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Old 13th October 2019, 11:50 PM   #11
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,782

Originally Posted by Victrix
Jim, Rome is amazing with all its buildings. I had hoped to view more arms and armour. Your sword seems intriguing. Itís a pity I only found this thread on my return as the first two small rooms on the top floor were dedicated to the Risorgimento period I believe, and I skipped it as Iím currently more interested in pre 19thC history! I could have looked to see if I could spot any armoury marks on the equipment on display. As I could see, the Italians call it Castel SantíAngelo so the abbreviation may be CSA rather than CsA (although 150 years ago it might have been different)? It appears like the tip on your sword was purposely cut out?

Indeed it would be great to reach someone in that particular Risorgimento period section regarding weapons markings, however I have never been successful in communication with Italian arms or museum persons.

The marking configuration on my sword reflects a type of abbreviation convention popular in the 19th c. using lower case letters for wording.
Thus the S for san or san't btween Castle San Angelo was lower case.
That is if indeed this was what the letters mean.
Th '4' may have been a unit (there were several cavalry units in the Vatican forces) and the 43 a rack number.
This is of course all theory, but other explanations have fallen short.

The cut out in the blade tip is baffling, and it was clearly deliberately done. Many years back, I discovered that many Austrian swords of the 18th century had a notch distinctly cut into back of blade near the tip. I first saw these in Wagner's ("Cut and Thrust Weapons", 1967) in the line drawings.
To confirm these were actual and not artistic flaws, I contacted the museums holding the swords the drawings were from, and photos confirmed the notches did exist.
Wagner suggested the notches were to worsen a thrust wound, but then why would they exist on a saber tip, when these were slashing cuts. The notion of a notch in a thrust is equally suspect as in reality, the blade would become hopelessly caught in the victim with the notch impairing withdrawal.

Years of research revealed no reasonable answer for the curious deliberate notches in these blades, and the mystery remains unexplained. It would seem the blade of this saber and its notch may fall into this anomalous case.
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