Incroyables and Merveilleuses, of the renewal of the Cane    

The "scabbard" Cane

As the sword is no longer admitted and as the streets at night aren't more secure than before, well!

They wear it as well, but dissimulated in the cane, that will be name "scabbard" Cane, then "with sword" and finally "sword-cane".

Ah mind! The sword is in the Cane.

Some could be found before the revolution and this, from the sixteenth century on. Accidents, Canes made on demand for the happy few. But we are at the cross roads. The sword-cane becomes more common.

Fight in the street

Incroyables The one on the left wearing a coat and a cocked hat, hold the Cane in the left hand and the sword in the right hand. Louis-Léopold Boilly [1]


Source of the illustration:
Sepulchritude website (in "French Kiss, the Terror and the Guillotine")

The sword-cane is widely spread
reveal the revolutionary archives


Here are the Records of the section debates in Paris. -- Many of these begin March 28, 1793, and contain the deliberations of revolutionary committees; for example, F7, 2475, the section of the Pikes or of the Place Vendôme.

We see by the official reports dated March 28 and the following days that the suspected were deprived all weapons, even the smallest, every species of sword-cane, including dress-swords with steel or silver handles.


Domiciliary visits in Mortagne during the electoral period of 1791.

"the principal clubbists, associated with the dubious part of the National Guard," spread through the streets in squads:

the houses of the nobles and of other suspected persons are invaded. All the weapons, "guns, pistols, swords, hunting-knives, and sword-canes," are carried off.

Source: The French Revolution Volume 2 - The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3, by Hippolyte A.Taine. Project Gutenberg etext for Arthur's Classic Novels. This extent prepared by Svend Rom. XHTML markup by Arthur Wendover

[1] Philosopher and historian, (1828 - 1883), freethinker, teaching the history of Art aesthetics at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, keen on history and writer, author in particular of the the Origins of contemporary France. Schoolfellow of Francisque Sarcey and Edmond About, he also teached in Oxford.

The sword-cane, a woman accessory
tell us the archives of Yonne


The archives of Yonne (a French county), gathered by Thierry and Florence Lefebvre, tell us that the citizen Mrs Quinquet wrote a petition on 10 Pluviose of Year IV (1st February 1796), to claim for various personal effects that had been taken away by the municipality of Saint-Denis sur Ouanne and in particular "a woman sword-cane of which the handle was broken" . Source:

1794 under the convention"Journal des dames" 1790

We notice the Cane used by these two ladies, represented on the illustration's archives gathered by the website Sépulchritude on the revolutionary period: on the right, the source is described as "Journal des dames" 1790 and on the left "bourgeoise 1794".


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