Category Archives: 19th Century

Swords in the News: Admiral Nelson’s Sword Found… Underwater?

To the hardcore xiphomachophiliac, there’s only one thing better than finding a great old sword.

Finding a great old sword that once belonged to a great old man.

Looks like an enterprising diver and treasure hunter has entered sword nirvana. He claims to have found a sword in an ancient shipwreck.

A sword that can be traced back directly to Admiral Nelson… Continue reading

Italian-School Saber: “Slipping the Leg”

Radaelli saber

Since we just reviewed and edited this posting and still have one more article on Italian-style sports saber in the pipeline, we’ve decided to make this “Eye-talian Saber Week” at SHotS Fencing Classics…

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Secrets of the Sword: How to maintain a perfect edge

The purpose of this site is not just to make you spend hours on end surfing and downloading free pics we paid an arm and a leg for to acquire.

Our mission is to discover to you the true Secrets of the Sword.

Revealed today: How did cavalry troopers make sure their blades had a perfect edge? Continue reading

Kombative Knick-Knacks: Tin Men Mensur

Who’d possibly want a matched set of tin figures staging a Biedermeier-era Mensur?

Err… yes, who indeed. Possibly the same kind of person who has a sextett of Spelter and bronze fencing figurines staring at his desk?

This one we haven’t acquired—yet. But would accept it from our Leibbursch any time. Continue reading

Dueling Tactics: How to scam a break during an épée duel

Based on the historical record, a duel with sharp épées was an unpleasant affair. Chances were that three feet of needle-pointed steel might transport you from the terrain to the Happy Hunting Grounds with considerable pain and suffering.

So who’re you to judge the little “trucs” that might get you a breather during your affair of honor… Continue reading

Current Auction: Another “Transitional”

A few weeks ago, we examined Eight Dueling Épées.

Today, we noticed a variant of one of the older specimens up for auction: A cousin of “The Transitional”… Continue reading

Weapons: The 1796 Light Cavalry Saber in the War of 1812

For Americans, the year 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

What kind of edged-weapons gear and literature can we dig up from this period? Continue reading

In Memoriam: William Gaugler

FencingClassics bids a fond farewell to an old mentor, friend, and adviser:

On December 10, 2011, one of the great fencing masters, scholars, and authors of the 20th century, Maestro William M. Gaugler, died of  cancer in Sunnyvale, California.

We appreciate what you’ve done for us… Continue reading

Weapons: Eight Dueling Épées

Among the mountains of scrap metal that have changed hands via eBay in the past couple of years, fencing épées pre-dating the 1920′s were few and far between. Even more rare were dueling épées—true épées, that is, made for the very specific purpose of a French-style duel with thrusting weapons. We’ve picked 8 dueling épées from the Amberger Collection to check out a couple of details… Continue reading

The French Connection: Christmann’s Practical Self-Defence

Readers of The Lazarus Smile will no doubt remember that it was F.C. Christmann, Professor of the Art of Fencing and Member of Several Academies, who started the whole darn mess by handing Ernst Moritz Arndt a stack of classical manuscript scraps. But unlike the Byzantine cascade of events that find their preliminary end in the Sherpur Cantonment Cemetary in Kabul, his self-defence advice is straightforward… Continue reading