This is a very nice example of a late 19th-century non-regulation sword made for a cavalry officer, perhaps attached to an African service unit. The sword is marked Petitfils & Bailhache, which was a private cutler established in Paris in the late 19h century. The company seems to have produced many no regulation blades for French officers. This specific sword was visibly highly inspired by the 1882 Infantry officer sword, with a flatter and larger guard. The blade itself follows the 1882 cavalry model, only much slenderer.
This is a very long sword with a blade at nearly 38 inches long, 43 total. It is nickel plated and the hilt is made of German silver and the grip is made of horn.
It is equipped with a thrusting blade, as was popular by the late 1800s, and the backstrap is decorated with the engraved owner’s cypher.
The sword is in pristine shape with barely any kind of blemish. The nickel plated scabbard has a few areas of corrosion, mainly by the drag, which is to be expected for a sword being carried in service.