Duc de Berry's sabre sells for $137,500 at Christie's



2015-06-26 12:59:55

Duc de Berry's sabre sells for $137,500 at Christie's

A fine French sabre that once belonged to the Duc de Berry starred yesterday

A fine French sabre belonging to the illustrious Duc de Berry has sold as top lot in Christie's Antique Arms and Armour auction, which was held yesterday (September 26) in London.

Duc de Berry sabre sword Christie's The Duc de Berry was son of France's future king Charles X

The Duc de Berry (1778-1820), or Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, was the son of France's future king, Charles X. Rising to be a popular military leader during his lifetime, he began his illustrious career after joining France's counter-revolutionary Royalist army, led by his cousin the Prince de Conde.

Following the dissolution of the army in 1801, d'Artois spent a period living in England, before returning to France after receiving word of Napoleon's exile. On his return to his home nation, he became a respected member in the recently restored court of Louis XVIII, who would eventually appoint him commander in chief of the army at Paris when Bonaparte had escaped from Elba.

The Duc de Berry led his troops successfully, with the artist Vige Le Brun recording the following anecdote: "The first time he reviewed some troops he heard a few cries from the ranks of 'Long live the Emperor!' 'Quite right, my friends,' was his immediate remark; 'everyone must live.' Upon which the same soldiers exclaimed, 'Long live the Duke de Berri!'"

This strong relationship with his men was not to last and d'Artois would resign his post shortly before the Hundred Days war, as he was unable to control the pro-Napoleonic sentiments among the troops. After a period spent in Ghent, he returned to Paris upon Louis XVIII's second restoration, where he lived with Caroline of Naples at the Elysee Palace until his death in 1820 - four years before his father would take the throne.

The sabre is fitting of a military leader of such stature. Manufactured at the royal factory at Klingenthal, it features a blade lavishly decorated with figures of Mars and Victory, while the gilt-brass pommel boasts a grip of fluted mother of pearl. Created by Jean-Georges Blick, who is considered one of the finest craftsmen in his day, it sold for 85,250 ($137,764) against a 80,000-100,000 estimate.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some fantastic Napoloeon Bonaparte memorabilia available in our online store. Along with an authentic strand of his hair, we also have two important autographed letters to one of his most loyal men, the Duc de Feltre.

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