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Old 15th May 2022, 05:55 AM   #1
Cathey
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Default 17th century Swiss Sabre

Hi Guys

I recently acquired this Swiss Horseman’s sabre with an Iron hilt, and another described as a German Campaign sword with a brass pommel and guard. I have been trying to find a more definitive description for these to basically label and file them etc. I have attempted to translate pages 167 to 170 of SEITZ Heribert - Blankwaffen 2. This chapter deals with “The Warguard” and from the illustrations appears to apply to this group of swords. I am pretty comfortable with the dating of these but their origin and correct reference name still illudes me.

The translation from German to English reads as best I can tell:
“THE WARGUARD
In the dense flora of the long sidearms of the Baroque era, a characteristic group of cutting weapons stands out, characterized by their slightly curved blades, which are single-edged, and by their hilts in the shape of epee hilts. The group is most influential in the second quarter of the seventeenth century and, with a few exceptions, is fairly uniform. The weapons belonging to this category can most likely be counted among the "German-made sabers", as they were called at the time (I, p. 183, 359). As an exception, a powerful weapon with a leather-covered, long wooden grip can be mentioned. (Fig. 179) This unusual type probably once belonged to the hand weapons on a warship, where a weapon of this shape (the blade is 88 cm long in this case) was used for boarding or even for the defense of the vessel is reminiscent of the Dutch type that was in use in Sweden from about 1625 to 1640.

However, the main part of this group consists of cavalry weapons with conventional construction. The hilt here has both knuckles and side knuckles (see Fig. 9) and an openwork guard plate that often curves upwards (Fig. 180). For a reason that is difficult to explain, this weapon has sometimes been called the "Swedish saber" - however, neither the type nor the designation could be attested in this country.

Curved blades were not used at all by the Swedes at that time. Although this type of weapon may have happened to have been used by Swedes at some point, e.g., B. in the Thirty Years' War (of which nothing is known), one obviously has to look for its origin in a completely different area, most likely in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The knob has a flat, heart-shaped shape, like that found in the Netherlands and Sweden (cf. fig. 180), but the squat, round knob is also common (fig. 180 right, 181, 182 right). The latter, incidentally, seems to have appeared at a later date than the former, since it can usually be traced with a decoration of two knob-like swellings nested within each other, this decoration of brackets occurring about 1640-1650 (Fig. 40).

Any additional information would be more than welcome at this stage.

The first sword is Circa 1640-60 Iron Animal head pommel with pieced guard on one side and thumb ring on the other. The blade is slightly curved 34” 86.5 cm long and has an etching of a man’s head with some text in what could be Latin above and below. If any one can tell what this is I would also be most appreciative. I have gone through all of my references on marks and blade engravings and found nothing that matches this one.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 15th May 2022, 08:02 AM   #2
corrado26
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I take this as a typical Swiss sword. The lions- or dogs head is absolutely typical for Swiss arms at that time and one can find them in many auction catalogues or Swiss collections today. The script on one side of the blade reads "CUM CORE AUT MORI" and should be in English "with the core or die". The script on the other side I cannot read, sorry!Of course it it also possible that this sword has been made in southern Germany or Austria, the frontiers are fluent, but its type is iMO absolutely Swiss.
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Old 15th May 2022, 08:03 AM   #3
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Sorry, I forgot the pictures, here they are
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Old 15th May 2022, 08:38 AM   #4
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Default Latin insrciption

Thankyou for this, I am really struggling with the flowery cursive writing. Yes I agree Switzerland is most likely. I am still not sure what to call it though, a swiss sabre, horsemans sword or campaign sword?. I am still waiting for my copy of Europäische Hieb - und Stich-Waffen ~Heinrich Müller ,Hartmut Kölling to arrive which is finally in Melbourne.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 15th May 2022, 09:20 AM   #5
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Text on the blade is:

VINCERE AUT MORI= either to conquer or to die.

SOLI DEO GLORIA = Glory to God alone

multiple examples of above can be found in the Bern historical museum.

best,
Jasper
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Old 15th May 2022, 09:49 AM   #6
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Red face

Thank you Jasper, I was sitting on my eyes.............
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Old 15th May 2022, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
Thank you Jasper, I was sitting on my eyes.............
Hi Corrado, it is that I know these Texts on "Reiterschwerter" because it is always not easy to decipher best, jasper
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Old 16th May 2022, 02:06 AM   #8
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Default Swiss Sabre

Hi Jasper

Can you tell me where you found the texts on "Reiterschwerter"? I am trying to increase my library on European swords pre 1700 and thanks to Google translate I can now almost decipher what’s in them. I do have an extensive library which includes everything I have been able to find written and or published in English. We previously focused on British swords but recently have returned to early swords and now focus on Europe.

By the way never be tempted to download the German proofing tool in the Office suit, I did, and my entire office package was in German, and I had to reinstall Office from Windows to get English back.

Thankyou also Corrado for your information.

I have posted previously asking for the names of references on Early European edged weapons and thus far I have acquired the following:
BOCCIA L.G., COELHO E.T., EDITRICE B. Armi Bianche Italiane
CRONAU, Rud Geschichte der Klingenindustrie Solingens
Blankwaffen I & 2 - Heribert Seitz (Klinkhardt e Biermann)
Europaische Hieb - Und Stichwaffen Aus Der Sammlung Des Museums Fur Deutsche Geschichte (this one is still in the post)

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 16th May 2022, 07:24 AM   #9
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What do you think about
- Wallace Collection Catalogues, European Arms and Armour two volumes,
London 1962
- Catalogue Hermann Historica, Munich, 56. auction European Court swords 17.
to 19. century
- Catalogue Hermann Historica, Munich, 63. auction European swords 17. and
18. century from a Spanish collection
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Old 16th May 2022, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
...- Wallace Collection Catalogues, European Arms and Armour two volumes, London 1962 ...
A must have .
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Old 17th May 2022, 02:56 AM   #11
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Default 17th century Swiss Sabre

Hi guys

I started saving the sword lots from Hermann’s from Catalogue number 60. Sadly, I have been unable to find a copy of Catalogue Hermann Historica, Munich, 56. auction European Court swords 17. to 19. Century for sale. I have the Wallace Collection Catalogues and my copy of MÜLLER, Heinrich, HARTMUT Kölling & PLATOW Gerd Europäische Hieb & Stichwaffen Deutsche Geschichte is due to arrive today. I have uploaded the references I have on European Edged weapons, the ones in Orange I only have PDF’s of. I would be grateful if anyone can advise on some obvious omissions. I have not included my library of Auction catalogues, just specialist books.

Cheers Cathey
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File Type: pdf _Brimage Arms & Armour library-European.pdf (303.0 KB, 178 views)
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Old 17th May 2022, 11:21 AM   #12
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I must admit you have a remarkable library, congratulations!! I'll try to contact Hermann Historica and ask if there are still available the catalogues 56 and 63.
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Old 20th June 2022, 09:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
Sorry, I forgot the pictures, here they are
@ Corrado26

the picture you posted with the light blue background, can you tell me the source?

thanks + regards
Jasper
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Old 20th June 2022, 11:33 AM   #14
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@cornelistromp

here is the catalogue where I found the photos.
Best regards
Udo
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Old 21st June 2022, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
@cornelistromp

here is the catalogue where I found the photos.
Best regards
Udo
Udo, thanks a lot, best Jasper
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