Foil fencing; France, c. 1910

 

An exhibition match

An exhibition match

According to modern mythology, fencing matches drew large crowds before electrical scoring was introduced…

Modern “classical” fencing assumes that before the flick was invented, fencing attracted mass audiences. This undated French postcard shows that fencing did indeed have an audience… but that the concept of “mass” is relative indeed.

Neither of the fencers—posing here without masks for the picture in their patent leather shoes—can be identified.

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