Original Imperial German WWI Navy Officer's Lion Head Sword by Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic Lionhead German WWI Navy Officer's sword, complete with its original brass fitted leather scabbard. Naval swords are far rarer to find on the market than army swords of this era. The all brass alloy hilt consists of a finely detailed lion head cat with floral backstrap and "P" guard. The tang of the blade is excellently blended into the mane of the lion.
The Lion's face is fitted with two faceted "jewel" eyes, however as this is a Naval sword, the right eye is a vibrant green, while the left is bright red. This corresponds to the longtime naval practice with boat marking lights: the right/starboard side is marked green, while the left/port side is marked red. Both eyes are well set into the head, with great color.
There is 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 the Iconic German "Oak Leaves and Acorns" motif, which is also present on the grip ferrule. The Grip back strap has some lovely floral designs.
The crossguard has fold-away sections on both sides, with the larger outer side having a clam-shell shape, with oak leaves and a naval "fouled anchor" design. This side folds over the grip, so that it does not stick out excessively to the left side of the officer. The smaller inner side folds towards the blade, and has a small circular hole that would originally engage a pin on the scabbard throat. The brass alloy hilt has much of the original gilded finish, making it very attractive.
The scabbard of this example is an up market leather model, with gilt brass fittings. Unfortunately leather is far more affected by time than metal, and the patent leather has cracked and shrunk substantially. Due to this, the sword is difficult to remove from the scabbard, and it cannot be inserted far enough to lock the scabbard to the grip. Usually leather scabbards are lost to the ages, but this example thankfully still exists, matched to the sword.
The grip is a very nice ivory colored celluloid over a wood base. This is a further indicator that this must be a Navy sword, as only the Navy used the ivory color. All other branches used black celluloid. It is wrapped with three strands of twisted brass wire, with the central strand being much thicker than the outer two. There is some looseness in the wrappings, probably from the celluloid shrinking a bit.
The 29 1/2 inch blade of this example is in good condition, but does show its age. The both of the blade has wonderful etched designs on both sides, showing ship motifs, a fouled anchor, and other naval motifs, mixed with floral designs. The blade was originally fully nickel plated, however that has unfortunately faded over the 100+ years this sword has been in existence. The last 6 inches is completely missing the plating, and has suffered some rust damage, probably from contact with the scabbard. The rest of the blade has most of the plating intact, but shows wear and some areas of flaking and staining.
The reverse ricasso is stamped with the trademark "Knights-Head" logo of legendary maker Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie of Solingen, over the firms initials of WKC. This company is a famous manufacturer of military swords and cutlery in Solingen, Germany - a city famous since the middle ages for its metal-working and craftsmanship in sword making. The traditional manufacturing of swords at WKC dates back to the year 1774 when the Weyersberg first registered the ''Kings head'' as their trademark. Later in 1883 the company merged with the Kirschbaums and the company WKC was formed as it exists today.
Overall an very good condition high quality rare sword from a legendary German sword maker, based in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Western Germany. Ready to hang on the wall!
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