During Napoleon's campaign in Egypt, the terribly efficient scimitars of the Mamelukes, highly impressed Napoleon's soldiers who adopted their sabres in large numbers. This so called "Oriental" sabre, had become very popular, especially among light cavalry officers.
The decoration varied a lot and was often exuberant. Bonaparte even organized a corps of Mamelukes for its Consular and later Imperial Guard. Large and very curved blades brought from Egypt continued to be used, but increasingly rarer, they were often replaced by French blades. The handle in form of a "pistol grip" is characteristic of these sabres. The eyepiece was used to attach a strap. The engravings on the blades were varied and distinguished classical scrolls, inscriptions and other decorative elements that could be found on other types of swords. It was in this case loosely inspired by ancient hieroglyphic symbols.
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