Massive and scarce Austro-Hungarian Artillery and Infantry Pioneer’s falchion model 1853. These short swords were used mainly as a tool for clearing gun emplacements and fields of fire. They are huge and heavy so when called upon to be used as a weapon they were almost as psychologically damaging to an opponent as they were physically.
This M1853 is in near mint condition. I believe that it has been refurbished, probably for parade use. The 464mm single-edged blade has a thick, flat spine and terminates in a falchion or hatchet point. The spine is 9mm thick at the ricasso and 2.75mm at the point. The broad blade is 56mm at the ricasso and 50mm at the beginning of the curve towards the point and has a single, wide fuller on one side only.
The blade has a factory edge with no evidence of additional sharpening. The steel is bright and polished and remains as it was when it left the factory.
The dark, hardwood grips are in great condition and are fixed firmly in place by four steel pins. The iron cross guard has bud finials and is stamped with the number 1400 on the facing edge.
The falchion is complete with its wooden, leather covered scabbard with steel mounts. The scabbard has minimal wear to the leather and the stitching is intact and tight. The steel locket and chape are in excellent condition with minimal age related wear or tarnish.
This is the finest example of an M1853 that I have come across. It is in fantastic condition. This could be because it was never issued, as the lack of maker and unit marking may indicate. Or it could have been used as a ceremonial side arm given how highly polished the steel is. Either way, these scarce short swords don’t come better than this.