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Old 28th November 2023, 10:22 PM   #1
ASomer
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Default European hunting sword for comments

Hi I am wondering if anyone can help me to identify this sabre, with etchings.
Thanks in adavance.
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Old 29th November 2023, 12:55 AM   #2
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Interesting piece! The "Turk head" decoration is something you often see on late 18th/early 19th century European sabres.
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Old 29th November 2023, 04:59 AM   #3
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As noted, these kinds of decorative blade themes are from European regions in the mid 18th to early 19th centuries, as the oriental mystique became popular in military units emulating the notorious pandours of Austro-Hungary .

The Turks head, magic/occult symbols and devices were meant to further carry this mystique in the overall esoteric character of the sword. While these kinds of decorative devices are familiar from East European swords, they were also popular in French swords where elements of troops from these places were often factored into French forces.
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Old 29th November 2023, 03:01 PM   #4
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Hi,
Looks to me like a decent quality 18thC/early 19thC hunting sword from continental Europe. See attached example along similar lines.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 29th November 2023, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
As noted, these kinds of decorative blade themes are from European regions in the mid 18th to early 19th centuries, as the oriental mystique became popular in military units emulating the notorious pandours of Austro-Hungary .

The Turks head, magic/occult symbols and devices were meant to further carry this mystique in the overall esoteric character of the sword. While these kinds of decorative devices are familiar from East European swords, they were also popular in French swords where elements of troops from these places were often factored into French forces.
Thanks for the info, I have also found another thread on this topic from a few years ago.
Is there no literature out there on the topic of these inscriptions? I am wondering what alpahbet it is and what it means...
Thanks

Last edited by Lee; 30th November 2023 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 30th November 2023, 06:04 PM   #6
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May I request that this thread move to European?

As Norman has well noted, this is a European sword, possibly a hunting hanger as used by jagers, which were specially formed light infantry units. These units were essentially for forward action, skirmishing and activity outside the movement of larger formations. As foragers (the term jager in German =hunter) they were also responsible for food supply.

In that they were often in battle with or proximity of Ottoman forces, the affinity for oriental fashions,styles and of course weaponry was prevalent.
These circumstances were of course well known with the pandour units of Baron von Trenck in the service of Maria Theresa.

The 18th century fascination with the mysteries of the occult, magic and oriental esoterica led to the use of these kinds of decoration and motif on sword blades, and as seen here, often the elements of the sword itself. This was known in the 18th c. as 'chinoserie' (=in the Chinese manner) referring to of course 'oriental', which actually collectively referred to China, Japan, India and even Ottoman (Middle East as well).

Fantastic piece of esoteric weaponry!
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Old 1st December 2023, 06:39 AM   #7
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Exclamation And so ... over to the European Armoury forum

Moved as requested
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Old 1st December 2023, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Moved as requested
Thank you Ian
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Old 1st December 2023, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick View Post
Hi,
Looks to me like a decent quality 18thC/early 19thC hunting sword from continental Europe. See attached example along similar lines.
Regards,
Norman.
Oh yes.I see a hunting sword, mid 18th.century , grip form
and the short guard probably show french origin.
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Old 1st December 2023, 04:45 PM   #10
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Hi,
All these tagged as French 18thC from old sales catalogues.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 1st December 2023, 05:14 PM   #11
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Spot on Norman!
This style of blade decoration was extremely popular in Nantes, particularly by the purveyor Caissagnard as I understand, following similar 'oriental' fashions in Eastern Europe.
Note the 'clipped point' in the one at top, termed a 'pandour point' (Seifert, 1962).
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Old 1st December 2023, 09:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Spot on Norman!
This style of blade decoration was extremely popular in Nantes, particularly by the purveyor Caissagnard as I understand, following similar 'oriental' fashions in Eastern Europe.
Note the 'clipped point' in the one at top, termed a 'pandour point' (Seifert, 1962).
The panduric style was very popular in the middle of the 18th.century ,when Franz von der Trenck gathered a 5000 soldier corps,to support Maria Theresia in her fight against Frederic the Great in Slesia.The soldiers where known as wild and brave and became a symbol for adventure in those highly restricted times.I have a German hunting sword from the same time, that also shows a panduric tip,in combination with a Pandur on the blade and the inscription " Vivat Pandur" .The inscription on the sword discussed makes no sense bur it looks somehowe "eastern" and that was the sense of the decoration.
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Old 1st December 2023, 10:11 PM   #13
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After doing a bit of reasearch i realized that in Austria-Hungary they were/are also called Pandurendolch.
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Old 2nd December 2023, 11:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Moved as requested
And, if ASomer doesn't mind, we will change the thread title to a more appropriate one, so that members are not misguided,.. so to say !
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Old 2nd December 2023, 11:43 AM   #15
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ASomer, you have a private message (PM).
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Old 2nd December 2023, 05:05 PM   #16
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some info to cabbalistic signs on blades:
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Old 3rd December 2023, 12:19 AM   #17
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Akanthus, great stuff on von Trenck! He was quite a bad boy, and his troops became pretty terrible with their depredations as they went a bit overboard with 'foraging'. The pandour units were disbanded, and von Trenck ended up imprisoned and died in 1749.
To add to this macabre story, his mummified remains remain on view in a monastery in Brno.

