f. The False Edge is employed on curved sabre blades and was originally introduced as a secondary slashing blade mainly for use by cavalry. The theory being that having slashed at an opponent using the primary cutting edge, the sword could also inflict damage with a counter stroke using the sharpened and honed false edge. It also gave the sword a more versatile stabbing capability. The false edge usually only runs for about one third of the length of the spine of the blade. On pipe back swords, the false edge over laps the spine giving the appearance of a fish tail thus giving the sword the nick name of a “fish tail blade”. On TR weapons the false edge, often referred to as a swedge, is most prevalent on the short, SNCO pattern KS98 walking out side arm.
XXXII. False edge on an Imperial Navy sabre and common to pipe back bladed swords and sabres.
Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:07 PM.
09-20-2014 08:54 AM
g. Blade Quality and Embellishment was basically the buyers choice and at the buyers expense. The options, dependent solely on the means of the purchaser, were virtually limitless. The quality of the blade ranged from hand forged Damascus steel in a number of patterns to etched Damascus to “Eisenhauer” (iron cutting blade) polished high quality natural steel to polished steel to nickel plated low quality steel with variations across the board in each quality category. Each grade of steel or plating costed to accord with the buyer’s financial situation. Similarly, the embellishment of a blade also covered a wide range of price based options. These options ranged from personalised and presentation gold filed etching, gold on blued panelling, silver on blued panelling, silver on frosted panelling, ciphers and monograms and plain mottos etc. Additionally, pictorial and patterned etching could be added as an extra or incorporated in a stock catalogue style. Imperial swords tended to include regimental details, ships and anchors, owners names and ranks, commemorative events, service commemoration, Imperial arms, stands of arms and scenes from battle fields etc. TR etching tended to include dedications, service commemorations, presentation inscriptions, national emblems and mottos etc. Pictorial illustrations tended to include aircraft, ships and anchors, military equipment and whatever the buyer felt appropriate or could afford.
XXX111. A selection of blade embelishments etched into both Imperial and TR, Navy and Army, swords and sabres. These illustrations are not captioned.
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h. Imperial German States ordnance weapon markings. The vast majority of Imperial ordnance weapons, to include firearms, bayonets and swords etc., carry a Royal Cypher usually found, in the case of edged weapons, on the spine of the blade. All comprise a crown surmounting a letter or letters and usually the last two digits of the year of acceptance into the Army (Eg. Crown over W over 91 [see (5) below]). Some of the crowns vary slightly in style and there are at least three styles of lettering. Standard upper case:
(1) “FW” Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm IV 1840 -1861.
(2) “M” All Units of the Kaiserliche Marine.
(3) “W” Prussia Wilhelm I 1871-1888.
(4) “F” Prussia Friedrich 1888.
(5) “W” Prussia Wilhelm II 1888-1918.
(6) “O” Bavaria Otto 1886-1913.
(7) “W” Wurttemberg Wilhelm I 1816-1864.
(8) “K” Wurttemberg Karl 1864-1891.
(9) “W” Wurttemberg Wilhelm II 1891-1918.
(10) “M” Bavaria Maximilian II 1848-1864.
(11) “L” Bavaria Ludwig II 1864-1886.
(12) “L” Bavaria Ludwig III 1913-1918.
(13) “FA” Saxony Friedrich Augustus II 1836-1854.
(14) “J” Saxony Johann 1854-1873.
(15) “A” Saxony Albrecht 1873-1902.
(16) “G” Saxony Georg 1902-1904
(17) “FA” Saxony Friedrich Augustus III
Other markings which may be encountered include:
(18) “G” In script Guss-Stahl (Cast Steel).
(19) “DRPuAP” In standard upper and lower case Deutsches Reich Patent und Auslandische Patente (German and Foreign Patents).
(20) “DRGM” In standard upper case Deutsches Reich Gebrauchs Muster (German Utility Design).
Unit ownership markings include a variety of initials and numerals in a set order. A selection of these being:
(21) B.A.III.77. Meaning B (Bavarian) A (Artillery) III (3rd) battery 77 (weapon number).
