French hunting sword, or couteau de chasse of excellent quality, fabricated in the first half of 19th century. Grip is ebony, well-sculpted, guard is of silvered brass, with hunting dogs heads as quillon finials, and a game animal's head in the center of the cross-guard. The blade is 40 cm long, sword is 54 cm long overall. Blade is maker-marked S.H., possibly Samuel Hoppe or Simon Helwig, very thick, cruciform in cross-section, blued and gilt for more than half its length, with gold-filled etched rosettes depicting martial, hunting, floral motifs, and, interestingly, an arrangement of scientific instruments. Blade has touches of stabilized rust, The scabbard throat is decorated with a quiver full of arrows and a hunting horn. Scabbard is in good condition, and fits the sword nicely; leather has split in a couple of areas, shoe is of a later date.
A very nice, well-decorated piece, in my estimation dating to the late Premiere Empire-Restoration-July Monarchy period.