The frightening reputation of these notorious forces became both feared and and at the same time admired by other armies who favored their light fast moving tactics and skills in guerilla warfare and skirmishing, and added similar units as auxiliaries to their standing armies later in the 18th c.

The hubris charged words VIVAT PANDUR became popular on many sword and other blades, much in the same manner as Bowie knives inscribed with 'Remember the Alamo'. In R.D.C. Evans book "The Plug Bayonet", there are a number of plug bayonets with this inscription.
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Old 3rd December 2023, 12:48 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Jim McDougall;286567]Akanthus, great stuff on von Trenck! He was quite a bad boy, and his troops became pretty terrible with their depredations as they went a bit overboard with 'foraging'.

Hallo Jim,yes it's very interesting....
Also remarkable his cousin ,Friedrich Freiherr von der Trenck,the prussian Trenck.Serving in Prussia and Austria,escaping from several arrests and in the end ending up under the Guillotine of the French Revolution in Paris 1794.What a life....but it lead's too far here...
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Old 3rd December 2023, 01:04 PM   #19
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Udo, thank you for adding those most important pages from Buigne & Lhoste!

I wanted to add the sword I posted a couple of years ago, and that you identified the monogram on the blade as that of Charles Theodor (Karl Theodor),Charles IV, Elector of the Palitina as Duke of Juelichberg from 1742; then in 1777 as Charles Theodor II , Elector of Bavaria.

It seems more likely that this sword, which has a yataghan style blade, as well as that style hilt is from his later reign as Elector of Bavaria. The reason is that there is a partial poincon on the quillon with BOU. I would speculate (tenuously) that to be a partial of the lettered stamp used by Boutet (Versailles) whose shops might have created this officers sword in the manner of the 'oriental' conventions of the Pandours in the time of von Trenck (pictured in first attachment) in 1740s.

As the French had of course an interest in the War of Bavarian Succession (1778-1779) possibly this sword with longer, 'cavalry' length blade, and made in 'hunting sword' fashion might have been made for an officer in the service of Charles Theodor, and by the Versailles manufactory directed by Boutet.

While not having the types of blade decoration we are discussing, it is of the 'hunting sword' genre, and possibly French origin using 'oriental' fashion as discussed.

I was most grateful for your identification of this monogram, and would welcome your thoughts on my speculations on this sword.
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Old 3rd December 2023, 02:55 PM   #20
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images of a sword in my collection. I have often wondered about the significance of these...
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Old 3rd December 2023, 04:59 PM   #21
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images of a sword in my collection. I have often wondered about the significance of these...
Can you please show us the whole sword ?
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Old 3rd December 2023, 07:32 PM   #22
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Swordlover, there you have the exact scenario discussed, clearly this is of the French blade 'fourbusiers' (cutlers) and the various magic and military panoply based themes that have become collectively termed in many references as 'Caissagnard'. As earlier noted, he was one of such cutlers who was situated in Nantes, which seems to have been a hotbed of these type of blade motif's.

In a previous discussion we have discussed the esoteric 'rose' marking on the spine of blades at the forte which seems to be agreed to be a Solingen affectation on blades with similar decorative motif. As with many of these themes, it appears that much of the influence derived from Eastern Europe and the 'hussar' phenomenon which captivated most of Europe in the mid to late 18thc.
Along with the 'oriental' mystique of the light cavalry 'hussars' which of course included the 'pandour' units, was the attraction to oriental fashion and weapons (mostly Ottoman and the yatahans for example). Along with this came the mysterious 'magic' sigils and devices which seem to have been contrived from all manner of unusual sources.

