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This is a rare sword, a French non-commissioned officer's epee which dates ca.1750, Seven Year War, or as it was called when fought in North American theater, the French and Indian War. The sword was in a very old Rhode Island family collection, and still has the collection tag attached to one of the pas de ane.
Iron-mounted hilt retains vestiges of original japanning, grip was never wire-wound, but covered with fabric, as was typical of the French NCO swords. Remnants of cloth survive on the ends of the grip, which polished wood. Blade is a combination colichemarde-trifoil, the strongest type of all, and is engraved in semi-literate French on both sides of the forte with a proberb -
L'amour fait beaucoup
mais l'orgent fait touts
,which, translated into English means "Love means a lot, but money means everything" .
Blade is 71 cm long, sword is 84 cm long. Sword is very tight, and is nicely balanced. An identical sergeants sword with japanned hilt and polished wood grip is in the Musee De l'Armee, in Paris.
Judging by the provenance, this sword was carried by a sergeant from one of the French colonial Regiments stationed in Nouvelle France at the time of the French and Indian War.
A nice, expressive, and very scarce sword!