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French Naval Cutlass M1801 and M1833 or 'Le Sabre d'Abordage', (Sabre De Bord or Boarding Cutlass) An IX 1801 and model 1833: The Premier Naval Boarding Cutlass of the 19th Century and Copied by Most of the World's Navies - Including The United States Navy.



There's also reason to believe that the Confederate States Navy Purchased a Number of the Model 1833 for their own use as a Naval Cutlass as after the Civil War there were found many of these French cutlasses in the US Navy's war surplus warehouses along with other captured militaria.

Price and Availability - The Pirate's Lair @ 540-659-6209

While the French Navy may have lost its world dominance after the Battle of Trafalgar in the early 1800's it was still formidable and had the best made and designed edged weapons.

Also featuring on this web page are the French Foot Aritillery M1831 and M1816 Double Edged Swords modeled after the Roman Gladius. Of note that American US Navy M1841 Naval Cutlass and the Confederate States Naval Cutlass made by Mole were also modeled after this French Sword.

m1833 french naval cutlass Sabre De Bord with leather scabbard dated June 1847 on spine
Avove is a French Naval Cutlass Model M1833 and one of the most copied and preffered of 19th century edged weapons. The US Navy took this French design when it mass produced its Civil War Cutlass, the M1861.
m1833 french naval dirk or short swordorder=
Avove is a French Naval Dirk Model M1833 with Scabbard. Very rare piece and well marked with the proper arsenal stamps.


french navy port of brest ca 1850-1880

French Naval Port of Brest ca 1850-1880 - One of the Oldest Surviving Photographs of the French Fleet in the Day of Sail

Here you will find Price and Availability as well as a brief Historical Analysis and Documentation of the French Naval Cutlass Models An IX m.1801 (An IX 1801) and m.1833 (M1833), and their influence in both the American navies during the Civil War: Federal Navy and Confederate Navy.

Towards that end we will provide detailed contemporary photographic illustrations and textual history of the M1801 (or An IX (1801)) and M1833 naval cutlass, how it was assembled, its' pieces, measurements, and weapons or arsenal manufacturers Klingenthal (Manufacture royale du Klingenthal 'DATE') and Chatellerault (MANUFre Rle de CHATELLERAULT 'DATE') the two specific manufacturer's who produced these two naval cutlasses and their maker marks. The Boarding Cutlass in French is 'Le Sabre d'Abordage' or Sabre De Bord.

In learning about the French Navy Cutlass we should note that this weapon was so popular and such a hallmark fighting weapon among sailors of the early 19th century that with the exception of England almost all of the European navies at some time adopted a duplicated version of the French Naval Cultass for their own use.

As a matter of fact, the United States Navy at the beginning of the Civil War incorporated many of the design features of the French Naval M1833 Cutlass into their own U.S. Navy Naval Cutlass which was designated the M1860 and manufactured by the Ames Company. Over 24,000 of the M1860 Naval Cutlass were produced and used by the US Navy for more than 80 years! There is documentation to suggest that a number of the M.Sabres Dus Bord were purchased by the Confederates States of America duing the Civil War for the Confederate States Navy.

The French AN IX 1801 and M1833 was the hallmark "cut and thrust" working naval cutlass mass produced for use by the French enlisted sailor in the 19th century. It was short in comparison to most calvary swords so that it could be used and wielded upon the confines of a sailing ship when boarding a ship or repelling boarders. Simple in design, black japanned steel hilt, without any frills, yet elegantly designed - a very effective fighting weapon. With the closed cup hilt and sweeping upturned falchion blade the M1801 and M1833 definitely had that "piratey" look and feel that we see in many movies and pictures.

