War of 1812 presentation sword?
I believe I have a standard French/German style infantry briquet (saber) however it is engraved (acid-etched?) with "Jackson 8 Janvier 1815." This was the date of the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. On the reverse is a design with a liberty cap, I think crossed flags, and some flowery scroll work. I obviously know this wasn't the General Jackson's sword but is there any way to tell if it's original to the period? Inscribed post-war as a the owner's memorial to the battle? A presentation sword maybe? Were there many French-speaking soldiers in the War of 1812? I guess without any provenance, it wouldn't add any value to the piece? Thanks in advance!

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Welcome aboard.

Some of the etching may look suspiciously modern but the method is regarded as needle etching. A resist is applied and then the designs drawn through with a point.

P vs Peter seems to indicate it was the elder generation Peter and post war timely appropriate for a commemorative of sorts around the war's end. Whether period or a more modern (I don't think it is modern), there were likely several of them done. Maybe a nod to the loyalty and help of Laffite. I wouldn't want to speculate exactly when the inscription done but if it s not overlayed on top of previous etching, it would be unusual to see an inscription side and a decorative side unless it was not one of several. The panoply of arms/flags and cap a very generic design.

There was a discussion not so long ago of some Hessian, possibly commemorative blades associated with Friedrich II Landgraf
but clearly at, or around his death. Similarly, there are both Lafayette and Washington commemorative swords that appear at roughly 25 years after the revolution.

Thank you Glen, that's very interesting. The text inscription definitely isn't overlaid on a previous etching/inscription. What you wrote about dating P. Knecht confirms what I've read elsewhere. The older Knecht signed with PW I believe and the son with P, that was in the 1820s or 30s I believe. Do you have any tips or ideas about getting something like this professionally researched or appraised? Would it be even possible or worth it? Thanks again.
I'll look in the books but the elder I believe may be Pierre Guillaume Knecht for the Napoleonic years but it was a large family going back centuries anyway.

As to condition, I wouldn't do a thing. Clean and dry is my motto. Oil attracts dust. Any other coating, including silicon and Renaissance wax can reactivate old oxidation below whatever you coat an antique with.

There is a British 1796 sabre loosely associated with the battle of Little Bighorn. Asking price? $138,000

The only way to reach an appraisal value is to find a past sale. No doubt, the sword in question was valued at exactly what your costs (or someone else's) was.


I've got some German makers info at the desk but not here today. See Bezdek's German Sword Makers
Also keep in mind that Solingen was controlled by France for some years.
Check out this thread
Returning to the topic with Bezdek in hand. A penultimate indexer, I have to at least somewhat agree with his notes. The elder as listed was Peter Wilhelm 1770-1825 and the younger 1798-1852.

However the ambiguity arises from him listing P and P W, the younger just using initials or violas and the elder occasionally a goose or geese. That's Bezdek for you.

The family in the blade business listed back to 1624

There is a list of the family history. One notable passage that explains some sabres I run a cross are brass gripped Prussian 1811 cavalry swords contracted and produced in 1839. That in and of itself may be a hint as to when the briquet was done. This snippet for educational purposes only. isbn 9781581600575 Richard passed away a couple of years ago and left several useful titles. If nothing else, always a good place to start. iirc, most of them can be read through KIndle

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However, Bezdek misses the other Knecht entirely but it has been mentioned that some makers changed their names somewhat when the French occupation was in place, or that there was another agent or family member involved.

Always curious stuff and more texts I need to dig through.

Thank you.....I had never seen a detailed timeline for the family before.

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