Gilt hilt, the guard with the French cock standing on a flag splay. Each flagpole mounted with an eagle, a tribute to Napoleon (I) who, upon his coronation as Emperor, directed that every flag in the French Army be so mounted. Fine high relief rococo motifs throughout including a bee hive each side of the pommel, a further tribute to Napoleon I who adopted the bee as a symbol of the new France and the bee hive as a symbol of the community or “the people”. Folding guard to the reverse. Polished black leather covered grip.  Fine gilt and blued triangular blade in bright crisp condition. Brass mounted leather scabbard, the mount decoration matching the hilt. leather surface dry with superficial surface deterioration, but sound. Napoleon III (R1858-70) sought to expand French control through Europe defeating Russia, annexing Savoy and defending the Papal States. His ambition in Mexico, viewed as vulnerable as the US was at Civil War, ended in disaster on May 5 when the Mexican Army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo (May 5) has been celebrated as a national holiday since.

Stock Number: A1887

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