Page 189 - Auction84-Book1
P. 189

 The silver-gilt hilt has “MANUFUE/D’ARMES/A/VERSAILLES” and “BOUTET/DIRECTEUR/ARTISTE” in ovals on the face of
the guard which has detailed double serpent borders with entwined heads. The back or upper side of the guard has masks of Jupiter at the tips and imperial eagles where the guard meets the grip. Both would be fitting on a sword presented to Napoleon given his leadership of the Army of Italy. The silver-gilt pommel is a double lion head design that was also used on the “Consul” swords. The grip is wood with a reeded design perhaps meant to represent a Roman fasces and has silver-gilt trophies with masks. The specific classical figure represented by the masks, which are the same on the “Consul” swords, have been identified variously as Apollo, the Gorgoneion, and Jupiter. The Gorgoneion is the most logical given the use of Gorgon heads on other arms from Boutet including pistols later made for Napoleon’s officers, and the design is very similar to the Medusa Rondanini and other surviving masks of Medusa and the protective Gorgoneion. This symbol continued to be widely used deep into the 19th century on fine swords. The scabbard is a mix of silver-gilt, shagreen, and panels with blued backgrounds that make
the golden classical motifs stand out. Among the designs are the club of Hercules, the thunderbolts of Jupiter, and other classical motifs. The sword is difficult to draw from the scabbard due to the precise fit.
CONDITION: Extremely fine with 95% plus of the matte blue finish and bright original gold on the barrel, bright surfaces of the lock and furniture with areas of very minor aged patina and very slight oxidation, crisp details and markings throughout, absent front sight blade/bead, and replacement top jaw and jaw screw. The stock is also extremely fine
and retains beautifully detailed carving, crisp checkering, and attractive figure. There is minimal light handling and storage type marks, a couple small dents on the cheek rest, some slight flakes at a few of the very fine edges, and some scratches mainly near the toe. Mechanically excellent. The sword and scabbard are very fine and have attractive aged patina throughout, the majority of the fire blue remaining on the blade and scabbard panels, some minor staining on the bright portions of the blade, crisp designs throughout, mild wear on the shagreen, a loose throat collar and band on the grip, and some minor handling marks.

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