Author Topic: German hunt sword/knife  (Read 367 times)

Offline hillr

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German hunt sword/knife
« on: June 28, 2020, 10:01:21 PM »
I thought I might share another piece with you all.  This knife is in the Horry County Museum collection.  It once belonged to Eugene “Gene” Dorman of Conway, South Carolina. Mr. Dorman was a WWII veteran and who served in North Africa and Italy. He was captured and kept prisoner of war in the    Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13 camp and received a silver star.  He nearly escaped the POW camp three times! After he passed away, his daughter donated some of his personal effects from his days in the service.  Unfortunately, I never got to talk to him about this knife, but considering that it was kept in a footlocker that contained all of his military past, I am assuming he acquired this knife in Germany or Poland.  Of course, there is also a chance that he may have found it in Italy as well.  The blade length is 12 1/4 inches.  I have taken the pictures with a museum centimeter scale for reference to handle size.  It has brass fittings on an antler handle and three interesting brass “buttons” on the handle. The blade if obviously reworked indicating that it likely started its life out many years before as a hunting sword.  I keep this knife on display in the military gallery of the Horry County Museum. If anyone wants to see it in person let me know. 


















Offline Don Steele

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Re: German hunt sword/knife
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 12:04:32 PM »
Thank you. I like it, for its purpose. I hope someone who knows more thatn I will chime in with some discussion of the features of this piece. I'm especially curious to know what the purpose id of the "Scallop-shell" piece at the base of the grip.
Look at the world with a smilin' eye and laugh at the devil as his train rolls by...(Alison Krauss)

Offline Marcruger

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Re: German hunt sword/knife
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 10:39:17 PM »
That is a fine piece Walter.  Thank you for showing it to us.  Does it look to you to be later blued?  Definitely has the characteristics of a sword for sure.  Bet it would make a heck of a hog killing knife. 

Don, I have seen those shells on swords and I believe they are called Langets.  Some are not shells, just tabs.  I think the purpose was to somehow help retain the sword in the sheath.  Looks like it could also trap a blade sliding up the sword.  Maybe more than one use? 

Walter, no sheath came with it? 

Beautiful blade in any event. 

Best wishes and God Bless,   Marc

Offline hillr

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Re: German hunt sword/knife
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 04:29:36 AM »
Marc, Unfortunately there was not a sheath with it. Although the pictures make it look blued, it is not blued.  Looks like someone “polished” it in the past.
Don, hunt swords commonly have these decorative pseudo guards  Sometimes they are scallops and sometimes they have relief carved hunting scenes on them. Glad you all enjoyed seeing this great knife.

Offline Elnathan

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Re: German hunt sword/knife
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 03:24:59 PM »
A langet is a piece of iron on a hafted weapon like an axe that extends down the haft. The purpose to to stabilize the head and protect the haft from damage - In these boarding axes, for example, type II and III have langets, whereas type I does not: http://www.boardingaxe.com/america.html

The shell on the guard was a pretty common element, not only for hunting swords but also for some infantry hangers. I don't know where exactly it comes from, but at a guess I'd say it is a development from certain types of sword guards that had a disc attached to the side of the guard to protect the knuckles (which were themselves a development from earlier Renaissance-era swords with rings there). Probably mostly a decorative element, but it may have also served to help keep water and debris out of the mouth of the scabbard while the sword was sheathed. Some late Medieval swords had leather flaps on the hilt for that purpose, I believe.

I believe that this one is most likely 19th century, though I think it possible that it might have been made early in the 20th, as these old traditional forms were produced up until the 1940s, I think. Most likely German or Austrian, I think.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying...cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Dennis Daigger

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Re: German hunt sword/knife
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 07:23:11 PM »
Although this is a 'newer' (it's engraved with a date, 1923) version it is surprising how enduring the basic design of these swords was.  This one has never been sharpened and both sides of the blade are beautifully etched with hunting scenes.

Your's is a wonderful example.

Dennis
Dennis