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Eric Allen

Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2015 3:12 pm    Post subject: New cavalry sabre? in my collection. Anyone know more?         Reply with quote

This was my birthday present from my grandfather this year. It was in his possession for several years. He purchased it from a gentleman who brought it to the United States following the close of World War II. My grandfather had gotten it sort-of appraised a while back as “Prussian, prior to the First World War,” but other than that never knew much about it.

A little research leads me to believe this is a Model 1889 Cavalry Degen (or “straight sword”).

I have uploaded pictures of the sword Here. I refer to these pictures in the text below.

The blade is steel and measures 31 15/16 inches (89.12 cm) from guard to tip. The sword measures 38 ¼ inches (97.15 cm) in length overall. The edge of the blade shows no evidence of ever having been sharpened (Fig. 1).
The grip is black composite. The hilt fixtures appear to be nickel-plated and feature the Prussian Imperial Eagle crest on the knuckleguard (Fig 2). The knuckleguard is hinged, and a spring-loaded so it may be folded back, but pops out easily. The hilt shows some oxidation, especially around the pommel.

On the blade just beyond the knuckleguard is stamped the maker’s mark, a king’s head and helm with the initials W.K.& C., which identifies as belonging to Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie of Solingen (Fig 3).

The scabbard measures 33 7/8 inches (86.04 cm) in length and consists of rolled steel with a solid black finish. There is a single mounting ring affixed to the scabbard. From what I’ve been able to find, this single ring and black color could date the sword to after 1910 . The scabbard has been dented and scuffed along its length, including a noticeable dent near the distal tip and shows oxidation.

The blade shows numerous scuffs down its length, probably from having been handled and improperly put back in the scabbard several times over the years. It is bent slightly along its length so that the entire blade curves ever so slightly away from the knuckleguard. A shallow, rounded fuller begins approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the guard and extends a length of 20 ½ inches (52.07 cm) before terminating.

The most striking feature of the sword is, of course, the decoration on the blade which runs down both flats and the false edge. The etching shows a complex foliage design with numerous figures and begins 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the guard and extends an additional 14 inches (35.6 cm) down the length of the blade. The most prominent feature of the etching on each flat of the blade is a large central panel, with the background colored a rich navy blue (the blue is original to the blade and appears to be enamel).

The knuckleguard side of the blade (Fig 4) features proximal to the blue panel the figure of a man on horseback wearing a military (likely a Hussar or Uhlan) uniform and bearing a sword and lance (Fig 5). Distal to the blue panel is the figure of a horse’s head (Fig 6). Within the blue panel is an ornate text reading “Leib Garde Hus. Regt.” Presumably this refers to the Leib Garde (“Life Guards”) Hussar Regiment, organized in 1815 and disbanded in 1919.

The opposing side of the blade (Fig 7) features proximal to the blue panel a crest of and eagle within an eight-pointed “sunburst” with the inscription “SUUM CUIQUE” (Latin for “to each his own” or “may all get their due”) above the eagle and a wreath below (Fig 8). (I wonder about this emblem. Is it significant, or was it just part of some “off-the-shelf” decoration, as I think the other figures are?). Distal to the blue panel is an emblem showing crossed swords and lances aver a wreath (Fig 9). The blue panel shows a cavalry charge scene (presumably of Hussars) with a lead figure with drawn sword leading three ranks of six mounted soldiers each (Fig 10).

On the hilt, a series of shallow punctures on the (crossguard?) spells out highly stylized superimposed letters “A” and “S” surmounted by a rather nebulous swirling design (looking a bit like a cloud), and underlain by “3.Es”, presumably “3 Eskadron”, or “3rd Squadron” (Fig 11).

So, it is an interesting and visually stunning piece. I’ve managed to figure out some things about it, but I’m not as familiar with arms from this period in history. If anyone has anything to add about the sword and its decoration, my grandfather and I would be most gracious.
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Glen A Cleeton

Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,968

PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you were to post it over at the link below and title your thread Prussian 1889, a fellow named Dale Martin can probably fill in any blanks.

To my knowledge, a sword that was privately purchased to commemorate service.


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