German Hirschfanger, Short Sword, early 19th C


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SKU: SS1677 Categories: ,


Completely unmarked, this is an early 19th century “Seitengewehr für Jägerbüchse”, aka
“Hirschfänger” as was the military term for the bayonet or small sword carried by the
German Jägertruppen, the elite corps of Riflemen which every one of the German
kingdoms was maintaining since the Prussians started using these in the 1740’s. Features
solid brass hilt with short guard expanding toward the ends; smooth grip with integral
pommel. Heavy 19 7/8″ straight single-edged blade with brass blade washer. Black
leather scabbard with brass throat and frog stud; drag missing and seam split, leather dry
and flaking. Shows considerable age; brass with dark brown patina and blade with age
staining and several patches of light pitting. Such pieces were used more for cutting brush
or building breastworks than actual combat, though they could be effective in that role
when necessary. Overall length 24 3/4″, not including scabbard. After the Napoleonic
wars most of these rifles (German “Büchsen”) were equipped with a hook-like device on the
right side of the barrel. The grip here has the corresponding holding box grounded off,
which was often done when the rifleman was honorably discharged from the military
service after 12-20 years and became a royal forester in the state service. Thanks to
David in Germany for identifying this weapon!