How to differentiate the French AN IX 1801 and 1833 models:
(AN IX means 9th Year of the First Republic)
- model An IX 1801-1803: blade 65cm, 5 lobed beehive quillion, no anchors - model An X 1803-1811: blade 75cm, 5 lobed beehive quillion plus an anchor etched on each face of the blade, at an angle. - model An XI 1811-1816: blade 67.6cm, 5 lobed beehive quillion plus anchor vertical, eye towards the guard. - model 1833 : 67.7cm, anchor vertical, eye towards rhe tip of the blade, rounded tab quillion (no beehive)

Here below is an example of the French Model M1833 Naval Cutlass - a weapon for the enlisted sailor:

french m1833 naval cutlass boarding sword

The above French model M1833 Cutlass has the sweeping upturned blade (called a falchion), a single wide fuller (a fuller is the long groove found on some sword blades, it is there for balance and not as some think for exiting blood), and the distinctive closed cup hilt which was made of iron. This French cutlass has that traditional "piratey" look and feel of a true boarding cutlass seen in all of the movies and artwork of the time.

french m1833 naval cutlass boarding sword

The above French model M1833 Cutlass has the sweeping upturned blade slightly wider wider toward the tip (called a falchion blade), a single fuller (a fuller is the long groove found on some sword blades, it is there for balance and not as some think for exiting blood), and the distinctive closed cup hilt which was made of iron. This French cutlass has that traditional "piratey" look and feel of a true boarding cutlass seen in all of the movies and artwork of the time.

The French model M1833 Cutlass with the iron hilt had its entire hilt (grip, guard, closed cage and pommel) coated in a heavy black japanning to protect the metal from rusting. Sometimes collectors thought this was black paint which was added on post-production, but it was actually part of the manufacturing process.

Here at The Pirate's Lair have a French M1833 Cutlass which has had the black japanning covering the inside guard and closed cup, however the exterior japanning on the closed cup was removed sometime in the past. This lack of japanning has allowed us to fully document the various maker-marks, ordinance marks, and cartouche consisting of stamped letters, numbers, anchors that would ordinarilly be hidden by the black japanning.

Note the anchor lightly engraved on the above blade near the ricasso, (the location of the unsharpened blade closest to the guard or hilt). On the French M1833 cutlass this anchor was lightly stamped or engraved on both sides of the blade making there no mistake that it was of naval provenance. The M1833 also had a relatively wide and thick blade, making it a substantial weapon to wield.

m1833 french naval cutlass with Chatellerault  inscripted maker mark on spine dated 1847 Photo to the left shows the spine of the blade with the French script "MANUFre Rle de CHATELLERAULT Juine 1847" (Royal Manufacturer, Chatellerault, June 1847) or on early M1801 models "Manufacture royale du Klingenthal" (Royal Manufacturer Klingenthal) giving the royal arsenal and date of manufacture. A year later in 1848 after the French Revolution the word Royale was replaced with Republic. This is on all M1801 and M1833 cutlass models.

The spine of the M1801 and M1833 models of naval cutlass was thick and substantial the entire length of the blade. You can see the very top tab of the quillon where most of the the ordinance stamps and maker marks are located on both sides.


MAKER MARKS, STAMPS, POINCONS, AND CARTOUCHE:

HILT: On this particular cutlass there are two arsenal inspector's marks (poincon or cartouche) stamped on the inside quillon which appear to be 1) a recessed oval with raised numbers 34 and 2) recessed sheild the capital letter B which is the ordinance inspector poincon of S.F Beaumaretz. On the outside quillon there also appears another two cartouche stamps; 1) stamped circle with the number 10 and 2) another deep stamp but unrecognizable.

Also a small naval anchor is found stamped onto the reverse side of the inner guard even with the middle of the steel grip.

BLADE: From 1803 onward all Models 1801 and 1833 will have large matching anchors lightly stamped on either side of the blade about 3" down from the ricasso. There will also be manufacturing information and date in written script form found on the spine as shown. With a fully japanned cutlass hilt intact the only way to positively identify the provenance of a French Naval Cutlass M1801 and M1833 are by these two distinctive stamps and inscriptions. With a magnifying glass the maker marks, cartouche and poincon found on the ricasso of the blade would also be visible.

Additionally on the obverse ricasso of this particular cutlass is stamped: 1) an oval cartouche or poincon with a crown over a capital L which itself is surrounded by a spread of laurel or leaves along the bottom edge of the oval, 2) a shield with the capital letter B similar to the poincon or cartouche found on the inside quillon.

