Category: hema

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From Instructions for the Exercise of Small Arms, Field Pieces, etc., for the Use of Her Majesty’s Ships, 1859.

British Handkerchief Cutter, 19th Century
19th century Wilkinson Handkerchief cutter sword with shagreen grip and an un-associated scabbard, 100 cm in length.
Used in The Great Handkerchief Wars. Also used for sword feats to demonstrate cutting skill and blade sharpness. Sword feats were often incorporated into a larger “Assault of Arms” which would also feature fencing with various swords, singlesticks, and bayonets.

British Military Swordsmanship on Foot, 1796-1821

Check out this incredible image by Nick Thomas of the Academy of Historical Fencing!

Nick says of the image;

“I’d like to see these weapons seen more as the family they are, and so here is a composite image created entirely from contemporary artwork of the period.”

“Madame Cigali the Famous Female Fencer from Rome at Henry Angelo’s Fencing Academy” Undated, by Thomas Rowlandson.

Rowlandson was evidently intrigued by the idea of a man and woman fencing as he drew at least five such studies. One in the Dent collection depicted Henry Angelo and `Madame Cain’. `Madame Culloni and Mons. Renault’ in Paris is recorded in the Dent Collection with another version in the Yale Center for British Art. Another, of `Madame Kelu famous Fencer Native of Italy 1816’ was sold at Sotheby’s on 22nd March 1979, lot 57.“  Source: Guy Peppiatt Fine Art

Photo

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A theory about the swords shown in the Angelo lessons poster, and Roworth manual. Check out this sword that was sold last year, attributed to the London and Westminster volunteers (who Roworth and Angelo are most certainly linked)

Notice that both the Angelo poster and first edition Roworth show what looks like a fairly short, straight, simple stirrup hilted sword, and also that on the Angelo lessons poster most of the troops are carrying carbines. Now go back to the sword I linked to. 30.5" blade, straight and stirrup hilted sword bayonet to be used with a carbine, and attributed to the same Volunteer unit.

Clearly the system is intended for all swords when on foot, but is this the sword (sword bayonet) that is being displayed? Lastly, if it is, are they referring to it as a broadsword? Which would be logical.

–Nick Thomas, Academy of Historical Fencing

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Italian fencing sabres, gauntlets, and masks, circa 1900.

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Wall Hanging Practice Fencing Opponent, Late 19th or Early 20th Century

In the form of a hinged epee and studded padded leather target, 30 cm wide x 84 cm high.

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From Instructions for the Exercise of Small Arms, Field Pieces, etc., for the Use of Her Majesty’s Ships, 1859.

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The remarkable Captain Flora Sandes – the only British woman to serve as a front-line soldier in WW1