Model 1784 French Dragoon Sword

Model 1784 French Dragoon Sword

Model 1784 French Dragoon Sword

model 1784 french dragoon sword saber antique sword napoleonic 1831 klingenthal

Well here’s my latest vastly overpriced sharp and pointy purchase! It’s either my third or fourth antique sword, depending on whether you count my bayonet. This is a Model 1784 French Dragoon Sword made in 1831 in Klingenthal. This is pretty long for a single-handed saber, with a lot of reach from horseback. It has a very nice scalloped brass shell guard with additional bars extending to a knucklebow. The grip is either bone or wood, polished with twisted wire wound into the ridges. It comes with a steel scabbard with brass accents. On the whole it’s in pretty good shape, though it’s clear some parts have been replaced at some point, and there’s about 1mm of motion in the hilt. Here are the stats:

Total length 102cm (40.3″)
Blade length 89cm (35.1″)
Grip length 10.5cm (4.15″)
Blade width 2.9cm (1.1″)
Blade thickness 0.9cm (.35″)
Weight 1016g (2.25 lb)
Balance 13cm (5.1″)

So as you can see, this is a surprisingly light sword for its size, though it’s very forward-balanced for powerful cuts. Looking along the back it seems insanely thick, but it tapers immediately into a deep fuller before widening to the secondary bevel. Also, there’s even a second fuller that begins about 8 inches from the guard, making it even lighter. The blade narrows to a lenticular section about 4 inches from the tip for thrusting. All this gives it a light weight but maintains a good cutting balance. It’s actually tough to control in one hand, especially indoors, but a sweeping cut from horseback would carry a lot of power with not a lot of weight.

The blade is mostly clean for its age, and I’m certain it’s been aggressively cleaned at at least one point. However it’s still decently sharp. Not razor sharp, but definitely not factory blunt, which implies to me that it was actually issued and carried once upon a time. It still has its original leather washer at the base of the blade, or at least one that fits, though it’s dry and stiff with some green coloration.

The spine is stamped with the inscription Mre Rle de Klingenthal, Mars 1831 Sa. indicating that it was made by the Royal Manufacture of Klingenthal in March 1831 in Saxony. The fact that the inscription is hard to make out further tells me it was harshly cleaned, removing some of the contrast.

The metal at the end of the grip is much redder in color than the rest of the guard, as is the wire wrap, indicating that this part was replaced at some point. There are also extra pieces of wood or bone added at the bottom of the grip like they’re supposed to be spacers to make the new piece fit better. There’s also a rectangular block on the pommel where the tang is peened, and there’s also a little movement here. So it was definitely repaired, but I certainly can’t tell whether it was done during the sword’s normal usage life or later.

Okay, enough talk. On to the pictures!

 

model 1784 french dragoon sword saber antique sword napoleonic 1831 klingenthal

model 1784 french dragoon sword saber antique sword napoleonic 1831 klingenthal

model 1784 french dragoon sword saber antique sword napoleonic 1831 klingenthal

model 1784 french dragoon sword saber antique sword napoleonic 1831 klingenthal

model 1784 french dragoon sword saber antique sword napoleonic 1831 klingenthal

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