ITALIAN PIEDMONTESE INFANTRY SHORT SWORD, FASCINE KNIFE

$450.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 462-327

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This is a good example of the short sword or side knife issued to foot troops in the mid to late 1800s for use in constructing fortifications and clearing undergrowth, but also as a potential last ditch personal weapon, much as the predecessors in 18th century had carried them. This one is unmarked but follows the general European pattern of the time in having a brass hilt and brass mounted, black leather scabbard for wear on a waistbelt frog. This has a straight, double-edged blade with median right, and brass hilt with simple, short, rounded quillons, and cylindrical grip with ridges and grooves and slightly flaring pommel and rounded tang mound. The blade shows as silver gray with gray and brown stains, but no pitting. The scabbard has a tight seam, and good finish with just minor crackling and a few rubs. The mounts have a medium, aged patina, a little lighter on the tear-drop fastening stud on the upper mount from rubbing, with a little thin verdigris, likely from having been carried in a leather frog. The drag has some rubs, slight stains, and shallow dings.

This is a good example of the Fascinenmesser, which has come to be a collecting category of its own among edged weapons. They may seem a throw-back in a period when the military was going to breechloading and magazine rifles, but rapidly constructing field works for protection from those arms had become of increasing importance, not to mention that many of the European powers were indulging in colonial wars where cutting undergrowth was important in clearing fields of fire and campaigning in rough terrain. [SR][ph:L]

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