Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: German Damascus Officers 1796 Light Cavalry varient made for whom?

  1. #1

    German Damascus Officers 1796 Light Cavalry varient made for whom?

    Picked this beast up last week, & need some knowledgeable input to help me identify which country or model variant it actually is, if it is!

    Made by PW Knecht of Solingen , Which I understand probably means C.1806 to C.1820 out of beautiful fault free Damascus steel.

    Hilt is still partially gilded, profuse etching for 2/3 rds of the length, still clearly visible but nothing "Royal" about them, so probably not made for a Brit!

    So I am left wondering which country it was made for?

    It came from a collection mostly accumulated in the Netherlands. {But included stuff from many countries.}

    The answer is possibly in the etchings? They include Fasces, Lyre, Eternal torch, Laurel wreath,Trophy's, banners, cannon, maces swords, drums, oak leaves, acanthus etc.

    I think Italy or an Italian state post Napoleon but pre Garibaldi seems quite plausible? But I could be mistaken & cant find a similar piece despite much trawling of the net this last week.

    Can any one help ID this for me?

    Thank you.

    Jonathan

    Pics in next post.
    Last edited by Jonathan R. S.; 08-27-2016 at 08:16 AM. Reason: pics not showing up!
    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,195
    If you are trying the uploader here, I think you really do need to compress them to 100kb these days.

    Sounds like a neat piece. as far as etching goes, sometimes it is rather generic to fit a broad appeal of the market but for such a fine example, one would think it was targeted to somewhere specific.

  3. #3
    Hi Glen, Cheers! All the symbols seem plausible for Italy, but some other then Republicans may have used them?

    I assumed not USA , France or Mexico as no Eagles or Snakes,

    Not Britain, Spain or Germany as no crowns? But I don't know about Holland or Portugal or the etchings they used.

    I was using a Microsoft hosting website & not sure went wrong. Probably driver error!

    Here the pics anyway!

    Jonathan.















    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  4. #4
















    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    L'abbaye de Theleme
    Posts
    782
    P. Knecht seems to have exported a lot to the (then) new South American republics.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Javier Ramos View Post
    P. Knecht seems to have exported a lot to the (then) new South American republics.
    Thank you! Excellent! Yes a friend also pointed out that Ecuador used the fasces as a symbol. Any links to examples of P.Knecht swords for south America?

    After some research over the last week it would seem Gran Columbia, was the only republic that used the fasces as a symbol in the time of p.w.Knecht.

    The Republic of Columbia at that time encompassed many countries in South & central America, including modern day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru, western Guyana and northwest Brazil. A veritable empire indeed!

    Sadly so far I cant find any etched swords from that country & era.

    Has anyone any examples? or links?

    Or indeed any other ideas on possible country of origin? Gran Columbia & Italy both seem to be possibilities?

    Jonathan
    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  7. #7
    I seem to have missed this etching/engraving out.

    Interestingly 3 stars do match Grand Columbia symbols from 1819/1820 era...which of course overlaps with the !820 closing date for PW Knecht!

    The symbolism of the amalgamation of what we today call Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. . Unless Knecht generally used 3 stars as a "generic mark?

    Inquiring minds need to know!

    Any help greatly appreciated!

    Jonathan.

    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    L'abbaye de Theleme
    Posts
    782
    I do not think it worked as in established countries. Rather Knecht made (or retailed) a variety of blades (cavalry, infantry) with not so much variation in hilts (often three branches, iron or brass) with generic collections of decorations, and an arms dealer found the country with the cash to buy the pile. So symbology I think it is meaningless. On the other hand, the lack of identifiable symbols somehow indicates an irregular contract. The weapons could be originally planed for, lets say Chile, but finally diverted to some revolution elsewhere, maybe to the highest bid.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  9. #9
    Thank you for your thoughts!

    I think in part you may be confusing his post 1820 son with PW knecht himself perhaps?

    I also wonder if you are also mistaking your thoughts as an factual resource?

    Have you some, links, references , examples etc. to help me understand your hypothesis?

    I am interested in all thoughts & hypothesis, but some facts or references is always nice as well.

    Even better if someone has seen a similar example of this sword or this full range of etchings & can speak of their origins, Ideally with photos or links to examples..

    Any one any links to any etched pieces from Gran Columbia would also be fascinating to see!

