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Thread: Knecht, S&K and Berger Sharing Whole Swords Or Parts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA

    Knecht, S&K and Berger Sharing Whole Swords Or Parts

    A bit of a work in progress has been following different knuckle guards and there is some more than obvious distribution of bits, and entire swords.

    It is tough to say how much of the Berger marked swords were furbished in house but there are two fairly distinct b&g patterns found on the Berger marked swords.

    The Knecht family, the younger Peter probably responsible but was he the source, or buying from elsewhere? S&K a distribution company and the producer?. Berger (younger generation as well?) furbishing as a cutler and retailer?

    I have not started a dedicated file on this particular form, as the more I look in my archive, the more I am finding. I have just one S&K example to share but many marked to Berger and it is the recent sale of a Knecht marked example that got me going on this. I will post that sword first and add to this thread once I consolidate and copy the dozens I have archived in a zip file or something. There were/are a huge number of them with no markings noted but all seemingly from a single source to begin with.

    The Ebay auction, sold on the 8th.

    Interestingly, the blade has a white etch. The detail of the hilt a bit muddy and chunky. I will post up a couple of the Bergers in this lead post and the S&K (If I can retrace it again). I am not going to post all 12 pictures of this example at this time.

    A couple of Berger marked examples

    A question arises in showing those two is the Paris mark vs the A Berger mark. There are notes for the Berger family and a hunt in itself I think. I know there are notes of the family producing swords in Alsace back in the Napoleonic years and before.

    Another Berger marked example

    I'll scare up the S&K one later on.

    A parting shot off topic is the Berger/Ketland

    I'd welcome a lengthy discussion on the sharing of fittings and entire swords (not just eagles) because the root of my recent quests include both old Widmann marked swords and unmarked siblings, as well as later Ames(?) militia swords. PDL, Clauberg and others in my files and recently noticing an SHF sword that had no reason to be aside from brokers, producers and retailers.

    Anyway, lots of stuff going on here. I hate posting up a lot of information with no added discussion because it is truly easier just to keep it all in my files (to what end though).

    Latrez catz needz cheeseburgers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Annandale, VA
    Interesting. I've always associated this design of hilt, the knuckle bow in particular, with Berger. Now we have this P. Knecht at the top of the thread and perhaps an S&K to be posted later with the exact same design? How do we explain this? Three main possibilities:

    - Knecht and/or S&K copied/stole Berger's design (or vice versa) a la the Ames case;

    - Berger sold hilts which the others used to cutler completed swords using their own blades a la Nippes and/or Henkel selling Henry the hilts he used for his Maryland Contract cavalry swords;

    - All three bought their hilt parts from an unknown third-party producer.

    In the absence of any written documentation, I doubt it is possible to resolve the issue with certainty, but I will put my bet on the first option just because the bulk of this design are marked to Berger.

    On another side point, I believe the eBay seller of the sword at the top of this thread was a bit late in his dating of this piece. He states "The ricasso is stamped "P. KNECHT." ... This mark solidly dates this piece to about 1850." 1850 is the year Peter Knecht died, and thus is about the extreme end date. He had been in business for many year before that. I would estimate the date of this sword to be from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 10-20-2017 at 09:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA

    Here is an S&K marked example. Note that the floating pommel is slightly different from the backstrap pommel. Added to my files in April 2014.

    From the Napoleon Series webpages there is a reference of Berger in Strasbourg, so a possible speculation is that the Paris mark vs A Berger, might truly indicate different generations, as had been the case with Knecht as well.

    So, Mowbray's "mysterious" Berger of Paris may need to be rethought a bit as far as timelines go. The A Berger marked swords may well be the earlier and the Paris marked swords later. This might make sense when we consider the wacky "polly want a country" etch found on the A Berger marked blades.

    Then to regard the vast multitude of the "angry eagles" that include swords we can figure to span near three decades. It was in looking just yesterday that one of the "west point" langet angry eagle backstrap swords is blade marked to Helvig What has really been busting my nut this past couple of seasons has been the small flock of militia swords, all in Ames scabbards and with the standard oak leaf ferrule wee see on all those German made swords.

    The Berger swords all seem to have plain and flat ferrules, so that can possibly be a good way to place unmarked examples.

    Anyway, just some of the stuff running through my head while still looking for a horn grip Bolton sabre


    Last edited by Glen C.; 10-21-2017 at 12:11 AM.


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