Sapper’s axe of the Sapeurs de la Garde Impériale

Manufactured in France c.1810′s for Napoléon’s imperial guard.
Sappers in the Napoleonic era were specialized infantrymen equipped with a heavy axe, thick leather gloves and apron, and an equally thick beard. This last privilege was granted to them due to the inherent risks linked to their job of clearing the enemy’s static defenses ahead of their main forces.


                                               Napoleon Bonaparte

                                           Napoleone di Buonaparte

                                                        Napoleon I

                                               Emperor of the French

                                                        King of Italy

                             Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine

                                (August 15, 1769 – August 15, 2017)

                                          Happy 249th birthday, Sir!