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Thread: Old duelling sword?

  1. #1

    Question Old duelling sword?

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Size:  118.7 KB Here is the other sword, which has always been a part of the furniture at my fathers house. A long thin, tapering blade, is 33 in long, and tapers from 3/4 in to 3/8 in. Always refered to as the old fencing sword, in our ignorance, because of the very thin blade, with no stamps or referance of any kind, an enigma to us!

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  2. #2
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    Not exactly my area, but I think this could be a sword used in European Academic Fencing, of which mensur is probably the best known. Typically the mensur swords had slightly different hilt design, but along the same lines.

  3. #3
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    yep that is an old Mensur Schlager... I have one just like it that I bought a few years ago in Nuremberg.
    "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio."
    Elbert Hubbard

    Nakamura Ryu Batto Do, Order of Seven Hearts

  4. #4
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    Schlager

    Definately a German duelling sword. Very formal with protective kit, steel goggles with nasel guard, throat guard and leather apron, and done to produce facial scars as a sign that you had gone to university. A bit like an extreme "Frat" initiation.

  5. #5

    Mensur schlager!

    What a wonderful name! The picture you paint for me, regarding the duallers protective gear, gives me the sense, it may be somewhat older than I`d imagined.What is your guess on it`s age? Also, is it a mass produced item of little value? I was in awe of the blacksmiths work, but can clearly see, the rough finish, gives one the impression, it belonged to nobody of any importance. Or was duelling in this style reserved for the upper classes? Sounds as though a few " schlagers " each, before such ritual, scarring events, wouldn`t have been a bad idea either! Your thoughts?

  6. #6
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    If you are curious abut the history and tradition of mensur, you can get all the info you need plus whole lot more from the book The Secret History of the Sword by J. Christopher Amberger.

  7. #7
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    The tradition continued well into the 20thC and was the origin of the duelling scars on the face of Prussian officers as late as WWII. The protective gear was to avoid maiming, the cuts were washed with white wine to promote clean but obvious scars.
    It was not really approved of but not really suppressed either, and there are rumours of it still going on. Probably the reason for the rough finish, not a public activity, and the domain of impecunious (skint) students.
    Follow up in the book recommended above to get the real gen. I am just sharing the little bit I know of the subject.
    PS There is a portrayal of this in the old "Flashman" film, where the hero, hem hem, is forced to impersonate Central European royalty.
    Last edited by David R; 03-13-2011 at 05:32 AM. Reason: ps

  8. #8
    Enter "Mensur" into the SFI search engine, and you'll find several threads on this type of sword.
    As I recall, there was one old thread that had some old photos of mensur duellists and their protective outfits.
    --ElJay

  9. #9
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    Also "By the Sword", Richard Cohen, has a seventeen page chapter about the mensur with several photos.
    "Ancora imparo - Michelangelo Buonarotti"

  10. #10
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    Mark Twain describes such a duel in one of his travel books, perhaps "Innocents Abroad"?
    Thomas Powers
    CoFounder of the Intergalactic Union of Bladesmiths
    "when you forge upon a star"---you better have your union card handy!

  11. #11
    This Schlager is after 1880 because of the protection for the ankle which was issued after this time - then could be up to 1920s.

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