Saber fencers; Italy, 1897

Student and teacher

Student and teacher

“To my dear Uncle and Auntie…”

Signed “Wm. H. Hommel” and dated Feb. 7, 1897, this cabinet card is dedicated to the aunt and uncle of one of the depicted fencers. What makes this card remarkable is the English inscription on a cabinet card produced by Italian photographer Giuseppe Da Rios, of Conegliano, Italy, a town and commune of Veneto in the province of Treviso.

Which one of the two sabreurs is Hommel? Is he the one in the military uniform? If so, is it American? If not, why is he wearing an Italian uniform? Or is he the fencer to the right? Then again, that gentleman looks too Italian for a Hommel…

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