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Old 24th April 2010, 05:56 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
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Default European Infantry Sidearm.

Hi,
A ubiquitous European Infantry sidearm mostly associated with the French Army but, as you all probably know, used in many countries over most of the 19th Century. I'm having difficulty in tying down this one to a particular country. Made in Solingen by Gebruder Weyersberg, pre 1880's they amalgamated then, but for whom? One of the German states ? Belgium? etc? I've raked the net and searched other forums but no luck so any help appreciated. As usual many thanks in advance for any and all comments and replies.
Regards,
Norman.

P.S. The markings shown are the only ones, there are none on the scabbard fittings or hilt.
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Old 25th April 2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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Hi,
I have found two other examples of Gebruder Weyersberg swords with the crowned double A cipher. The first one is a briquet sidearm similar to mine. The other is a French 1822 type light cavalry sabre belonging to a forum member who has kindly allowed me to use their photographs on this thread. It has been suggested elsewhere that the cipher may refer to Belgium but I have been unable to verify this in any way. It is perhaps rather unfortunate that both styles of sword had particularly long service lives or I may have been able to pin down the dating a bit more as the identification of the cipher seems to be rather elusive.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 25th April 2010, 09:45 PM   #3
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The stamps on the other sidearm.
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Old 3rd July 2021, 08:38 PM   #4
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Hi,
For completeness, double A under a crown is the Berne Armoury, Switzerland.
N.C.O.'s briquet sabre C1830.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 4th July 2021, 12:51 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Gebruder Weyersberg was founded 1 Jan 1787 by the brothers Wilhelm, Peter and Johann-Ludwig Weyersberg. They produced large quantities of knife and sword blades (in 1786 as much as 17% of Solingens blades, Large numbers of orders from France and Italy).
In the progression of changes with of course passing of family and to other family members the business prevailed until in 1883, the firm amalgamated with Kirschbaum to become Wyersberg, Kirschbaum et cie.

The reformation of Gebruder Weyerberg 1 May 1902, but no swords or bayonets produced by this incarnation of the firm.

The stamp GEBR.
WEYERSBERG/SOLINGEN in two lines
either parallel or with top line arched
trademark of kings head also used, but other devices known, a cockerel, a trumpet, deers head, eagle holding shield with W, horses head and an
A-star-1 were also known used.

"The Sword and Bayonet Makers of Imperial Germany 1871-1918", John Walter,1973, p.174-78

The Bern marking of course suggests the disposition of this sword there.
Clearly these 'briquets' were widely dispersed and used in many countries and over many years, even generations. Their commonality and the fact that they are munition grade weapons produced in massive volume rendered them not particularly 'collectible' and most probably ended up scrap.
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Old 4th July 2021, 10:54 AM   #6
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It's too bad so many folks look down upon the briquets just because they are prolific. They still tell a vital story in the progression of edged weapon history. Although plain, they were an excellent utilitarian tool and weapon, made for simplicity and 'toughness' in the field, much like the so-called 'Pioneer's swords'.
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Old 4th July 2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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The "AA" mark under a crown stands for "Auszueger Armatur" and was a mark of the Bern Arsenal.
All conscripted men who did not belong to the "Recruited Soldiers" were assigned to the Landwehr. In contrast to the Auszueger, who gathered his equipment in the arsenal, the Landwehr soldier had to disarm and arm himself at his own expense. This naturally led to a different look and a Landwehr pattern had to look like a carnival procession, as numerous caricatures attest. The goal of the government was to maintain a troop with the Landwehr and, above all, a large rifle budget as cheaply as possible. Among other things, a marriage law was passed in which the groom was obliged to buy weapons and equipment before the wedding. Here is a cartoon from that time. The disadvantage of this system was of course the enormous variety of weapons in terms of type and quality.
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Old 4th July 2021, 11:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY View Post
It's too bad so many folks look down upon the briquets just because they are prolific. They still tell a vital story in the progression of edged weapon history. Although plain, they were an excellent utilitarian tool and weapon, made for simplicity and 'toughness' in the field, much like the so-called 'Pioneer's swords'.

Very well said Capn,
These were essential 'bare bones' weapons that may have been basic, but reflected the tough excellence that they were intended for, and in the harsh intense conditions they faced, they did it well.
Look at the often simple utility knives and tools of the frontiers here in America, and the fact that they were often simply disposed of or repurposed has placed them in an almost rare category, ironically giving them the collectible status denied in their contemporary times.

As with all weapons, they have stories to tell.
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Old 7th July 2021, 02:17 PM   #9
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Hi Guys,
Ta very much for the extra info. I came across this 10yr old post by happenstance and realised that I had not added the info that I had received from the Berne Museum. It was an item that I would probably not have picked up normally but it did have a scabbard was fully marked and has a false back edge which I had not seen on others of this type plus for a weapon that was mass produced in huge quantities there isn't as many as one would think that is complete and in good condition. The condition of this one is probably, I suspect, due to it having sat in the Berne Armoury and never carried in 'anger'.
Corrado, thanks for the explanation of the A.A. stamps the museum did not fully explain the significance of the letters.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 10th July 2021, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
Among other things, a marriage law was passed in which the groom was obliged to buy weapons and equipment before the wedding. Here is a cartoon from that time. The disadvantage of this system was of course the enormous variety of weapons in terms of type and quality.
This law should be reinstated, as you know once married other priorities prevent using $ to collect arms.

I had seen the double A marking before and was unaware of its meaning.
Always more to learn.
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