    Many thanks,

    Jonathan
    Last edited by Jonathan R. S.; 08-29-2016 at 12:41 AM.
    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    L'abbaye de Theleme
    Posts
    782
    You are right, I was thinking about the follower.
    About factual points, it is difficult to have clear ones for South America swords, so what you get is my impression. You can get some glimpses at books like the one by Brinckerhoff, but that is just the tip of the iceberg if anything. I thought that was clear when I start a post with "I think" or "I do not think". I have a Knecht marked under the langlet, infantry straight sword marked at the same time "Fab de Toledo 1828", obviously for the South American market. And some weeks ago we had a threat with a Knecht sword inscribed "No me saques sin razon, no me embaines sin honor", following older Spanish examples. The sunburst at the ricasso also seems to be used often by Solingen export swords but also found in Bavarian, and Belgian so nothing definitive here. I have seen maybe another half dozen swords in a dozen years of Knecht swords, which I suspected for one reason or another they were for South American market. I have been looking in my files specially for a heavy cavalry brute marked Knecht in script, and something Toledo along the blade but I cannot find it. It was sold a ebay Pcay site abot 4-5 years ago.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Javier Ramos; 08-29-2016 at 01:56 AM.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  11. #11
    Thank you Javier!

    First off, my apologies for having lost your "I think" by the time I reached your "The weapons could be originally planed for, lets say Chile, but finally diverted to some revolution elsewhere, maybe to the highest bid. " My error.

    Thanks for mentioning some examples you've seen & sharing the photo.

    If its 1828 it would be the son P.Knecht rather than PW as his work ends in 1820 according to various sources . {Some of which I am awaiting my own copies off.}

    Before editing you mentioned you thought your example was also marked with a beehive or scales, so after a little research heres a few Solingen makers marks.

    Knecht seemed to use deer heads back to back, Coppel used the Scales, & Hoppe the beehive. These are all later examples though.

    Also heres a French 1821 sword with the P.Knecht mark. {not stamped.} {Looks like an 1828 date?}









    Hope that helps?

    I would still like to find other examples of P.W. Knecht marked swords, Swords from Gran Columbia & any sword carrying the complete set of Fasces,Wreaths,Lyre,Trophys,Torch etc. To help in my research.

    Jonathan
    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,285

    P. Knecht

    Don't see a lot on Knecht, P. or P.W. but I do have a couple by Peter. The first has a solid brass hilt that is one piece, grip, gusrd and pommel. The sword is short and I guess maybe for ship use. Both swords marked exactly the same P. Knecht on obverse and Solingen on reverse ricasso.
    Total 31 5/8
    Blade 27 1/4
    Wide 1 1/8
    Thick a thin 1/4
    One small fuller near top of spine solid one piece brass hilt, no sword knot slot

    The other sword is somewhat a mystery for me as it cannot be earlier than 1825 and yet it has leather over string instead of leather over carved wood as most of the later "p" guards. The other unusual feature is the pig skin grip. I do not think I have another pig skin covered grip.


    Total 34 3/4
    Blade 30 1/8
    Wide 1 3/16
    Think tad over 1/4
    Fuller 23
    Wide fuller, leather over string, pig skin grip with twisted brass wire


    Eric
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 09-04-2016 at 04:20 PM. Reason: More info
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  13. #13
    Hi Eric thanks for your P.Knecht examples, & specs, Great stuff & swords! any idea of which countries they were made for? I think Ive seen one similar to the shorter one, which had a French attribution?

    Ive been trawling the old German record archives & the Knecht Family is interesting, indeed fascinating!

    PW Knecht swords were only named as such after his untimely death in 1806...... His Son P. was only 8 years old then, But his father also P. was still alive {In his 80s.}as were both his wife & Spouse... {2 different Women Apparently, but his wife seem to have been the proprietors of the firm then} .

    So it appears the PW Knecht signature was an honorific in his remembrance until his son took over the firm.}

    His son was named in signature from 1820 onwards.

    PW Knecht swords seem to have been sold in Paris ,Liege & Brussels & Another Then Dutch town who's name escapes me at the moment. And in Germany of Course.

    It seems PW knecht 1796 style swords including High class Gilded, Blued , Engraved, Etched Etc were in very late 1812 or 1813 , used by the Dutch Which were then adopted & later named By the Dutch Light Cavalry as the Light Cavalry 1813 model 1. At this time there were marked In German, rather than as many of his swords for the French were in a French Translation of his name.

    At this time the Dutch had switched there allegiance from Napoleon & there use of French Style swords to siding with the Brits & using English style swords, made in Both England & Germany. {Possibly first lot from PW Knecht.}

    That's just the tip of the iceberg though when I have time Ill put up more of my research into the PW knecht Swords.
    Thanks again for sharing your examples.

    Jonathan
    Last edited by Jonathan R. S.; 09-07-2016 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Clarity!
    "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

    Daniel J. Boorstin

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •