French Sabre à Champagne
This beautiful French Sabre à Champagne has never been used. Perhaps a gift not appreciated? The Sabre sits in its original box with its leather holster and is 50 cm long. The box is 55 x 18 x h 7cm. The weight is 1550 grms. What a great gift from France for the wine and champagne lovers! Postage from France included.
What is a Sabre/Saber used for?
Sabrage is a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber used for ceremonial occasions. The wielder slides the saber along the body seam of the bottle to the lip to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour. The force of the blunt side of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar with cork from the neck of the bottle.
The technique became popular in France when the army of Napoleon visited many of the aristocratic domains. It was just after the French Revolution and the saber was the weapon of choice of Napoleon’s light cavalry (the Hussars). Napoleon’s spectacular victories across all Europe gave them plenty of reason to celebrate. During these parties the cavalry would open the champagne with their sabers. Napoleon, who was known to have said, “I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate… and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself”, may have encouraged this.
There are many stories about this tradition. One of the more spirited tales is that of Madame Clicquot, who had inherited her husband’s small champagne house at the age of 27. She used to entertain Napoleon’s officers in her vineyard, and as they rode off in the early morning with their complimentary bottle of champagne, they would open it with their saber to impress the rich young widow.