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Old 5th June 2020, 06:53 AM   #1
Cathey
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Default Help with French Sword

Hi Guys

I picked up this sword recently and it was described to me as a 1780 pattern French General Officers sword. I can’t find it in the books I have on French swords and believe it to be later in any case. Can anyone shed some light on what this one actually is?

PS the sword has the letters S H . T at the top of the 32 5/16" blade.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 5th June 2020, 09:02 AM   #2
ulfberth
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Hi Cathey,
the model was in use during the French first Empire period but still in use during the restoration period.
So its a French Officers dress sword between 1800 and 1820, because there are no lilies on the guard plate this on is probably First Empire = Napoleonic.
Kind regards
Ulfberth
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Old 6th June 2020, 08:59 AM   #3
corrado26
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Your sword has been made by Samuel Hoppe Frères à Solingen and was in use during the French July monarchy and Second Republic 1830-1852.
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Old 6th June 2020, 11:20 AM   #4
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The blade yes , the Guard is older.
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Old 7th June 2020, 09:09 PM   #5
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I have a small contention regarding SH and SHF as Samuel Hoppe. Samuel Hoppe is listed later in the 19th century and definitely as displaying a beehive mark.

Contrarily and confirmed in other threads, SHF is for Simon Helvig&Sons, SH as Simon Helvig.

An adjacent thread here
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16549

The preponderance of 1820s and 1830s blades marked SHF without the beehive, to me, reads as the Helvig theory sticks. The French book not being the first, or last to have a differing opinion.

From Bezdek

"Samuel Hoppe & Sohn of Solingen was active between 1827-1861 (Bezdek:54) being Samuel Hoppe & Co. between 1861-1885 (Bezdek:54)"

So, that is not SH&F but rather clearly and in German, Sohn. The Feres or Fils and F of French notations Helvig. In my opinion anyway and I welcome more sources but as far back as my own studies go these past couple of decades, the Hoppe& Son(s?) and Co. marks are later than the Simon Helvig blades. A broad jump from the light b&g Helvig dress blades to the field infantry and cavalry swords known to Samuel Hoppe.

Cheers
GC

Last edited by Hotspur : 8th June 2020 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur
SHF is for Simon Helvig&Sons, SH as Simon Helvig.



could you please explain me where the "F" of "SHF" is in "Helvig & Sons"
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:12 PM   #7
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I understand it as F for fils. I don't know if a link to SFI would cause a problem but a discussion over the decades. A quote from Robert Wilkinson-Latham

Quote:
SHF " this is for Simon Helvig & Fils ( sons in French ) A maker from the Alsace region of France.

This may give you a idea of date range which seems 1830'ish to 1850's (??????)
This one sold at Bonhams recently (June 2012)
A French Louis Philippe era officer's sword
circa 1830-48
Slender 30 inch blade of hollow triangular section with 12 inch blued and gilt panel engraved with conventional motifs and maker marked SHF (Simon Helvig et Fils) above the hilt. Brass hilt comprising oval shell molded with rooster and banners; knucklebow with foliage and lion's mask; pommel in the form of a crowing rooster. Grip with mother-of-pearl plaquettes.
Condition: Blade showing minor spotting, the blued and gilt decoration faded. Hilt fine and showing traces of silver plating.


Granted, this was from a Bonham auction but I could point toseveral threads at SFI and again, dozens of listings attributing the SHetFils to Helvig. The thread # is 110360-SHF-(simon-helvig-et-filles)-sword&highlight=hoppe

See my inquiry post #6 in that thread and following replies.


I approached this at SFI a few years ago and the contention was that Hoppe did not use the mark we see on this blade above, indeed dozens I have archived as blades meant for the US (eaglehead pommel swords). Others insist the book plate shared above is correct. Honestly, it would not be the first disagreement but it is a mark SHetFils and SH for a ciouple oof decades and while the jury still seems to be out and a very divided opinion, Helvig is how I approach the mark, vs Hoppe. Helvig in Alsace and Hoppe in Soingen.

Cheers
GC
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:55 PM   #8
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Another contention in the names list there is the K&S, which is labeled by most as Kirschbaum&Schimmelbush, not Kirschbaum&Schnitzler.

All tripe? I think not but how some read differences from text to text, discussion to discussion.

More food for thought. A 2007 thread discussing the possibility of Knecht & Stamm

Cheers
GC
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur
K&S, which is labeled by most as Kirschbaum&Schimmelbusch, not Kirschbaum&Schnitzler.



Kirschbaum & Schnitzler existed since 1790 and was still working at least in 1883. In this year Kirschbaum was united with the firm of the Brothers Weyersberg = Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co.


This you can find in the book shown here.
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Old 8th June 2020, 04:53 PM   #10
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Yes, I am aware. However even your last reference lists them as Schnitzler&Kirschbaum (imo both of whom were agents, not makers/smiths), and not listed as K&S aside from that one source.

At any rate, have you any reference books listing Helvig at all?

I have only Bezdek, Wagner and the various fora for German marks, let alone much regarding Alsace.

Cheers
GC
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