The education of young German noblemen included fencing as well as “vaulting” (Voltigieren) on the pommel horse.
This 1743 copper plate highlights some of the athletic exercises young German noblemen were instructed in at the “knights’ academy” or Ritterakademie Liegnitz in Silesia.
The fencers are using foils with large dish-hilts and pronounced buffer points. (Masks are not yet in general use.)
On the left, another student shows off his Voltigieren skills at the pommel horse. The text makes note of his wearing full riding boots and spurs for this event. The pommel horse itself still has a wooden or leather-covered horse head attached, which will disappear in the course of the 19th century.
This image illustrates a period during which the use of edged weapons at German institutions of higher learning had not yet been limited to the weapons typically associated with German academia… the Schläger varieties and the dish-hilt rapier (Pariser)… but reflected the fashionable weapons of the day.