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Thread: Stamps/Marks on Swedish 1685 Infantry Rapier.

  1. #1

    Stamps/Marks on Swedish 1685 Infantry Rapier.

    Hello all,
    I have acquired a Swedish 1685 infantry rapier that was converted to a naval sword in 1835. I noticed that the marks on mine (on the red background) are different from the ones I have usually seen on this model (on the white background). Is anyone familiar with these "sun" markings? I would have contacted Arne S. but it seem he hasn't been on SFI for some years now. Any other Swedish sword experts about?
    Regards,
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    Last edited by morgan butler; 10-23-2018 at 12:35 PM.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Hi Morgan,

    Congratulations on your recent acquisition! The m/1685 kommissvärja was produced on commission by foundries in Wira, Kvarbacka and Wedevåg in Sweden. This was a time of conflict when Sweden was a superpower so large numbers were produced (@340,000). The blade was 10cm longer than normal at 90-95cm which was considered a technological advantage. Swedish infantry at the time was trained to fire their musket and pistols at the enemy at close range before attacking aggressively with drawn swords/cold steel. After the great Nordic War some of the surplus swords were used as Navy hangers m/1832 by shortening the blade by 20cm and filing off the thumb ring.

    These swords are solid and highly functional in munitions grade. The three marks on the blade are called “Wira” marks but it’s no longer believed that these are foundry marks. Some of the marks are illegible and many look different. There should be a P inspection mark stamped just under the hilt to show the blade passed the quality tests. I think I can discern part of it in the first picture. I’m not aware of any Swedish blades with sunwheels, but think yours may be distorted “Wira” marks. If there’s no P inspection mark then the blade may have been produced outside Sweden.

    https://www.tripadvisor.se/Attractio...kersberga.html
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    Last edited by Magnus K; 10-24-2018 at 12:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks Magnus!
    I have always appreciated straight bladed military swords of the late 17th century, not to mention being interested in Charles the XII and the Great Northern War for awhile. This was at such a good price that I couldn't resist. Though upon closer inspection I can see how those sun-wheels are indeed very similar to other wira-marks.
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    Last edited by morgan butler; 10-24-2018 at 01:31 PM.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Yes Charles XII and the Great Northern War are fascinating topics. He was a remarkable man. In fact this year marks the 300 year anniversary of his death (1718, 2018). He was killed in action. Many Swedish kings led from the front. He took an active part in ordering arms for his army since he used the weapons himself on campaigns.
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  5. #5
    I've always wanted a a late 17th cen Kommandvarja but that is unlikely as they are very rare and expensive. But so beautiful. Especially the ones with hollow-ground blades.
    http://www.hoeglund.org/Vapen/sablar/Cavalry_1680.html
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Charles XII era uniforms are still used today for ceremonial duties by His Royal Majesty’s Drabants (King’s personal life guard), including the swords. They are wearing characteristic buff coats (moose leather), cuirass, tricorn hats, and heavy cavalry boots.
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    Last edited by Magnus K; 10-25-2018 at 09:32 AM.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the great Life Guard pics, Magnus!
    Just received the sword yesterday. It is much, much, heavier than I imagined it would be. It's hard to a imagine being a Swedish infantry trooper of that time and marching with this weapon banging against your hip all day, especially when it was originally 7 inches longer! It would be a devastating weapon. Even unsharpened it is extremely dangerous. The hilt seems indestructible and the grip is in excellent condition. I can see why this model stayed in sevice for so long. Also, I heard from another Swedish military researcher that it was used in the Navy until about 1900.
    Peace, Love, SWORDS!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Pic of the uniform of Charles XII at Royal Armoury, Stockholm. In those days Swedish kings led their armies from the front.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    475
    Effective today, I'm no longer allowed to be one of his His Royal Majesty’s Drabants. Unfortunately they refused to bent Oath of Allegiance to make an exception for his Royal Majesty.

  10. #10
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    Hollow ground blades are my delight. Swedish pieces are not in my scope but interesting none the less. What are the wira marks for, marker or inspection?
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 04-23-2021 at 07:46 AM.
    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

  11. #11
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    Mar 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    Hollow ground blades are my delight. Swedish pieces are not in my scope but interesting none the less. What are the wire marks for, marker or inspection?
    “The three marks on the blade are called “Wira” marks but it’s no longer believed that these are foundry marks. Some of the marks are illegible and many look different. There should be a P inspection mark stamped just under the hilt to show the blade passed the quality tests. I think I can discern part of it in the first picture. I’m not aware of any Swedish blades with sunwheels, but think yours may be distorted “Wira” marks. If there’s no P inspection mark then the blade may have been produced outside Sweden.”

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