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Sword History

"I have my grandfather's old sword, can you help me find out any historical information about it as well as its value?"

Unfortunately, this is not a service that we are able to provide. However, this page will help you as you begin your research.

Most research into the history of a sword begins with trying to identify the sword maker. This is sometimes harder than it should be. Sword makers usually place an identifying mark on the sword, commonly on the sword's ricasso (the ricasso is the unsharpened portion of the blade immediately above the guard). The challenge is that a number of sword manufactures allow their distributors to place their own mark on the sword. Hilborn & Hamburger (stamped by Vanguard) and NS Meyer are some common examples. If your sword has such a mark you'll need to contact the company directly to find out which company actually manufactured the blade. We do not place any mark on the WKC swords that we sell.

Please keep in mind that not all swords created in Germany, or in Solingen, Germany, were created by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co. (WKC). Even if your sword was made by WKC we are unable to assist with identification and historical research. WKC has been in business since 1879, but, due to the intensive Allied bombing of Solingen during WWII and the looting that occurred in the late stages of the war and soon thereafter, there are no WKC records prior to WWII.

If you want to learn more about your antique sword/saber, this is what we recommend:

  1. Run searches on several search engines to learn more about the sword company's history. For example, if you were researching a WKC sword, you might try the following searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing:
    1. weyersberg kirschbaum wkc sword
    2. antique wkc sword
    3. history of wkc swords
    4. etc. etc.
    5. You'll likely find other swords that are similar to yours listed on a variety of web sites and might be able to discern some of your sword's history and value by such searching.
  2. Take digital photographs of your sword from a variety of angles. Close-ups of the hand-guard, the blade etching, and the ricasso are important.
  3. Contact a Sword Collector's Organization that can help identify your piece, or search for an Antique Dealer that specializes in military pieces. Since research takes time, you might be prepared to offer a donation to whomever you contact in regards to your sword's history (perhaps $10-$20). On the other hand, be aware that we do not have any experience with Sword Clubs or Antique Dealers and have no idea of the honesty or forthrightness of any specific person. Antiques are a "buyer-beware" business and you need to be careful who you work with.
    1. The Internet Sword Collector's Association
      1. The Sword Collector's Association used to offer an identification service but then became swamped with requests and has had to cut back on the service they provide. You will have a better chance of them researching your sword if it is unique or interesting (that is why the photos are important).
    2. Mike McWatters
      1. Mike has a web page with a significant amount of information designed to help you research your sword by yourself. Information about a variety of sword manufactures, as well as photos of manufacturer "marks". Mike used to offer a free identification service but became buried with requests and now charges a small fee. Please keep in mind that we are not able to specifically vouch for any person that we are linking to on this page. Mike also has a message board on his site that you could try posting to.
    3. Sword Forum International
      1. The Sword Forum has several message boards where you may post questions about your sword's history (images are also helpful). As with any internet message board, there are very likely some astute and knowledgeable people on the board that can provide great information, and there might also be some less-than-accurate information as well.
    4. Alan Russell
      1. Alan used to offer sword research for free but became overwhelmed with inquiries. He now requires a donation before doing sword research.
    5. Richard Bezdek
      1. Richard has a number of books that he has authored about swords and their histories. At the bottom of the page he offers a sword identification service; the fee is currently $25.
    6. Directory of Sword Appraisers
      1. ESA Swords has put together a page of people/companies that provide sword appraisals. ESA doesn't provide the appraisals and cannot specifically vouch for any particular person on their page.