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Victrix 5th January 2018 04:18 PM

18thC Austro-Hungarian hussar sabre
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I brought a souvenir back with me from Vienna, Austria. It’s an 18thC Austro-Hungarian hussar sabre with scabbard. The sword is overall 90cm in length, the blade is 76.5cm long and 3.8cm wide at the forte. The blade is sharpened on one side with a false edge on the other. On one side the blade has a picture of a Madonna standing on a half-moon with the inscription ”Maria Mater Dei Patrona Hungariea sub tuum Presidium Confugio.” The other side of the blade shows a two-armed cross with the inscription ”In hoc Signo vinces” and ”Deus Exercituum Belator Fortissime estomecum.” Wagner’s Cut & Thrust Weapons shows a similar sabre on p.407, which is engraved ”Pottenstein” on the back edge. This sabre has four dots engraved there instead. The pommel shows a peened tang which I haven’t seen before, as the end is usually covered by a little brass shield. This could mean that the hilt has been reworked? The blade is firmly attached to the hilt with no movement or gaps. The sabre hilt and blade show obvious wear.

Any comments are welcome.

corrado26 5th January 2018 04:25 PM

Very nice husar sabre indeed. Congratulations

Victrix 5th January 2018 10:57 PM

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Many thanks Corrado. I had a fabulous time in Vienna. Highly recommended for Christmas vacation.

I found a similar sabre with a concave knuckleguard in the Heeresgeschichtliches museum (Military museum). At first I thought the hilt had received a knock, but apparently that is the style. Also interesting to see the red felt washer. I intend to give the sabre a gentle cleanup and make a washer for it to give it a dash of colour.

Jon MB 9th January 2018 04:56 PM

Bravo! Very nice!

mariusgmioc 9th January 2018 06:28 PM

Very nice acquisition indeed! :)

I wouldn't add the washer but... your sword, your call. ;)

Roland_M 10th January 2018 12:02 PM

Originally Posted by Victrix
The pommel shows a peened tang which I haven’t seen before, as the end is usually covered by a little brass shield. This could mean that the hilt has been reworked?

I dont think so. The riveting looks original and it is quite difficult to make a proper riveting on a sword or saber. This needs a lot of practise. It requires a special technique with the hammer, which I cannot describe in English (a kind of drawn hit, which is very difficult to make). Experts can judge by the riveting whether it is original or not. A perfect riveting has a shape like a bell.


Victrix 10th January 2018 05:06 PM

Thank you for your kind comment mariusgmioc. I already have red felt material so will make a washer to see what it looks like. It easily slips on and off and is simple to make. :)

Victrix 10th January 2018 05:12 PM

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Many thanks for your comment Roland. Interesting to hear your view on the handicraft. I wish we knew more about these artisans: who they were, how they worked, etc. I took another photo to show two similar Austro-Hungarian sabres but with quite different pommels. One shows the tang rivet whereas the other one seems concealed behind a little shield. That’s why I thought the hilt on the left might have been reworked? But maybe it’s just two different styles?

Victrix 10th January 2018 05:21 PM

Originally Posted by Jon MB
Bravo! Very nice!

Many thanks for your kind comment, Jon.

Roland_M 12th January 2018 12:08 PM

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Hi Victrix,

in my opinion your riveting is original.

Here are two examples from my collection, one French chasseur saber and one massive Cuirassier Sword. Looks very similar to your example.

The Cuirassier sword got a perfect riveting. Everything is 100% fixed in place after almost 200 years.


Victrix 12th January 2018 01:35 PM

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Hi Roland,

I think you are most likely correct. The Austro-Hungarian sabres have quite different designed pommels compared to the French swords, but I checked with Wagner’s Cut & Thrust Weapons and some sabres show tang rivets and some don’t.

The sabre on the left is estimated to be from around 1740 and the one on the right from around 1790. Below I post a photo of a Hungarian sabre from around 1650 which shows a similar teardrop shaped cap on the pommel with a tang rivet. So I think you are most likely correct.

corrado26 12th January 2018 02:41 PM

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Until a few weeks ago I had this sabre in my collection, but sold it. He had nearly the same riveting as on the sabre in question. Could you please post some fotos pf the rings of the sheath and how they are fixed?

Victrix 12th January 2018 03:45 PM

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That’s a very beautiful sabre Corrado. Wagner calls it a ”Fringia” sabre in his book. It looks like it doesn’t show the tang rivet which is hidden behind the teardrop shaped cap? I assume the scabbard is covered in black leather. It looks almost blue in the photos.

Please see scabbard ring photos below as requested.I will clean the sword to remove dirt and oxidation to prevent damage. I will spray the blade with Ballistol and leave on overnight in the hope of removing faint signs of rust speckles.

corrado26 13th January 2018 09:34 AM

You should pay attention to traces of war and use at the inside of the fittings of the rings., especially at the inside of the fiittings, where the ring touches the fitting. After more than 200 years and a long military carreer such traces MUST to be found!

Victrix 13th January 2018 11:34 AM

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Absolutely Corrado. Plenty wear and tear and battle scars... :)

Victrix 14th January 2018 05:14 PM

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Here is another example of an 18thC Austro-Hungarian hussar sabre which shows a visible tang rivet on the pommel. It seems some do, and some don’t. The picture is from Friedrich Jäger’s Ungarischer Säbel und Husaren-Pallasch.

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