General's $50,000 sword could slice through the opposition at Czerny's

As we've often said, there is something magical about the sword. Though they are naturally lethal objects, many are designed to be beautiful, evocative pieces and perhaps not intended for combat at all.

An important AN XII model general's glaive leads Czerny's Fine Antique Arms & Armour, Russian Orders & Militaria auction early next month. This should make an excellent investment.

The straight, double-edged, damask blade, ribbed at the centre with double fuller and hollow tip on both sides of the blade, has a long tang of lenticular section, finely engraved with fasces, cane with snakes, sword, vase and laurel branches on gilded background.

The signature "Manufacture de Klingenthal" and "Coulaux Frères" appears at the base. It boasts a fire gilt brass hilt, a six-arms hexagonal section quillon, with the outer arms curved, ending in the shape of dragons heads.

The shield-shaped quillon-block presents a rooster on one side and emu on the other, whilst the crown-shaped pommel shows a leaf-shaped button.

General's glaive or sword
A work of art with an obvious point: the general's glaive

It sports a longitudinally grooved ebony grip, on which both sides are decorated with gilt brass winged fasces and silver thunderbolts, and there are oak branches at the ring-nut.

As for the scabbard, it is no less spectacular. Re-blued iron with gilt brass mounts decorated with bas-relieved floral and geometrical motifs, at the centre is a rayed eye.

The glaive was probably manufactured in Kingenthal based on AN VII and AN XII models by Boutet, Art Director of Versailles Manufacture.

Dating to circa 1800, from France, it is in excellent condition and expected to sell for $40,000-50,000 in the sale which takes place on April 2 in Sarzana, Italy, and online.

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