Original Ottoman Empire WWI Triple Etched Turkish Officers German Fusilier Pattern Sword with Scabbard by Alexander Coppel
Original Item: Only One Available. In the eve of the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was in ruinous shape. It had lost substantial territory in disastrous wars, its economy was in shambles and its subjects were demoralized. The Empire needed time to recover and to carry out reforms, but the world was sliding into war and it would need to take a position. After the Italo-Turkish War and Balkan Wars, the Empire's resources were completely drained. Remaining neutral and focusing on recovery became impossible on the outbreak of the First World War, so the Empire needed to ally with one camp or the other. It did not have adequate quantities of weaponry or machinery, and lacked the financial means to purchase new ones. The Sublime Porte's only option was to establish an alliance with a European power; it did not seem to really matter which one. Talat Pasha, the Minister of Interior, wrote in his memoirs: "Turkey needed to join one of the country groups so that it could organize its domestic administration, strengthen and maintain its commerce and industry, expand its railroads, in short, to survive and to preserve its existence."
Here we have a very nice Ottoman Turkish officer's sword from the closing days of the Ottoman Empire. Founded in 1299, by the 19th Century it was only a shadow of what it had been, and choosing the fight on the Central Powers side during WWI proved to be its undoing.
Nevertheless, they still were able to field a substantial and well armed (with German Help) force during WWI, and this very smart officers short sword is from that same period. It is a relatively simple and utilitarian design, a single edged weapon designed for close quarters combat. On both sides of the blade are ornate engraved designs, with the obverse design displaying the star and crescent moon of the Ottoman Empire. It has a ribbed wooden grip inside a simple brass guard with the Crescent moon insignia also on the chape.
The blade ricasso bears the A (Scales) C trademark logo of Alexander Coppel & Co., located in the legendary "City of Blades", Solingen. As it is under the rain guard, it is unfortunately impossible to photograph. This version of the trademark was registered in 1903, putting it right in the WWI period. This company manufactured bayonets for many years and up through WWII under the name Alcoso. Sadly, as the Coppel family was Jewish, they saw their company stolen from them and "Aryanized" during WWII by the NSDAP. For more information on this maker please see J Anthony Carter's excellent work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
The blade shows just a bit of oxidation, and little sign of use, and does not appear to have been sharpened. It fits very nicely into its steel scabbard which is also lightly oxidized.
A rather rare and beautiful sword ready for further research and display.
Blade length: 29 3/8”
Blade Style: Single Edged with Fuller
Overall length: 34 1/4”
Handguard: 4 1/2”L x 4 1/2"W
Scabbard length: 33”
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