DANISH 1791/1800 VARIANT PATTERN LIGHT CAVALRY OFFICERS SWORD

Stock Ref: AST 1559

A very rare example of a Danish Light Cavalry Officers sword with a date on the blade of 1801 (1st Battle of Copenhagen) with original leather and brass scabbard.

80cm (31.5”) slightly curved single fullered blade with flat back and hatchet point. The blade is double edged for the last 7” and has been combat sharpened. The blade is heavily engraved on both sides with the crowned Kalmar Union Badge depicting the arms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden above the Danish Order of the Elephant, there are also stands of arms, scrolling foliage and the word Vivat on both fortes (May he/she/it live), together with the date 1801. The engraving is gold filled. The back of the blade has the initials F W & C.

Brass single Hungarian Hussar style hilt. The stirrup guard containing a central oval lozenge. Rearward facing quillon ending in a scallop shell. Brass back piece and flat capped pommel. Extended langets. Leather covered wooden grip with three part wire bindings.

Maker: Possibly Friedrich Weyersberg & Co of Soligen (It is known that Denmark purchased swords from Solingen in the period 1790-1810. These purchases were both official and by individuals).

Dated: c1801

Leather and brass scabbard with two loose rings. The brasswork is decorated on the outside (visible side) with scrolling patterns and pierce work on the mounts. The chape drag is decorated. The top mount is formed for the two langets. Two loose rings.

The sword and scabbard are in good condition for their age and apparent service use. The blade has suffered earlier rust damage which has left areas of light pitting towards the point and along some of the etches. There are also areas of staining, however, the engravings remain clear with much of the gold inlay remaining. There are a few small knicks in the blade. The hilt is in good order and firm on the tang. There has been some shrinkage of the wooden grip which has left a small gap between the grip and the back piece. The leather covering is intact and much of the brass wire, although the central strand has been lost towards the centre of the grip. The scabbard is in very good condition for its age. The leather shows some age, however, the seam is intact. The brass lockets are in good condition with minor dents especially on the chape.

1801 was a very significant year in Danish history as it marked the 1st battle of Copenhagen with the British in the Napoleonic Wars, during which Nelson famously turned ‘a blind eye’.

In anticipation of the worsening state of affairs between Denmark and Britain the Danish mobilised their Army and Reserves. It is therefore possible that this sword either dates from this period or was made afterwards as a commemorative piece.The Danes issued commemorative medals for the Battle of Copenhagen which contained the words 'FIENDENS OVERMAGT TILBAGEDREVEN.' (The enemy's superior force repulsed), and considered it a 'Moral' victory.

It is known that Reserve and Regular Officers of all three service elements (Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery) helped man the defences of Copenhagen. At the time Denmark’s standing army was small and many of the Officers purchased their own swords direct from Solingen. This lead to some variation of the official patterns. This sword seems to be a combination of the 1791 hilt and the 1800 blade. The quality of the workmanship and the decoration shows that it was either bought for a Senior Officer or by a wealthy family. 

R J Wilkinson - Latham shows a similar shaped Troopers Sword Plate 96 in his book 'A Pictorial History of Swords & Bayonets', which he describes as a Danish Lancers sword 1814 , however, this pattern does not appear to be recorded in Danish Books. If it was a Lancers Officers sword it would still be extremely rare as there was only one squadron of Lancers attached to the Hussars Regiment.

Arma-Dania (The virtual Museum of Danish Arms and Armour). The Battle of Copenhagen 1801 – Ole Feldbaek.

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£2,595.00