Basket-hilt saber practice; Germany, 1907

 

German boys fencing with the basket-hilt saber

German boys fencing with the basket-hilt saber

 

“This is how the local boys fence here daily. Once I participated but I soon had enough. My arm was almost through and I still have the scars to prove it.”

Postcard from 1907 depicting young boys practicing with the heavy basket-hilt saber, or Korbsäbel. The image is unusual as it shows the Ehrenwaffe (weapon of honor) of the German and Austrian university students in the hands of school-age boys.

(Older boys wouldn’t have been caught dead in shorts in that period!)

The equipment used is professional: Padded platsrons, cuffs (Stulpen), and heavy “Stierkopf” (bull’s head) masks. The practice sabers alone can weigh over two pounds.

In the picture, the boy to the left is attacking with a short lunge, aiming a high Quart at his opponent’s left forehead.

One response to “Basket-hilt saber practice; Germany, 1907

  1. fencingclassics

    Unfortunately, the postmark bearing the name of the city this card was mailed from only has a legible mail date. Further information where exactly this photo was taken is not available.

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