German Imperial Army Officers Sword M1889

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The German Imperial Army Sword (Infanterie-Degen M1889) was introduced into service as the standard sword for all Infantry officers in 1889. The various German states inset their own coat of arms into the half basket guard, in this case the crowned Prussian Eagle.

This sword dates to around 1900 as indicated by the single suspension ring and black painted scabbard and was made by one of Imperial Germany’s top bespoke blade-smiths.

The 780mm single edged blade has a slightly rounded spine and tapers to a spear point. The straight, thrusting blade has twin narrow fullers. The nickel-plated blade was crudely field sharpened and has deep scratches close to the ricasso as a result. The blade retains a sharp fighting edge and the leather washer at the base of the ricasso is present.

The spine of the blade bears the maker’s name “I. Robrecht, Hoflieferant, Berlin.” Robrecht swords are uncommon. The maker is better known for producing bespoke presentation swords.

The gilt brass half basket hilt has a canted pommel and folding guard. The brass guard is chemically blackened. The blackened guard and the sharpened blade indicate that this sword, despite its prestigious maker, was intended for combat use. The gilded guard was blackened to avoid it flashing in the sunlight and drawing the attention of snipers. This may indicate that the sword saw service in one of Germany’s overseas colonies, maybe Africa. Hilt and sometimes blade darkening became popular with officers on active service in sunnier climes after lessons learned by British Officers serving in the South African Boer War. The guard retains part of its original finger loop. The wooden grip is wrapped with grey shagreen and three strands of twisted wire. The grip bears the Royal Cipher of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The grip is in excellent condition.

The black painted steel scabbard has a single suspension ring and is in very good condition. There are a couple of small dings that can be clearly seen in the photographs. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held tightly within the scabbard.