SCABBARD: Made of japanned leather and brass throat and tip with leather stitching down the reverse side of the scabbard. On the brass throat there is located a small anchor stamped onto the scabbard above the throat stud or bracket. Below the reverse staple and edge is found the number 36 and the letter B both within ovals. On the brass tip above the reverse staple is found the number 36 and the capital letter B both in ovals.

With the exception of the cartouche or poincon marks and large anchors found on the blade all of the marks found on the hilt, guard and quillon would normally be covered with the black japanning making making it difficult to impossible identifying them. However this particular M1833 had a substantial amount of its japanning removed so as to reveal these maker-marks for historical documentation purposes. The black japanning was left as-is on the inside D-guard, closed basket, and grip.

The small anchors found on the hilt's guard and scabbard are naval acceptance stamps, and it is believed that the small Shield with B was the ordinance inspector poincon of S.F Beaumaretz.

 
Description 'Le Sabre d'Abordage' or Boarding Cutlass
 
Dimensions
 
Additional Information
 
Overall Cutlass Length (blade tip to pommel):
 
32 1/2"
 
Additional Information
 
Blade Length (point tip to quillon):
 
26.5"
 
Additional Information
 
Blade Width (at ricasso):
 
1 3/16"
 
Additional Information
 
Blade Thickness (at spine):
 
3/8"
 
sometimes measured at 5/16"
 
Blade Fuller Width:
 
1"
 
wide fuller running length of the blade from ricasso to 5 3/8" from blade tip
 
Blade Fuller Length:
 
21"
 
Very Wide
 
Length of Steel Hilt (from outer edge of quillon to tip of pommel:
 
5 3/8"
 
Entirely Black Japanned
 
Hilt,grip, guard, and closed basket:
 
Steel
 
Grip is made of steel sheet in octagonal shape
 
Quillon Shape - M1801:
 
5 Lobes or Tabs
 
1801-1816
 
Quillon Shape - M1833:
 
Single Lobe atop Round Guard
 
This is the major design difference from the M1801
 
Leather Bushing Between Hilt and Blade:
 
Yes
 
a substantial leather bushing and mostly always intact on these models
 
Scabbard (length):
 
27 1/8"
 
Japanned leather body with brass throat and tip. Large stitches run full length on reverse side.
 
Scabbard, Brass Throat:
 
3 3/8"
 
two staples on both sides 1/4" from bottom. Obverse side has frog/ hanger stud or bracket 1/4" and anchor cartouche located between bracket and top edge. On reverse side between staple and bottom edge are found two cartouche or poincon, the number 36 within an oval and the capital letter B also in an oval.
 
Scabbard, Brass Tip:
 
4 1/8
 
terminates in ball, has two staples 1/8" from top edge. between the reverse staple and top edge are found two poincon or cartouche, 34 and B both in ovals
 
Weight (Cutlass and Scabbard):
 
3 lbs
 
Heavy Well Balanced Cutlass
 
Weight (Cutlass only):
 
2 lbs, 8 oz
 
Heavy Well Balanced Cutlass
french m1833 naval cutlass full length obverse blade and scabbard

Photo showing the obverse side of the M1833 French Naval Cutlass and Scabbard.

french m1833 naval cutlass full length reverse

Photo showing the reverse side of the M1833 French Naval Cutlass with Leather Scabbard.

french m1833 naval cutlass showing large anchor on blade and small anchor pointcon on brass throat of scabbard french m1833 naval cutlass cartouche on obverse ricasso, L below Crown and B in Oval

Left photo showing large anchor stamped on blade with small anchor poincon or cartouche stamped onto brass throat of the scabbard.