Among these were characters of the alphabets of Glagolitic; Bosnian Cyrillic; Caballistic symbols; and numbers of others incuding alchemical and astrologic symbols, all variously assembled in coded interpretations.

These 'magic' symbols were seen to have talismanic properties (as with amulets from Passau known as Passau art, the famed running wolf one of them).

Many of these devices are almost wildly contrived, and seen as invocations to summon angels ( there was even an alphabet called Enochian) in keeping with remarkably superstitious beliefs of these times.

In looking at this, it is tempting to see the 'rose' symbols on the Solingen blades as part of this 'magical' motif phenomenon of mid to late 18th into early 19th c.
The Prince of Wales in late 1790s ordered a number of 'oriental' style blades (with yelman point) and talismanic motif for sabers for his officers from Solingen.

The cosmological basis in much of this symbolism derive from the sun and moon (which are depicted in an almost 'Tarot' style artistry) which are symbols of the Szekely, the ethnic sub group of Hungary from ancient times. The Hungarian nation of course has notable influence on blade decoration of these kinds in these times.

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Old 3rd December 2023, 08:31 PM   #23
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Default Pandour Officers saber c.1747

In keeping with the 'Pandour' aspect of the style of markings on these blades, this example shows the type of saber, termed Hungarian (but of course Austro-Hungarian) used by the officers of these auxiliary forces 1740s.

In discussions several years ago, it was noted that the example in Wagner (1967, plate 35, produced by Mairschoffer I of Passau, anno 1747. Another possibility Melchior Steiner of Pottenstein in Austria anno 1749.
Here it is worthy of note that the actual 'pandour' units were effectively disbanded after the arrest of von Trenck prior to those dates. However this does not mean they immediately stood down.
The 1747 date seems coincidentally associated with the hubris laden biography of the notorious Baron von Trenck (it is believed he was the author).
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Old 4th December 2023, 05:56 AM   #24
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Photos of the whole sword as requested. Lots of silver with hallmarks. I received this sword as a gift a long time ago...I always thought it might have belonged to a Gypsy or a "quack" magician!
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Old 4th December 2023, 08:09 AM   #25
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Into the ether:

From Wagner (1967, plate 31) an Austrian hussar saber c. 1700, with scabbard mounts pierced with heart shaped cutouts,

"..the makers of these weapons were usually gypsies, particularly those responsible for the ornamentation and metal work. This is the reason why these weapons have certain national marks, such as for instance the HEART shaped perforations in the metal work underlaid with red cloth".

"Quack" magician? LOL!
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Old 4th December 2023, 03:13 PM   #26
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I imagined a person who was a true character wearing this sword and telling stories by a campfire while selling potions. The scabbard is wrapped in bright green/blue shagreen with large silver mounts. The ivory hilt is adorned with large moons and stars - and of course the blade is covered with mystical symbols. Hard to imagine that it was used by a military person or even a hunter...
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Old 4th December 2023, 04:19 PM   #27
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What is needed here is perspective,
The HUNT, in these times was not just for procurement of food, or the sporting event of modern times, but was typically a gala ritual for individuals of high station among nobility and the gentry.

For those with serious interest in the study of arms decoration, particularly apparent in hunting weapons as well as court or dress arms, I would recommend "Hunting Weapons" by the late Howard L.Blackmore , 1971, which thoroughly explains the details of such decoration.

On p.19, it is noted" "...rich decoration on a sword which would often be put to hard usage was by no means unusual".

Bashford Dean, in 1929, in "Catalog of European Court and Hunting Swords", presents amazing photos and thorough detail on the decoration and manner of varied examples and styles. While this volume is rare (1000 copies) it seems I have seen it online.

In these hunting events, much of it was very much a 'fashion' show as much as ritual, and elaborate apparel was worn. Blackmore (op.cit. p31) notes, "..few of the hunting swords worn with such apparel can ever have been intended for action, although their owners made certain that they lacked nothing in splendor for the occasion".

Bashford Dean actually dismissed most of these hunting swords as degenerate court swords, 'small enough to be conveniently carried in the forest', but used only on rare occasions to defend the wearer from a wounded and enraged boar or stag (very ineffectively he notes). These elaborately decorated weapons were never intended for use in field dressing, which was the work of the attendants accompanying the hunt party.

