Imperial and Third Reich Sword and Sabre Langets
As A follow on to my previous thread covering langets entitled Eagles of the Reich, I have decided to try a follow on thread for both Imperial and Third Reich sword and sabre langets which do not include the Eagle and Swastika motif. The first thread has scored in advance of four thousand hits which tells me that as a reference, it seems to be working. Hopefully the follow up thread will also prove useful. The langets to be covered will include Cavalry (Crossed Sabres), Artillery (Crossed Cannon), Lancer (Crossed Sabres and Lances), None Attributed (Foliage etc.) and any other langets which fall outside the remit of the first thread.
A fairly consistent error among some collectors is that if an officer's sword has a motif on the langet other than that of the Third Reich, an Eagle and Swastika, then it must be an Imperial sword. This is not necessarily correct as can be seen in both manufacturer's literature and in books written by the likes of John Angolia etc. When presented with a sword, my first point of observation is the langet, ergo an Eagle and Swastika equates to Third Reich. In order to date other langet patterns/swords, I then view trade marks and logos, some of which can be dated fairly accurately such as Carl Eickhorn and WKC etc. If these two options fail I examine the overall design, weight and dimensions of the sword and scabbard.
In general terms, Imperial swords tend to have larger hilts and langets with broader blades and are therefore often heavier than later swords. Also, I have only witnessed jawless lion head pommels and fixed ring scabbard suspenders on Imperial swords. At this point I would state that these criterion are only my method of identification and may not be accurate.
A further point worth noting is that blade etching, whilst common on Imperial swords, is quite rare on Third Reich items. Also, it was not uncommon for Imperial swords to be carried over into both the Wiemar and post 1933 periods. A reasonable example being swords with guards stars and Imperial Cyphers removed from their grips and langets following the abdication of the Kaiser post World War One and the formation of the "new" army. A second example in my own collection is a large and heavy sabre with Imperial regimental etching on the blade obverse and crossed sabres on the langet which equates to Imperial? Turn the sword over and the reverse etching includes a pair of Wehrmacht style Eagles and Swastikas??? My assumption being either a sword carried forward by its original owner or awarded to its later owner by an ex Imperial officer, perhaps his father??
When I start listing these langets, I will state the period to which I believe the sword belongs either pre 1918 or post 1918. Further, I would welcome any logical opinions either favorable or otherwise and any evidence that anyone can contribute in order to try my utmost to present factual opinions. Please feel free to air any opinions on this thread!!!!!!!!!
With thanks, regards and best wishes Michael Ryan.
09-16-2016 07:11 PM
Sword 9 This is an unusual style of langet in the form of a clam shell. The manufacturer of the weapon is Samual Hoppe and his trademark is in the form of a bee hive. Other than the actual grip, the whole hilt is make of steel and the blade bears a Royal Cypher. This is a pre 1918 army sabre .
Sword 12 This is an unadorned plain langet and is detailed here to show that in addition to military and state motifs, langets were also used as a form of owner identification. In this instance, identification is in the form of a monogram cut into the reverse langet. The manufacturer of the weapon is Weyersberg Kirschbaum and Cie and the trademark is a King's Head alongside a Knight's Helm over "WKC". This is a good quality Imperial Army, pre 1918 cavalry sword with an etched blade.