French Sabre à Champagne
This wonderful French Sabre à Champagne by Roger Orfevre is in perfect condition and sits on its wooden stand. It is 42 cm long and the size of the stand is w 40 x d 5cm. The Sabre on stand weighs 641 grms. What a great gift for the wine aficionados! Postage from France included.
What is Sabrage.
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 from the neck of the bottle. The cork and collar remain together after separating from the neck.
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.