Magnificent Sword of Prince Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans, Count of Paris and pretender to the French throne
An unusual sword with a spring mechanism that extends three blades when activated.
The reddish-brown velvet-lined hilt of finely cut steel in the shape of the French royal crown, below it the intertwined cipher of Prince Louis Philippe Albert d' Orléans.
The handle covered with reddish brown velvet and metal threads. Pommel and guard of cut steel.
Above the quillons a mechanism for extending and retracting the three blades. The blades blued and gilded in the upper quarter and finely etched with the following words:
"La Loi. / Le Prince Royal. / La Justice." (The Law / The Royal Prince / Justice).
The reverse of the blades with the same bluing and the ornamental gilt etching:
"Dieu. / Le Roi. / La France." (God / the King / France)
The scabbard is covered with black velvet with polished steel fittings. The upper fitting has a multi-coloured blued, partially gilded and burnished bee as a symbol of the monarchy (the Bourgeois King Louis Philippe adopted various symbols from Napoleonic heraldry, to distinguish himself from the Bourbon Royalty of the Restoration and the Ancien Régime). Length: 84 cm
Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans, Comte de Paris (* 24 August 1838 in Paris; † 8 September 1894 in Stowe, Buckinghamshire) was the eldest son of Ferdinand Philippe d'Orléans, Duc de Chartres, and grandson of the last French King Louis Philippe.
After his father's death in 1842, Louis Philippe moved up to the position of designated successor (Prince royal) to his grandfather, King Louis Philippe, for the office of King of the French.
However, after the February Revolution of 1848, he was forced to go into exile in Britain with his family. Since his grandfather's death in 1850, he was recognised by the supporters of the House of Orléans (Orléanists) as the rightful pretender to the French throne.
During the US Civil - War of Secession, he served with his brother Robert d'Orléans and other family members as an officer in the Union army.
As a member of the staff of the Army of the Potomac under General George B. McClellan, he distinguished himself in the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. He wrote a four-volume history of the Civil War.
After the Royal Bourbon pretender Comte de Chambord died childless in 1883 and the royal line of the Bourbons thus became extinct, Louis Philippe formulated as "Philip VII" the claim of the House of Orléans to the rightful representation of the "House of France" and thus his sole right of succession to the throne.
On 22 June 1886, the 3rd French Republic passed the law exiling the House of Orléans from France, whereupon Louis Philippe moved back to England where he died in 1894.
The House of Orléans was not allowed to return to France until 1950, after the law of exile had been repealed, whereupon his body could be transferred in 1958 with those of other exiled Orléans to the Chapelle Royale Saint-Louis in Dreux, the traditional burial place of the family.
Important, exceptional sword of magnificent quality which belonged to a member of the French Royal House.
Of the greatest rarity.