I offer for sale a rare cavalry officer's Backsword dating from around circa 1690, which would originally have formed part of the arsenal of Louis William (8th April 1655 to 4th January 1707), the ruling Margrave of Baden Baden, Germany and chief commander of the Imperial Army for the Holy Roman Emperor. He was also known as Turkenlouis ("Turkish Louis") for his many defeats of Turkish armies. The Turks called him "the red king" because his red uniform made him highly visible on the battlefield.
In 1704, he participated in the successful German campaign of the Duke of Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Schellenberg and he besieged and conquered Ingolstadt and Landau, thus drawing Bavarian troops away from the decisive Battle of Blenheim.
On one side of the 32 1/2 inch long (82.5 cm), sharply curved blade are clearly seen the engraved letters "LWM" and "VBB" for "Louis William, Margrave von Baden Baden", also clearly visible is the engraved blazon heraldic arms shield for Baden, Germany.
No maker's marks are present and the blade has been cleaned at some time. There are three deep sword struck nicks are apparent to the blade edge suggesting combat use, and the blade retains a sharp service edge and has a long false edge to it, running from the sword tip backwards for a distance of some 11 inches.
Overall, the sword blade is in remarkably good condition for it's age and the blade has a deep single fuller running for three-quarters of the length of the blade.
The blade is nice and firm in the hilt with no movement between the two.
This sword has a characteristic, Walloon brass hilt composed of entwined rounded guard bars, having baluster mid-points, also two looping side-guards which have asymmetric solid dished brass plates sprung into them, the plates embossed with concentric flower head designs. There is also a thumb ring present as you would expect on such a sword and a wire bound grip with 'Turks heads' top and bottom. The pommel is spherical.
The overall length of the sword is 37 3/4 inches, the point of balance is 5 inches forwards of the hilt and the width of the blade as measured at the ricasso is 1 1/2 inches wide.
Altogether, a rare, highly decorative and identifiable late 17th century German Imperial army sword, which has almost certainly seen service in battle in the late 1600's or early 1700's.
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