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Swords of the Third Reich, Imperial through 1945 - Quick Reference

Article about: Cheers Larry!!!!! Regards Michael R

  1. #291

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    Very short on time this AM, regarding swords from Runkel, both the 1788 and 1796 Cavalry Officer's sabers with engraving decorated blades are seen with a "J.J. Runkel Solingen" on the back/spine of the blade. Best Regards, Fred

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  3. #292

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    Hello Michael, nice to see you are still frequenting the WRF. Runkel was a sword trader not a maker. He imported sword blades from Solingen makers for sale to British makers, (though he originally was from Solingen and exported from there). It was a fairly significant trade and the Solingen connection to British made swords & bayonets continued to late 1800's. I would agree your sword was most likely a private regiment purchase, probably not from Runkel but to the maker who made the hilt, scabbard and assembled it. Not uncommon with the early LCS to have no maker marks. People often mistake J.J. Runkel as the maker, but he was really just a savy salesman who knew the value of putting his name on blades he supplied. By the way, we can know the date of the sword by the way "Solingen" is spelt. Between 1778 to around 1800 on his sword blades he used the spelling "Sohlingen" after 1800 spelling changes to "Solingen" and after 1808 he leaves the business. Definately a German made blade on your sword.

    I should add your photo library threads on Imperial to TR swords is probably the best published resource anywhere.

    A full length photo of the sword would be nice, when you have time. regards Anderson.

  4. #293

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    Quote by Anderson View Post
    Hello Michael, nice to see you are still frequenting the WRF. Runkel was a sword trader not a maker. He imported sword blades from Solingen makers for sale to British makers, (though he originally was from Solingen and exported from there). It was a fairly significant trade and the Solingen connection to British made swords & bayonets continued to late 1800's. I would agree your sword was most likely a private regiment purchase, probably not from Runkel but to the maker who made the hilt, scabbard and assembled it. Not uncommon with the early LCS to have no maker marks. People often mistake J.J. Runkel as the maker, but he was really just a savy salesman who knew the value of putting his name on blades he supplied. By the way, we can know the date of the sword by the way "Solingen" is spelt. Between 1778 to around 1800 on his sword blades he used the spelling "Sohlingen" after 1800 spelling changes to "Solingen" and after 1808 he leaves the business. Definately a German made blade on your sword.

    I should add your photo library threads on Imperial to TR swords is probably the best published resource anywhere.

    A full length photo of the sword would be nice, when you have time. regards Anderson.
    Anderson I stand corrected - something that I had overlooked was the way Solingen was spelled on the earlier swords from Runkel. Thank You. Germany, a world leader in sword production, had over time workers from there that relocated to not just England, but also Russia and France. And in the 1780’s efforts were increased in England to enhance the stature of British makers. A competitor of Runkel, a Mr. Gill published a booklet that listed Runkel as a maker (although we now would very likely use the term importer). And there is some evidence that both swords and blades were imported, as well as some German steel for further processing via Runkel. With what I felt made some of the Runkel marked swords very interesting is that they have the Germanic “Talisman” style blade engravings for decoration, versus the styles seen from some of the British makers. PS: In context, the 1808 date is understandable because the French under Napoleon had taken control of Solingen. Causing a reversal of the flow of some weapons, the Prussian Army then turned to England as an alternate source for swords. Best Regards, Fred

  5. #294

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    It's an interesting era Fred as is the Solingen connection to what became the UK. Of course it goes back even earlier. Scotland, periodically at war with England was sourcing military equipment, armour and swords back in the 15th century. The Solingen makers even then had a reputation for quality and swords as well as blade "blanks" were inported to be finished by local blacksmiths/armourers. We see this particularly with the Scottish basket hilt swords that often had a blade made in Solingen.The branding on blades of "Andrea Ferrara" during the 16th and 17th century became a quality mark and even though Ferrara was a Spaniard and died in the 16th century the Solingen makers continued to mark their swords with his name into the 17 century. We know this as some are found also with the Passau wolf mark of Prussia. So "Andrea Ferrara" was the brand every wild Highlander wanted on his sword, it was a bit like having the BMW brand on your car today, a status symbol and badge of quality. JJ Runkel was probably trying to do the same with his name in the late 18th century.

  6. #295
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    very interesting and informative thread thank you for its processing !!

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