Horse Chasseur Napoleon Imperial Guard Officer Sword

This is a Chasseur à Cheval battle sword of Napoleon Imperial Guard Officer.

The  elite Light Cavalry of the Imperial Guard... the Emperor's personal escort...the Chasseur à Cheval de la Garde.

They were the second senior old guard regiment after the Grenadiers Cheval.

It is not the regulation Officer pattern sword, as the officers did get a regulation pattern but the sword carried on battlefields, with the blade bearing numerous combat wears, with "à la chasseur" type hilt to have a better hand protection. 

Officer of the Chasseur a Cheval from the Imperial Guard
Louvre Paris

The same sword appears in the famous painting from Gericault.

Curved steel blade, extensively adorned with deep Blue & Gilt depictions of scrolls, Napoleon Heraldic Eagle and military drums. Engraved:

Chasseur à Cheval De la Garde Impériale".

Chasseur à Cheval De la Garde Impériale

© SabresEmpire

Magnifique portrait du Capitaine Hypolite Thomas (1779-1863)
© Soldats Napoléoniens Collection Familiale.

In 1796 during the battle of Borghetto, Napoleon with a terrible migraine, put his feet in a cold stream, some Austrian hussars rode nearby and nearly captured the General Bonaparte, loosing a boot during his escape.

This incident persuaded the French commander to form a cavalry bodyguard called the Guides and place Jean-Baptiste Bessières in charge.

Eventually, this unit would evolve into the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard.

The chasseurs a Cheval, the Emperor 's personal escort wore expensive hussar style outfits.

Napoleon got buried, wearing the uniform of officer of the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard.

Their gaudy red and green regalia made them one of the most colorful regiments in Europe.

The pelisse was trimmed with curled black lamb's wool and lined with white flannel. The dolmans were dark green and were worn under the pelisses. Their short Hungarian boots were fitted by the master bootmaker.

These boots were pleated at the instep for comfort and trimmed with orange braids and tassels. The squadrons of Old Guard wore black fur caps ...the colback. A scarlet flamme fell over the right side of the fur cap.

The squadrons of Young Guard wore no fur caps, instead they wore tall red shakos.

© SabresEmpire

© SabresEmpire

HQ Battlefield of chasseurs à cheval de la garde impériale by Detaille 

Général Nicolas Dahlmann as a colonel des chasseurs à cheval de la
Garde impériale ( he died at Eylau from a canon ball) by Albert Gregorius.

 Chasseur à cheval de la Garde Officer in campaign
order carrying our sword by Rousselot ©

These dashing and swaggering men were Napoleon's escort and for this reason they became the most known troop in the entire French army.

Napoleon wore uniform of colonel of this regiment.

They rode on 15 hands tall bays horses. Some sources (L Rousselot) mentions bays and chestnuts. The Guard Chasseurs were armed with slightly curved sabers, pistols and carbines.

The jealous army nicknamed them "The Pet Children".

In 1805 at Austerlitz they have fought against Tsar's Guard cavalry with mixed results.
In Dec 1808 at Benavente the regiment was ambushed and defeated by numerically stronger force of British and German cavalry. 

Battle of Austerlitz 1805
Chasseur a cheval de la Garde in action

The Guard Chasseurs from the Imperial Guard met again with the British and Prussian cavalry at Waterloo.

Repeatedly some of the chasseur squadrons rode up to within 300-400 paces of the British and Prussian (KGL) cavalry ...

.."with their officers wearing broad bearskin hats, and on several occassions some of them rode up to us, challenging the officers of our  regiment to single combat. As they were much stronger, the regiment could not accept the honor"...English soldiers recall.

Officer carrying the same sword

© SabresEmpire

Eagle bearer Lieutenant from the Guard by Lucien Rousselot ©

The Colonel review at the Tuileries Palace 

Always at the Emperor side