The principalities of Eastern Europe, particularly in the Holy Roman sphere such as Austro-Hungary, including Bavaria notably, were known for key artisans who carried out the decoration of many of these elaborate weapons. However, in the competitive aura of these men in social circles led to the 'mystique' popular in the 18th century with elaborate 'occult' themes on blades imbuing them with 'magic' in talismanic protective sense as well as invocation for success in the hunt.

If one doubts the popular attraction of the times to 'magic', one of the quintessant figures of the period was of course Cagliostro, whose enchantment of royal circles became fabled in literature. This was far more than theatrical, as superstition reigned supreme throughout these European cultural spheres from 17th through 18th centuries.

The 'modern' character of magic from 19th c. onward is of course primarily showmanship skillfully performed to thrill a public anxious for mystery and excitement. This same character was that sought by high station figures in the times of these elaborate weapons, as they sought to impress by these allusions in the character of their personal weapons.

Any chance of better images of the inscribed motif on the blade?
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Old 4th December 2023, 11:20 PM   #28
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Jim: I didn't intend to make light of this or any other hunting sword. I always figured that the gentleman who ordered this sword originally must have believed in the supernatural. He clearly was a person of means, given materials used and the quality of workmanship. The sword and blade are quite robust and would have been useful as a self defense qweapon. I uploaded the best images I can produce of the inscriptions....
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Old 5th December 2023, 01:49 AM   #29
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I didnt take it that you were, but wanted to explain the perspective often taken by many in regard to hunting swords. Actually I figured you already knew the true character of them, but were describing your earlier thoughts. I often look at swords I have had for over 40 years and recall what I thought they were.....worlds from what decades of research revealed....some more amazing than thought, some disappointingly far from what I hoped.

I have long wanted to describe some of the detail I have found over the years on these swords, and what these mysterious and intriguing weapons were really all about, so this was a perfect opportunity. It is a most esoteric area of collecting, which truly makes it all the more interesting, IMO.

Most of these weapons were as you note, with pretty solid blades so could be used effectively.The examples described by Dean as 'degenerate court swords' were pretty flamboyant, not these heavy bladed types. Many 'hunting hangers' were used militarily, as well as cutlasses on many vessels.
Its mostly a matter of the character of each individual weapon, rather than a generalized observation of the genre as a whole.
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Old 5th December 2023, 09:01 AM   #30
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I wanted to add the sword I posted a couple of years ago, and that you identified the monogram on the blade as that of Charles Theodor (Karl Theodor),Charles IV, Elector of the Palitina as Duke of Juelichberg from 1742; then in 1777 as Charles Theodor II , Elector of Bavaria.

It seems more likely that this sword, which has a yataghan style blade, as well as that style hilt is from his later reign as Elector of Bavaria. The reason is that there is a partial poincon on the quillon with BOU. I would speculate (tenuously) that to be a partial of the lettered stamp used by Boutet (Versailles) whose shops might have created this officers sword in the manner of the 'oriental' conventions of the Pandours in the time of von Trenck (pictured in first attachment) in 1740s.

As the French had of course an interest in the War of Bavarian Succession (1778-1779) possibly this sword with longer, 'cavalry' length blade, and made in 'hunting sword' fashion might have been made for an officer in the service of Charles Theodor, and by the Versailles manufactory directed by Boutet.
Karl Theodor ruled in Bavaria until his death in 1799. It would therefore be quite possible that the stamp "BOU" is part of a signature struck by BOUTET, since he had worked in the Versailles factory since 1793.
The "Manufacture de Versailles" was created as part of the efforts of the "Comité de salut public" and worked closely with Paris from the start. The "Manufacture Nationale de Carabines" exclusively manufactured rifles and pistols for the French troops,no swords. It emerged from a repair workshop, which was expanded following the dissolution of the "Manufacture de Paris" to employ unemployed staff in 1793. However, the signatures and stamps used by Boutet are well documented today, but a stamp "BOU" was not used. However, it is conceivable that this "BOU" goes back to Nicolas Noel Boutet's father, who was called Noel Boutet. He also worked as "arquebusier des cheveaux légers du Roy" in Versailles between 1760 and 1775.

Last edited by fernando; 5th December 2023 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Members are recommended to reduce the size of each quotation to the part of the texts they wish to emphasize !
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