Right photo showing obverse side of blade's ricasso with an oval cartouche having a crown over a capital L and laurel leaves on either side of the L. Another cartouche or poinon of an oval with a captial letter B which is presumably the ordinance inspector's initial.

french m1833 naval cutlass cartouche

Outside Guard Quillon - French M1833 Naval Cutlass M1833 cartouche of an oval with the numeral 10 and a deep cartouche that cannot be identified.

french m1833 naval cutlass cartouche on inside quillon - stamped capital letter B in a banner and the number 34 inside an oval

Inside Guard Quillon - French M1833 Naval Cutlass cartouche and poincon located on inside quillon - stamped capital letter B in a banner and the number 34 inside an oval

french m1833 naval cutlass

Above photo shows the reverse side of the inside guard and quillon. The small anchor cartouche signifying naval ordinance approval is in the lower left of the photo. The two inspection cartouche and poincon are also shown on the tip quillon.



french m1833 naval cutlass reverse scabbard
french m1833 naval cutlass obverse scabbard

Above photos show the reverse and obverse sides of the M1833 French Naval Cutlass. Note the stitching going down the entire reverse side, where the staples are located on both the brass throat and tip, and the throat stud or bracket location.


french m1833 naval cutlass brass tip cartouche

Above photos show the reverse and obverse sides of the M1833 French Naval Cutlass. Note the stitching going down the entire reverse side, where the staples are located on both the brass throat and tip, and the throat stud or bracket location.



This brings us to the conclusion of our technical dissertation on the French M1833 Naval Cutlass. We hope that you found it both interesting and factual, and a help in finding that special cutlass for your collection. Below you will find price and availability of this naval cutlass.

 
Custom Wooden Wall Brackets for the Naval Cutlass
Elegant in Their Simplicity! Custom Crafted Wooden Wall Brackets Specifically for a Cutlass Display or Sword Display for a Secure, Beautiful and Professional Presentation.

These Handcrafted Wooden Wall Brackets or Wall Mounts Are Made for the Wide and Large Hilts Normally Found on Cutlasses and Some Swords and Prevent the Hilt or Cup From Touching the Wall. The TPL Wall Brackets Come Complete with 2 Brackets and 2 Mounting Screws, and are Available in 3 Sizes with a Choice of Oak or Walnut Woods!
 
The Pirates Lair Custom Made Handcrafted Oak or Wlanut TPL Wall Brackets to Safely, Securely, and Properly Display Your Cutlass or Sword Without Damaging Wall or Weapon
Click Photo
 
$35. Pair

2.25" 2.75" 3.75"

specify length and either Oak or Walnut when calling.
 
Call To Purchase
540 659 6209
 
RARE! French Naval Officers Dirk with Scabbard M1833
RARE! French Naval Dirk with Leather Scabbard Model M1833 Properly Marked with Arsenal and Inspector Stamps. Excellent Condition. Has all of the appropriate maker marks, cartouche and poincon clear and visible. Like its larger bretheren, the Model M1833 cutlass, this no-nonsense French Dirk was simple yet elegant in both purpose and function.
 
french naval dirk model 1833
Click Photo!
 
Not For Sale
 
Historical Display Only
 
RARE! French Naval Cutlass with Scabbard M1833 Dated 1847 #8
Excellent Condition. Has all of the appropriate maker marks, cartouche and poincon clear and visible.
 
French M1833 Naval Cutlass Dated 1847 For Sale
Click Photo!
 
$895.
Sold!
 
To Order Call
540 659 6209
 
RARE! French Naval Cutlass with Scabbard M1833 Dated Juine 1847 (June 1847) #9
Excellent Condition. French Naval Anchors on both sides of the blade and stamped on the inside hilt handguard cup. Has all of the appropriate maker marks, cartouche and poincon clear and visible.
 
French M1833 Naval Cutlass Dated 1847 For Sale
Click Photo!
 
$1195.
 
To Order Call
540 659 6209
 
RARE! French Naval Cutlass Model M1833 Dated Juine 1847? #10
Excellent Condition. French Naval Anchors on both sides of the blade and stamped on the inside hilt handguard cup. Has all of the appropriate maker marks, cartouche and poincon clear and visible on the blade, visible but not clear on the guard due to the black japanning.
 
French M1833 Naval Cutlass Dated Juine 1847? For Sale #10
Click Photo!
 
$895.
Sold!
 
To Order Call
540 659 6209
 
RARE! French Naval Cutlass with Scabbard Model M1833 Dated Jain 1842 (January 1842) #11
Excellent Condition - Museum Quality. French Naval Anchors on both sides of the blade and stamped on the inside hilt handguard cup. Has all of the appropriate maker marks, cartouche and poincon clear and visible.
 
