Original Imperial German WWI Artillery Officer Lion Head Sword by Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic Lionhead German WWI Artillery Officer's sword. The all brass alloy hilt consists of a finely detailed lion head cat with floral backstrap and "P" guard. The Lion is fitted with blood red faceted "jewel" eyes. Nice detail throughout his whiskers, chin, muzzle, and especially the Lion's Mane. The handwork is beautifully rendered throughout this brass. The "D" guard has raised out oak leaves and acorns, while the grip ferrule has laurel leaves around it.
The crossguard has a lovely set of "Crossed Cannons" on the chappe, the standard insignia of artillery units. These are arrayed in laurel leaves, with a pebbled background, with lots of hand enhanced details. The end of the crossguard is another "lion's head", which is finely detailed. The crossguard is also marked with GETSCHÜTZTES / MUSTER, "Protected Patterns", indicating that the design was trademarked by the company.
The brass alloy hilt still has a some of the original gilded finish, making it very attractive. This was most likely mercury gilding, which unfortunately "evaporates" over time. You can also see traces of the gilding at the base of the blade by the crossguard.
The scabbard of this example still has good original factory black lacquer, it is retained at 95%. Unfortunately, there are numerous small dents on both sides of the scabbard, though they do not interfere with sheathing the blade.
The grip is an outstanding sharkskin over a wood base. It is wrapped with three strands of twisted brass wire, with the central strand being much thicker than the outer two. There is some wear through the sharkskin, but it is overall solid, and quite attractive. The original leather blade buffer is still present, and in great shape.
The 32 1/2 inch blade of this example is in very good condition, with just a bit of light denting on parts of the edge. The nickel-plating is just shy of complete, with just a few specs of rust where the plating has worn. The plating does have some oxidation, but it could probably be polished out. We have left it as is to preserve the patina. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the trademark "Knights-Head" logo of legendary maker Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie of Solingen. Unfortunately the chappe/rainguard completely covers this area, so photographing the logo is impossible.
Overall an very good condition high quality sword from a legendary German sword maker, based in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
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