could, of course, be perfectly OK but like all things without continuous provenance one can never be 100% certain.
As far as family history is concerned I was once sent photos of a sword which a lady told me had been carried by an ancestor at Waterloo. I said this couldn’t be as it was an 1821 Pattern. I got a snooty reply that the ancestor was a very important man and was probably carrying a prototype piece. I informed her that he was also a great clairvoyant as it had Victoria’s cypher on the blade and she had been born four years after Waterloo !
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby Bryce » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:52 pm

G'day Chris,

If the sword wasn't with the family originally, where did the idea that it was Mercer's sword ever come from?

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby sword335 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:27 pm

It has a silver plaque on the scabbard saying that it was his.

Chris
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby Bryce » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:31 am

Thanks Chris,
Do you have a photo of the plaque or remember what it says?
In my mind it is even more unlikely the sword was ever his, but as you said, now it is with the family, after a generation or two, few people will question it.

Here is a very similar sword the Sailor in saddle website lists as German officer's model 1824 sword.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Cavalie Mercer's Waterloo Sword

Postby sword335 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:59 am

Hi Bryce,
I don’t remember the exact wording on the plaque. Something like “ The sword of Captain Mercer, R.H.A.carried at Waterloo “ as stated in the price guide. It was in a Wallis and Wallis sale about forty years ago but I had a big clear out a couple of years back and got rid of all my old Wallis catalogues. I’m sure someone here will have a copy if they have the time to dig it out.

Chris.
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