French M1833 Naval Cutlass Dated 1842 For Sale
Click Photo!
 
$1195.
 
To Order Call
540 659 6209
 
French Foot Artillery Sword Model M1831 or m.1831 - #12
Excellent Condition. The French M1831 Foot Artillery Sword was patterned after the Roman Gladius doubled edged weapon manufactured by Talabot of Paris. The French M1831 Sword was indirectly used as a model for the US Army's M1832 Foot Artillery Sword and the US Navy's M1841 Ames Naval Cutlass. The Confederate States Navy Naval Cutlass made by the British firm Mole was also a doubled edged weapon originally intended as a foot artillery sword and was itself perhaps Mole modeled after the French M1831.
 
French M1831 Foot Artillery Sword
Click Photo!
 
Blade Length: 19" Total Length: 24.75"
 
Price: $295.
SOLD
 
French Foot Artillery Sword Model M1831 or m.1831 - #13
Very Good Condition with Proper Marks. NOTE: Unique to this sword are the stamped rack numbers or inventory numbers 20 and 0 on the cross guard. The French M1831 Foot Artillery Sword was patterned after the Roman Gladius doubled edged weapon. The French M1831 Sword was used as the pattern for the Ames US Army's M1832 Foot Artillery Sword and indirectly as a model for the US Navy's M1841 Ames Naval Cutlass. Tip of this sword is very slightly blunted from past use. The Confederate States Navy Naval Cutlass made by the British firm Mole was also a doubled edged weapon originally intended as a foot artillery sword and was itself perhaps modeled after the French M1831.
 
French M1831 Foot Artillery Sword
Click Photo!
 
Blade Length: 19" Total Length: 24.75"
 
Price: $295.
To Order Call
540 659 6209
 
French Infantry Briquet or Short Sword - #14
Excellent Condition with Proper Marks. The French Infantry Briquet ca 1800-1812 was widely used by the French Infantry throughout the Napoleonic Wars. This is a very handsome and sturdy weapon with all brass hilt, upturned flat falchion blade, with proper arsenal, inspection and manufacturer marks on hilt and blade.
 
French Infantry Sword
Click Photo!
 
Blade Length: 19" Total Length: 24.75"
 
Price: $495.
To Order Call
540 659 6209


Below are links to other Antique Nautical and Naval Artifacts that may be of interest:

French Navy Dinnerware and Tableware - Enlisted and Officer

Click HERE for WWII US Navy Anchor China

 
Authentic 100+ Year Old Nautical Antique Trunks
The Real Deal! Fully Restored Antique Trunks Like Sea Chests, Pirate Chests, Treasure Chests!
 
Antique Trunk Used As Military Navy Shadow Box Retirement Gift
Click Here To Review Sample Engravings
 
The Largest Selection of Antique Trunks on the Net to Choose From!
 
OPTIONAL - Trunk Wood Engraving Examples and Prices
Custom Designed, Handcrafted, and Hand Lettered in Caligraphy on your Antique Chest
 
Personalized Burnt Wood Engravings
Click Here To Review Sample Engravings
 
Personalize Your 100+ Year Old Antique Trunk in Perpetuity!
 
Antique Trunks as a Shadow Box and Storage Chest!
Customer Photographic Examples of our Antique Trunks Being used as a Military or Naval Retirement Shadow Box and Storage Chest!!
 
Military or Naval Retirement Ceremony Shadow Box
Click Here for Sample Shadow Box Photographs From Customers
 
Why just get a shadow box or a newly made trunk with no history! One of our 100+ Year Old Nautical Antique Trunks can be used for both a Shadow Box and Storage Chest for your Uniforms, Photograph Albums, and Memorabilia!


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The naval cutlass was also sometimes known as a navy sword or naval short sword as the blade was sometimes significantly shorter than some of the 30" plus blades found on infantry and calvary swords.

moreover the sweeping blade of the cutlass was called in french the "falchion" which distiguishes it from the straigher sword blades.