Early 19th century, Napoleonic period. Bronze (brass) hilt originally gilt with beaded oval shell guard and beaded knuckle bow. Urn form pommel, grip, quillon and quillon block all in reeded motifs. 31 7/8” hollow face triangular section blade of substantial fighting proportions. Dating to a period of danger and treachery stemming from the polarization of classes which led to the French Revolution and deaths of more than 40,000 French, necessitating that virtually every man was armed. This sword is as carried by a merchant, not necessarily schooled in fencing, and made with no frills or pretense.