When Napoleon's army landed in Egypt in 1798, nothing had prepared them for the marvel of the majestic Mameluke (mameluk or mamluk) warriors they would fight. Colourfully uniformed, and appointed with an array of pistols, maces, daggers and scimitars, the Mameluke's tactics were to discharge their pistols and toss them to the ground then charge into melee. While this was a success tactic against an untrained foe, the Mameluke charge was no match to the disciplined volleys of the French ranks (click for image).
While the French defeated the Mameluke at the Battle of the Pyramids and took control of Lower Egypt, the French were impressed by the elegance of the Mameluke's scimitar. Many cavalry officer's immediately adopted it.
In this famous painting of the Battle of the Pyramids by Antoine Jean Gros, every single French officer (save one) is carrying a mameluke scimitar sword.
Gros was not the only French painter taken by the scimitar. The famous French Napoleonic artist Baron Louis LeJeune adopted the sword as part of his personal uniform. There are countless other images of French officers adopting this exotic blade, like Napoleon's chief of staff General Berthier at the Battle of Jena for example.
Baron Louis LeJeune
However Napoleon went one step further. He brought home with him from Egypt an entire troop of Mamelukes to serve in his Imperial Guard. His Mamelukes would serve along side him throughout the entire Napoleonic Wars.
Mameluke of the Imperial Guard
The French army were not the only ones influenced by their experiences in Egypt. British officers, while campaigning in the middle east against the French, were also taken by the mameluke's scimitar and there are numerous examples of British one made after this style. Indeed the 1831 British pattern for General officers was a mameluke, a pattern still used today. The Royal Navy also saw the fighting qualities of this blade. Captain Sir William Sydney Smith of the Royal Navy is portrayed carrying a scimitar while he served in the gallant defence of Acre in 1799.
Sir William Sydney Smith of the Royal Navy in 1799 assisting the Turks at Acre
Even the United States Armed forces were captivated by the scimitar. After the adventurous trek across North Africa and their bold attack and capture of Tripoli by a handful of U.S. Marines, their officer Lieutenant O'Bannon was presented with a scimitar by U.S.'s Mameluke allies. This sword became the model for the US Marines Mameluke Scimitar used today.
Great pains have gone into accurately reproducing one of the scimitars used by Napoleon's Mamelukes. The successful results are evident in the images displayed here. The elegantly curved wooden handle in the scimitar balances and rotates well in the hand. The 33 1/2 inch high carbon steel blade is dramatically curved and is a hallmark of this sword. The wood supported leather and brass scabbard completes this piece, making it a must for any collector of Napoleonic swords.
Shipping Information... We send our swords UPS Standard to our clients in the continental United States and Canada. For one sword, we charge 19.00US (22.00 CAN) for shipping, insurance, and handling. Please add 8.00US (12.00CAN) for each additional sword.
Prices for the United Kingdom and countries in Europe (EU members) are: 99.00CAN (approx. 58.00EUROs or 39.00UK pounds) UPS Courier, or 45.00CAN surface post. For other clients outside North America we need to quote you on shipping.
Shipments to ALL destinations please allow one to two weeks for delivery after the order has been processed (two to three weeks international surface post). Please note the postal departments of some countries (Spain and Australia) do not handle items above 1 metre in length. Alternate (more expensive) courier arrangements have to be made in these cases. France, Germany, and the UK have no such postal handling restrictions.
Taxes, Duties, Restrictions, etc... For Canadian residents please add 5% GST and for Ontario residents an additional 8% PST. For United States residents there is no duty, restrictions, brokerage fees, or taxes on your sword orders when shipped through UPS.
International clients outside North America please contact your customs department to determine fees, taxes, and restrictions. When inquiring to your government please note that the sword you wish to import is a historic replica and has no sharp edges. We have shipped our swords to over 18 different countries.
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