Sword of honor of the corsair Pierre Anguier © Musée national de la Marine / A. Fux
Sword of honor of the corsair Pierre Anguier
Silver frame chiseled, punch of the Common House (goldsmiths) of Paris for 1745
Blade in engraved metal, signed Gaspard Certain, founder in Dunkerque
Leather scabbard, end of the XIXe century
For sale in public sale
This rare sword of honor was awarded, on the orders of King Louis XV, to the captain Pierre Anguier (1715-1789), of Dunkerque. It was given to him by Count de Maurepas, Minister of the Navy, 30 April 1746 in recognition of acts of arms and services rendered to the crown during a very special secret mission.
At the beginning of the 1746 year, in the midst of the Austrian Succession War, the King of France demanded the corsair Pierre Anguier for a mission of confidence. As part of the struggle against England, it was a question of helping the Catholic prince Charles Edward Stuart, a pretender to the crowns of Scotland and England.
At the head of some ships, Captain Anguier was to carry as far as Scotland silver, powder, ammunition, and troops. Thanks to his cunning and his vigilance, the expedition, which was extremely dangerous, was a success. On the spot, the corsair is instructed to form a body of Scottish artillerymen and then to carry out a helping hand against the English army. The return to France, with English prisoners, proves to be epic!
This success and this audacity are worth to Pierre Anguier to be distinguished by a sword of honor.
The swords of honor, prestigious weapons of precious metal and richly decorated, were always realized by goldsmiths. An object of glory, haloing the sailor with an unprecedented prestige, the weapon was worn during any official meeting at sea or on land.
Until now, the National Naval Museum has not held a weapon of honor. The naval swords of honor are, indeed, extremely rare since only three specimens are known to date. There are very few weapons of which the belonging to corsairs is attested; the latter remained in the Anguier family until 2005.