German. Prussian Model 1864 Infantry NCO Short Sword

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This Prussian model 1864 infantry NCO’s short sword has had an active service life, having been re-issued at least three times to three different infantry regiments. The last issue stamp is for the 2nd company, 16th (3rd Westphalian) Infantry "Baron Sparr" (reserve) Regiment, weapon number 240. An earlier issue was to the 158th (7th Lotharingian) Infantry Regiment. The first issue stamp is hard to read.

The Model 1864 was the NCO sidearm variant of the enlisted troops M1871 bayonet which it closely resembles.

The 490mm single-edged blade has a flat spine with a 75mm upper false edge and terminates in a spear point. The blade is in very good condition and is faintly etched on both sides with trophies of arms and foliate scrollwork. The ricasso bears the early twin squirrel trademark of Carl Eickhorn, a famous Solingen blade maker who founded his business in 1865.

The solid, cast brass hilt has 18 diagonal ribs on the facing (right) side, an elongated S crosspiece and a birds’ head pommel and is in excellent condition. The tang is peened at the top of the pommel and the blade is firm in the hilt.

The sword is complete with its brass mounted leather scabbard. The scabbard is in excellent condition. The locket is stamped with the unit markings of three different infantry regiments, two of which are crossed out. With each re-issue the earlier unit designation was obscured by being over stamped with a dot pattern. The locket and chape bear the imperial inspection/acceptance stamps of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, who reigned from 1861–1888.

This is an excellent example of a scarce Prussian infantry NCO’s sidearm.


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