Saber fencing; Hungary, c. 1910


Hungarian officers fencing saber

Hungarian officers fencing saber

Italian-style competitive saber fencing had supplanted even the Austro-Hungarian saber schools before World War I.

This stereo-optic glass positive depicts an undated military athletic festival or exhibition. No text identifiers are given but earlier contextual attribution identified the image as depicting Hungarian army, probably in the decade preceding WWI.

While the single bars left of center might have been a permanent fixture of the exercise yard, the gala uniformed crowds, as well as the pommel horse to the left, indicate that this was a special open-air event, maybe even hosting a member of the Austrian royal family.


Saber fencer

Detail: Saber fencer

The fencers wear standard fencing jackets with their uniform pants but have kept their riding boots.

The fencer to the left wears a leather elbow pad on his sword-arm (see Detail illustration.). Two other figures in fencing whites indicate that we could be looking at a small tournament, rather than a mere exhibition bout.


One response to “Saber fencing; Hungary, c. 1910

  1. Mátyás Kéthelyi

    These are not hungarian officers, because their uniforms were absolutly other: perhaps russian or bulgarian officers.
    Best regards,
    Mátyás Kéthelyi
    from Hungary

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