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Army Dress Sword

Article about: My father brought several items back from the war that I intend on selling. He finished the war as commander of the 701st Tank Battalion. I have posted a couple of threads on this site about

  1. #11


    The lion head does not have the red glass eyes that I see in many others. Are they missing or did some not have the glass eyes?


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  3. #12


    Period catalogs show glass eyes to be an extra cost option, e.g., the WKC catalog. But, as you have noted the vast majority of lion head sabres' that we see do have the glass eyes fitted.

  4. #13


    Would like to see some close ups on that personalized lancet and those lovely etch


  5. #14


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    To my untrained eyes it looks like the lion eye sockets never have held the glass.

  6. #15


    Hi Michael, Many thanks for your PM and sincere appologies for taking so long to respond, as Larry may have mentioned, I recently moved cross country and and am still trying to get to grips with the ammalgamation of two families moving into one house. Hectic to say the least. Your sword!! About as good as it gets!! As a matter of information, your sword is a standard army officer's pattern sabre modeled on the British 1796 and/or the German Blucher cavalry sabres. Most Imperial and TR German weapons were manufactured to strick design criteria with very little tolerance for individuality. Occasionally, daggers, side arms and bayonets were given etched and/or damascus steel blades and could be personalised however, these were relatively rare and are now considdered to be a rarety. To alter the specifications for hilts and their approved design is vertually unheard of.

    For reasons best known to themselves, the Germans did not apply such rigidity to the design criteria for swords and in particular those carried and worn by the Army. A degree of uniformity and conformity to standardisation was achieved with the Imperial plain hilt nickel plated steel hilt officers and enlisted cavalry sabres. However, even these can be found with Regimentaly etched and personalized blades and standard pattern hilts with variation grips etc. This "formality" was also carried over into the TR with NCO and Ordnance issue sabres with both gold and silver finishes.

    Officer's private purchase sabres were a horse of a different colour however. Whilst maintaining the basic P1796 style hilt, the design variations were vertually infinate. Pommels became an ornate feature of the hilt and variations ranged from plain dove head, oval cap, bird head and big cat head etc. Back straps were pattered as were knuckle guards and ferrules. Obverse Langets became a focal point for branch of service devices such as crossed cannon (Artillery), lances (Ullan), sabres (Cavalry) etc. or as additional options, a mirriad of other designs. With the advent of the TR most designs for the obverse langet incorporated the national emblem in either Military or Political form but occasionally other formats. Reverse langets tended to be either pattered, plain or have a cartouch for initials etc.

    Whilst etched blades were relatively common on Imperial sabres, TR sabre blades were usually plain. Quality and embellishment of both the blade and the hilt was purely at the whim and expense of the purchaser and ranged from catalogue paterns offered by all manufacturers to the personalized design requirements of the purchaser.

    Your sabre appears to be a standard pattern lion head hilt in gilded brass with monogrammed reverse langet and Political Eagle obverse langet. The lion head eyes are as designed without glass inserts. The grip is of standard pattern, black plastic over a wood former with a brass wire wrap. The blade is of standard pattern with what appears to be hybrid etch patterns featurig helmets superimposed over stands of arms and featuring both Military and Political style Eagles. The etching may be a catalogue pattern but not one that I recognise?

    You have a high quality sword in near mint condition with a finely eched plated blade. The scabbard and accoutrements are also of standard pattern and in near mint condition. As to value, this is a matter of opinion and down to whatever the seller wants viz what the buyer will pay. I acquired an Imperial East Africa German etched sword some time ago with a Regimental blade, battle honors, gold filled etching on blued panels and in comparable condition to your sword. The sword is a very rare pattern with Imperial Crown pommel and came in at circa $2500. I have a second sword of similar pattern to yours with etched blade and in similar condition to yours but without the accoutrements and that owes me circa $1200. Ergo I would rate your sword with accoutrements at circa $1500. Please bear in mind that sword values can vary greatly depending on location and a variety of other factors so please do not take my opinion as a valuation but rather as rough guide.

    I hope that this is of interest to you and answers some of your questions.

    Regards Michael R

  7. #16


    A beautiful looking sword, complete with bag and in a minty condition, what else could you ask for
    Regards SK

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