(22) 2.T.P.3.123 Meaning 2 (2nd) T (Train) battalion P (Provision) 3 (3rd) group 123 (weapon number).
(23) 13.U.3.133. Meaning 13 (13th) U (Ulan) regiment 3 (3rd) squadron 133 (weapon number).
(24) 18.R.7.14. Meaning 18 (18th) R (Infantry) regiment 7 (7th) company 14 (weapon number).
(25) B.K.II.T. 77. Meaning B (Regional) K (Command) II (Number 2) T (Tetlow) 77 (weapon number).
(26) 12.AR.4.15. Meaning 12 (12th) AR (Field Artillery) regiment 4 (4th) Battery 15 (weapon number).
(27) 14.T.1.11. Meaning 14 (14th) T (Train) battalion 1 (1st) group 11 (weapon number).
(28) 3.U.2.86. Meaning 3 (3rd) U (Ulan) regiment 2 (2nd) squadron 86 (weapon number).
(29) 28.AR.1.234. Meaning 28 (28th) AR (Field Artillery) regiment 1 (1st) Battery 234 (weapon number).
XXXIV. Spine State markings on a yataghan short sword.
XXXV. Langet regimental markings on a sabre.
XXXVI. Quillon and throat regimental markings on a yataghan short sword.
XXXVII. Thumb support regimental markings on a sabre.
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i. Manufacturer’s and Supplier’s Names and Logos are usually to be found on the reverse side of the blade stamped or etched into the ricasso. However there are exceptions to this generalisation. For example, the firm of Weyersberg, Kirschbaum and Cie (WKC) who used the Knight’s Helmet and the King’s Head logos often placed their initials and logos on the obverse side of the blade and at times incorporated the Knight’s Helmet with mantle into the reverse langet detailing. Other exceptions can be seen with names and or initials stamped into the spine of the blade as can be seen in the case of the “DOV” (Deutsche Offizier Verein) who apparently sourced swords for the association’s members. Occasionally, two names may appear on a blade, these being the manufacturer and the supplier or retailer. A rarely seen inscription on a sword blade “Hof Lieferant” could be added if the supplier was “By Appointment” to the Imperial Royal Hohenzollern Palace in Berlin or, in other words, to Kaiser Wilhelm, himself.
XXXVIII. Typical manufacturer's logo and initials found on pre TR weaponry. In this case WK&C (weyersberg Kirschbaum and Cie) incorporating the early King's Head and the later/currently used Knight's Helm. The trade mark shown is stamped into the ricasso of an Imperial German Naval sabre.
XXXIX. Other WKC Trade Marks.
Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:12 PM.
Last edited by Michael Ryan; 09-28-2014 at 03:06 PM.
3. Whilst the grip, in general terms, requires little or no protection, the blade requires meticulous protection both for its own safety and the safety of the wearer, his horse and people within his vicinity. This protection is afforded by way of a scabbard also described as a sheath or case etc. In the most basic of terms, the sheath is a tube of metal or leather used to encase the blade with the throat at one end and the drag at the other. It can be slung from a waist belt in the regained position, from straps in the un-regained fashion, from a frog as is often the case with court swords and short swords or from a saddle in the case of cavalry. In the case of the Japanese Samurai and certain other troops, it can be slung across the back. In modern times, the sword and its scabbard is worn on the left side of the body and drawn to the right. However in Roman times the Gladius was worn on the right side and also drawn by the right hand the theory being that the soldier was at all times protected by his Scutum, a large rectangular shield. As with the swords themselves, there ar two basic scabbard types, straight for straight bladed swords and curved for sabres.
I. Standard pattern straight blade scabbard with a single ring suspension fitment finished in black steel.
II. Standard pattern straight blade scabbard with a double ring suspension fitment finished in black steel.
III. Standard pattern straight blade scabbard with a single ring suspension fitment finished in nickel silver plated steel.
IV. Falsheon pattern straight blade scabbard with frog stud suspension fitment manufactured in black leather with brass fittings.
V. Air Force pattern straight blade scabbard with Roman style Gladius ring fittings attached to a suspension backing. The scabbard is finished in a blue leather covered metal with alloy of nickel fittings.
