This rarely encountered French non-commissioned officer's epee dates ca.1750, Seven Year War, or as it was called when fought in the American theater, the French and Indian War. The sword was in a Rhode Island family and still has the collection tag attached to one of the pas de ane.
Iron-mounted hilt retains vestiges of original japanning, grip was never wire-wound, but blackened and polished, according to the regulations for the sergeants swords. Remnants of cloth survive on the ends of the grip. Blade is a combination colichemarde / tri-foil, engraved in semi-literate French on both sides of the forte with a proberb -
L'amour fait beaucoup
mais l'orgent fait touts
, translated into English: Love means a lot, but money means everything.
Blade is 71 cm long, sword is 84 cm long. Sword is tight, and is nicely balanced. An identical sergeants sword with japanned hilt and polished wooden grip is in the Musee De l'Armee, in Paris. Une epee de segent de fusilier d'infanterie de la guerre de sept ans.