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Old 27th February 2018, 11:16 PM   #1
M ELEY
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Default Mystery solved and started!

Hello all. Some might remember a sword I started a thread on awhile back. I had assumed it was either naval or infantry based on the plain solid brass hilt with simple knuckle bow. Here is that thread with pics-

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=21771

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...id=156245&stc=1


I always knew it wasn't 'munitions grade' briquet or parade sword. The watered steel blade was superb and well balanced, with the brass bird head hilt solidly constructed. When i was going though my books the other day, I happened to stumble upon a drawing of a hilt near exact to mine! It was in Harold Peterson's 'Arms and Armor in Colonial America 1526-1783', on page 257. The written description was spot-on, "a short bladed, double edged sword. The hilt was cast brass and consisted of a smooth grip, simple bird's head pommel, a rectangular knuckle-bow and quillon. At the time of the American Revolution the blade was usually about 22" long".

This is a Jaeger enlisted man's sword (plate 247), apparently an elite Germany infantry troop from the Rev War period. That's the first part of the mystery solved. Here's what remains...

With the exception of Peterson, I can't find any other pics or drawings of a similar sword. I have decades worth of sword catalogs, a small library of books, many of them about the Revolution, but no such sword. Anyone out there able to help?

Just read an excellent article on Hess Jaeger troops fighting on American soil and wondered if the markings on mine might be able to help me identify which troop it might have been with. The marking again is 'RX.2' and 'No. 45'. Does that mean anything to anyone? Also, does anyone have interesting info on these special troops? Thanks!
Mark
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Old 28th February 2018, 04:23 PM   #2
fernando
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May i switch the complicometer, Mark ?

The so called rack number; i take it that word "rack", being a (idiomatic) term to call a storing place, is not an actual description, thus its initial does not refer to appear in markings themselves. Meaning to say that the letter R in your sword would rather mean Regiment, as we used to mark weapons in my neck of the woods or, in some cases, someone's (owner) name initial.
Now, the X is quite a challenge, as hardly this letter is the first in a name ... or thing. In the German dictionary no more than a dozen names start with a X, for one.
On the other hand, the initials No as engraved, meaning 'number' as thought, are the type of symbol used by english speakers. Others would use or
Could it be that this number was engraved after the sword was imported ? What country did you buy from?
And last, before you hit me. Is it the different angle in which you took the photos of either marking set or could it be that one inscription was engraved in a different period than the other; they seem to have a different font style.
... And no more nonsense .


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Old 28th February 2018, 04:35 PM   #3
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In Don Trioani's 'Soldiers of the American Revolution', he verifies that the elite Jaegers carried a plain looking brass hilt hunting style sword. He has pics throughout his book of the more common Hessian infantry swords, but none of the Jaegers. He mentions that the uniforms of the Hess-Cassel Jaeger troops matched the Prussian Jaeger uniforms, so no difference there. There was one short Jaeger rifle marked 'No. 79', so they did mark their weapons as such. Looking through Neumann's, saw lots of characteristics of the brass bird hilt with other German swords of the period. Likewise, saw lots of markings starting with the letter 'R', but no X following it.

Still not sure of the number of Jaeger troops that came to America. I know there were tens of thousands of Hessian troops sent here, a striking number!
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Old 2nd March 2018, 02:04 AM   #4
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Opps! Totally missed your post, Fernando! Thanks for responding. I'm hoping the 'R' does stand for regiment, as that might help me track down the troop. I was quite surprised that the Jager corps had a great impact on many of the battles of the American Revolution. They came from multiple regions of the old Germanic empire and were exemplary in helping their British allies turn many of the tides of battle. here is a great article on them-

http://allthingsliberty.com/2015/th...ania-1776-1777/

I understand there is a possibility that there could be initials, but as you pointed out, not too many German names ending in 'X'. Curiously, these markings are etched, not stamped as an official marking would be, unless done afterwards, as you pointed out, perhaps in reverence to a squad or troop. I can say that the pics do distort the etch a bit and I believe that both marks are made in the same style and by the same hand (whether contemporary with the weapon or much later, who knows?). I thought of museum acquisition numbers as well until I thought about it (DUH!), they wouldn't permanently mar an item in a collection in this way. In any case, it is exciting to try and research, even if it amounts to not much.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 07:29 AM   #5
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Could it be a combination of roman and ”arabic” numericals so that it stands for Regiment X (i.e. 10), and then company number 2?

Interesting article. I did not know so many German troops served in the American War of Independence. Interesting that the Jägers lack of bayonets was perceived as a weakness. The text mentions they were armed with hirschfängers and not hangers. Did you check out this website mentioned in the bibliography: “Edged weapons of the Hesse-Kassel Jäger Korps,” http://www.jaegerkorps.org/, accessed Dec. 9, 2014.?
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Old 2nd March 2018, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
... Could it be a combination of roman and ”arabic” numericals so that it stands for Regiment X (i.e. 10), and then company number 2? ...

That was one of my thoughts, but i abandoned the idea, as not so practicable in that side of the world ... i would guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
...Interesting that the Jägers lack of bayonets was perceived as a weakness. The text mentions they were armed with hirschfängers and not hangers...

Precisely. You may also see in Neumannn's a nice drawing of a German field Jaeger, circa 1780, in page 61; equipped with a hirschfänger (hunting sword).


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Old 2nd March 2018, 10:45 AM   #7
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Thanks, gents, for your knowledge and opinions.

Victrix, I tried accessing those articles before and most are now defunct. I will do a general search for that title and see what comes up.

I had seen that pic from Neumann's as well, so i remain confused. Peterson shows a drawing of a sword exactly matching my sword, with bird head solid brass hilt, no grooves or pommel, "rectangular" guard and a blade measuring exactly 22". Next to that pic, he had another brass hilted sword, so perhaps there were several patterns? As far as the word 'hirschfanger', the generic form is a straight-bladed field piece, typically with plain brass hilt, so I would say that the sword discussed is still in the ballpark- Hangers of the 17th and early 18th c. were by definition 'hunting swords. Likewise, I don't know if the illustrator for this depiction saw the definition of 'plain straight brass hirschfanger' and took artistic license. Then again, I don't know if Peterson could also be incorrect in his drawing.

Does anyone have H. Peterson's book to print the pages I mentioned above? My skills with the digital camera are terrifying!

Last edited by M ELEY : 2nd March 2018 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
Opps! Totally missed your post, Fernando! ...

Well, i must say i was shooting in the dark ... partly. I have this fixation that the R is for Regiment; as consistent with the term 'regimental marks'.
Now that you mention Neumann, i reflect my reasoning in page 177, where a Horseman sabre (Item 348.SS) is marked 3 RG LD NO 35 3-T. Doesn't that three digits set sound like 3th Regiment ? The two following letters referring the troop service, like Light Dragoons or Delaware Line. Then the last part would refer the rack or, more possibly (for me) the serviceman number. Note that the NO (for number) doesn't have a dot.
I will here upload the marks of a couple XIX century Portuguese pistols i used to own, where you see that both Regiment and rack numbers are perfectly intelligible.


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