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Circa 1805 French First Empire Napoleonic Hussar Saber
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A French Napoleonic Hussar saber of the First Empire, circa 1814, in untouched condition. The saber has an overall length in the scabbard of approximately 34 inches, with a blade length of approximately 28 inches. The grip is covered in leather that is wrapped in wire, with the wire being somewhat loose in spots. The pommel and "D" guard are brass, as are the fittings on the leather scabbard, with all of these components having a dark, uncleaned, patina. The blade is curved with a clipped point design. The blade has a gray tone to it overall. There are etched designs in the blade, both floral and military in nature. The blade ricasso beneath the langet is marked "V AK & F" for "Veuve A. Knecht et Fils" (Widow of A. Knecht and Son). The "A. Knecht" was Johann Abraham Knecht, a Solingen swordsmith who died in June of 1812 and whose shop was then operated by his widow (the Knecht family remained in the business of swords and blades for many years thereafter). There is, on the spine, a flourish which almost appears to be a stylized number "2" or even a stylized swan. This same mark appears on the spine of other Solingen swords of the period and it is thought to perhaps be a Solingen proof mark of quality. There are traces of gilt still remaining on the ricasso in the area of the maker mark, which would suggest that, at one time, the sword had blued panels on which the incised designs were gilded. The leather scabbard shows the expected age but the leather is supple and intact, without tears or splits. Overall excellent condition and a very impressive saber of the period.