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Thread: Alex Coppel sword: German? Prussian? Def not Italian!

  1. #1
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    Arrow Alex Coppel sword: German? Prussian? Def not Italian!

    Hello everyone,

    Finally I have a sword I know a LITTLE bit about! This was made by Alexander Coppel/Solingen - no scales on the makers mark. It's German or even Prussian - I found a beautiful version of the exact sword on Flickr,

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/48733324@N02/

    and the owner of that one says Prussian, but you never know. (I was originally told by an "expert" that this was Italian, so I don't trust anyone's labels any more without a second opinion!)

    The mark dates the sword between 1871 – 1940, but I’d like to do a little better than that for dating, and I’d also like to know which country/military unit would have used this sword.

    Any expert guesses?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Lightbulb

    This the somewhat common KD 89. The eagle has a breast plate quartered, indicating that four states in Germany used this pattern, Prussia, Baden, Oldenburg and Hesse. There is a date on top of the blade with the crown/W/date. This is the issued Cavalry Sword for Line Regiments until 1918. (Except the Kuerrasieren, they used a different Sword!) It was adopted in 1889, hence the official designation; "Kavalrie Degen Modell 1889". This example is rather beat up, and the scabbard ring is bent, the guard is really nice, but distorted, and the finish is somewhat worn, but still a respectable weapon. The grips of all issued weapons were a composition materiel, somewhat like early Bakelite or Rubber/filler materiel. The lack of a lower ring indicates it was made or modified after 1892, and if there are traces of blueing or paint on the scabbard, it lasted until 1908 at least.. The trade mark is the usual one for official contracts, they did not use any symbols on State contracted items--usually--in that era..

    Bavaria, Saxony, Wuerttemburg and Mecklenburg used this weapon also, but with their own motifs on the guard, the Saxons also had a curved blade and it was a bit shorter than this model....

    Look for the cypher on the top of the ricasso and any units marks on the hilt and scabbard and post some pix if you can...

    This should answer your questions completely..

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale Martin; 01-21-2013 at 07:11 PM.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2013
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    Thank you, Dale, for the thorough information!

    I am not sure the scabbard is original equipment, even though the marks match. The sword fits so tightly into it, it's difficult for me to pull it out. I see no traces of bluing or paint on the scabbard, and it is marked "13D.2.38." and "2.38" on the opening of the throat. "13D.2.38." is also stamped on the quillon. Are those the unit marks?

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  4. #4
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    Herr Eiler: The Scabbard is original and matched. What sometimes happens is the wood (Voereholtz) strips inside get moved or broken with age. If you can remove the two screws on either side of the mouth, then using a block of hardwood or brass, one can remove the mouthpeice, recover and re-set the wood strips...

    What is the date on top of the blade spine??

    Yours is marked for the 13th Dragoner Regt., 2nd Companie, Waffen No. 38. So it was a real live genuine issue Degen....13th Dragoons were a Schleswig-Holstein Raised Unit, based in Metz before 1914. They were part of the 33rd Kav Brigade, of the 6th Kav Div...First fought on the Western front in WW 1, then Russia and Romania, then back to the West...

    According to your pix, the scabbard was blued before it got a bit rusty...so it is in the final configuration for this model...

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale Martin; 01-22-2013 at 06:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    That would be Frau Eiler And I'll see if I can find someone to recover and reset wood strips. I'll botch it for sure!

    The date on the blade spine is 1891. And can you explain what you mean by "the scabbard was blued before it got a bit rusty...so it is in the final configuration for this model..."? I have read about the bluing process, but I'm still not sure what it's for.

    I'm sorry, I just don't know that much about swords, but I'm learning!

    Thank you,

    Karen

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb Mouthpiece and wood strips...

    Frau Eiler, Vergeben Sie Mir Bitte!

    The wood is slightly tapered to the scabbard, and the ends trapped under the mouth are cut to a 60 degree inclusive angle for about 30 mm or so...Make sure the person doing this has some idea of the reason and method...In your case they will be assymetrical and follow the shape of the sheet metal attached to the hidden part of the mouthpiece...See photos attached...

    This example is a Bavarian KD 91, which is virtually the same as yours, just Bavarian with the Lion on the basket....

    Dale
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    Last edited by Dale Martin; 01-22-2013 at 10:02 PM. Reason: add pix

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