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VI. Standard pattern sabre scabbard with a single ring suspension fitment finished in black steel.
VII. Standard pattern sabre scabbard with a single ring suspension fitment finished in nickel plated steel.
VIII. Standard pattern sabre scabbard with a double ring suspension fitment finished in black steel.
IX. Standard pattern sabre scabbard with a double ring suspension fitment finished in nickel plated steel.
X. Leather sabre scabbard with a single ring suspension fitment finished in black leather with brass fittings.
XII. Leather sabre scabbard with a double ring suspension fitment finished in black leather with brass fittings.
XIII. Austrian style sabre scabbard with a single centre ring suspension fitment in black leather with brass fittings.
Other than the scabbard body, there are four distinct elements to the construction of most sword scabbards. These are the scabbard liner and the upper, centre and lower fittings or furniture. Very few scabbards are found without at least two of these elements.
a. The scabbard Liners usually comprises two finely cut strips of wood or soft metal which, when inserted into the throat of the scabbard, hold the blade in position and stop it from rattling and the hilt from bouncing up and down when marching etc. They also stop the blade from direct contact with the steel of the scabbard body thus helping to protect it from condensation and rust etc. On the Holbein style SA dagger, the liners are usually constructed in wavy brass whilst on other German daggers they are made of an alloy etc.
b. The Upper scabbard fittings are usually referred to as the locket, throat or mouth of the scabbard. The upper fitting is an assembly of parts comprising:
(1). The mouth plate which is an oval piece of metal, usually brazed onto the top edge of a small piece of tubing which inserts into the scabbard throat and is retained by either screw(s), rivet(s) or brazing. This plate has a shaped aperture at its centre to facilitate the sword blade. The inner tube also holds the scabbard liners in position.
XIII. Standard pattern Army sabre scabbard with mouth plate in situ.
XIV. Throat plate showing the insert tube removed from the scabbard. In this case the throat assembly is retained by a pair of grub screws located on either edge of the scabbard.
XV. Throat of scabbard with assembly removed.
(2). On certain sword patterns, there is a broad ferrule or mounting positioned immediately below the throat usually refered to as the scabbard locket. In the case of TR Fire, Police and SS swords, this is an aesthetic addition but on most other weapons it serves as a mounting base for the upper suspension ring. These mountings may vary from very plain to highly ornate and are found on both metal and leather scabbards
(3). The vast majority of scabbards empoyed by the German armies of both the Imperial and TR periods employed a simple ring suspension arrangement. The standard TR scabbards used a single ring and a regaining loop located on the reverse side of the scabbard on the same scabbard band as the ring. Imperial sword scabbards wore single and double suspension rings and could also employ regaining suspension loops on the scabbard band. Occasionally, scabbards were modified to bring them into line with later regulations. These modifications usually took the form of the removal of the llower suspension ring and/or the addition of a regaining loop. These modifications could be made either professionally, by a unit work shop or armoury or by the owner.
XVI. Naval sword of the TR period showing the obverse of the brass locket and suspension ring and mounting.
XVII. The reverse side of the scame scabbard locket showing the retaining spike ready to receive the rear guard flap. Note the brass securing staple at the base of the locket.
XVIII.The rear guard flap in the retained position securing the sword in its scabbard.
XIX. A Police officer pattern scabbard showing both the locket and the upper scabbard band with suspension ring.
Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-07-2014 at 08:48 PM.
XX. A black leather Bavarian Diplomatic sword scabbard with very ornate locket. There are no suspension rings or bands as the sword and scabbard were worn on a frog, the stud for which can be seen on the locket.
XXI. A black steel Prussian Diplomatic sword scabbard with very ornate locket. Again there are no suspension rings or bands as the sword and scabbard were worn on either a leather or materiel frog, the stud for which can be seen on the locket.
XXII. The relatively plain locket from a Fire Service sabre in nickel silver with the upper suspension ring and fitting.
XXIII. A yataghan bladed short sword locket of very similar style to that used on leather bayonet scabbards. Again, this sword and scabbard are suspended from a leather frog
XXIV. Very similar to the suspension method employed with the Roman Gladius, the Air Force sword scabbard has a large silver locket with double upper rings.