German-Prussian Hangers
Been researching Prussian hangers and have found some confusing data on the dates of manufacture. I have seen these listed as far back as 1715 then defined as an 1816 model on the site. Can someone shed some light on this for me? Thanks in advance.
This is the sword:
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Here it is listed in Moore's Weapons of the American Revolution:
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Well after a few days of research I found my answer and wanted to post it here to save others the time. This type of sword in the early 1700's was 31 inches long then in 1744 Frederick the Great changed the regs and shortened it 6 inches. Frederick the Great reign was 1740 until 1786. Then came Frederick Wilhelm the II, who's cypher is similiar to Frederick Wilhelm III's seal that we see on Moore's plate #E-69. The FRW III reign started fourteen years after the Revolution ended. So Moore did get it wrong!!
So this sword could not be Rev War era unless it is 31' long or has the "FR" cypher. The W in the cypher stands for "Wrong era".
Hopefully this will save someone else the time and effort.
Best Wishes,
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German-Prussian Hangers
So the letter W below the R stands for 'Wrong era', not 'War' as in 'Revolutionary War'.
I got that.
Great detective work Nathan

I am entirely baffled in the vast scope of what these look like in profile. Neumann's is of little use to me sometimes but this thread will have me taking another look at this general type. I do know we see a great many of the general profile surace and it is really only through digging a lot of information can be found through research as you approached here.

Other times, I bang my head against the wall trying to better classify a piece and then stumble on its twin in a book while looking for something else. I'll thumb through Neumann and see if similar notes are shown there. with that pommel finial, I would have thought it much later than the true age.


Well, Neumann is only enough help to show a handful of similar German hangers and all do indeed have shorter blades as listed before the revolution. These also have a much less pronounced nubbin of a finial vs these wide flairs we start to see on swords like the postal degen types.

On the note of longer blades, thre are some quite long French sabres with cast grips also showing up for the 19th century. I feel that the continued use of so many cast briquet and hanger hilts with more refined blades has got to be more a matter of cost effectiveness than elegance or function.


Hi Glen,
I found all of this out after purchasing one of these swords that was listed as "Rev War" with what I found to be spurious provenance from a "dealer". :eek: I since returned the sword and have been refunded. I was looking at Moore's and Neumann's when I purchased it then did a little more follow up thankfully. Not many folks had info on this sword so I thought I might save others some heartache.
There are many out there with the impression the thae FRW cypher swords were used in the rev war. I had to reference three seperate documents to determine that this sword was made after 1797. The early swords or ones that could have been used in the revolution were either 31" long (blade) or where like the one pictured with Fredrick the Greats cypher "FR" So no sword with a 25" blade and a W in the cypher could possibly be Revolutionary War.
I think we will find when more and nore documents become available that some of the old hard "facts" my be in error. The information that I read was definative as it was from Frederick the Greats Army regulations that dictated the sword to be shortened in 1744. Since the sword was shortened in 1744 ruled out Frederick William I cypher who's reign ended in 1740.

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