Saxon Model 1867 Cavalry Trooper’s Sabre, Garde-Reiter Regiment, 1867-73
Curved single fullered sabre blade with spear point. Brass hilt with side bars. Brass backstrap, integral pommel with tang button and riveted ears. Ribbed grip of black leather over wood. Steel scabbard with two fixed hanging rings. Blade 34 3/8 inches in length, the sword 40 inches overall.
The ricasso of the blade is stamped on one side with the manufacturer’s mark ‘P. D. Lüneschloss, Solingen’. It is stamped on the other side with the crown and ‘JR’ cypher of King Johann, who reigned from 1854 to 1873. The outside of the hilt is stamped ‘GR’, for Garde Reiter. The quillon is stamped on one side with a crown proof mark.
The Garde-Reiter-Regiment (1. Schweres Regiment) (1st Royal Saxon Guards Heavy Cavalry) was established in 1680 as a regiment of cuirassiers. It was the senior and premier heavy cavalry regiment of the Kingdom of Saxony, fighting in its wars from the Battle of Vienna through to WW1. The Saxon M1867 cavalry sword used by the enlisted men of the Garde Reiter borrowed much of its design from the Prussian M1852 cavalry officer’s sword, but with a brass hilt. Other Saxon cavalry of the period used the M1867 with a steel hilt. The Garde Reiter Regiment was disbanded in 1919.
The outside of the hilt should bear the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Saxony – this has been lost, and one can see the two holes in the hilt where it would be riveted through. Removing the solidly riveted emblem would seem like a strange but deliberate modification. While this is speculative, this might have been done in the republican period for political reasons. The abdication of King Frederick Augustus III in 1918 left a power vacuum which led to several years of political violence in Saxony as left-wing radicals attempted to establish a Soviet Republic, opposed by right-wing forces including the infamous Freikorps, and later the army of the new Weimar Republic.
The blade has areas of patination and pitting along its length. Its edge is undamaged, there are a couple of dents to the spine. No leather washer. The inside of the hilt has a dark, even patina, while the outside is brighter brass. Some patches of patination to the backstrap, pommel and ears. Only a short stub remains of the leather finger loop. A patch of leather has been lost from the grip on one3 side at the pommel end, exposing the ribbed wood beneath. Otherwise the grip shows very little handling wear. The scabbard has significant pitting and dark patination overall. It is structurally strong but has a rough texture.