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Bavarian Curaissier Sword With 1896 Named Presentation

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Here I go again!!!

I have a Bavarian "pallish"? in transit to me...

There is an inscription on the langet:

"Zestermeister / s/ l/ Von Stauffenberg 1896"

This cannot be Claus Von Stauffenberg who lead the failed assasination of Hitler since Claus was not born until 1907, but it might be his father Alfred!!

Can someone shed some light on Alfred??? (maybe Zestermeister???)

I will post pics later if there is any interest.


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There are TWO potential Schenk von Stauffenbergs of that period, a regular and a reservist--both were BARONS and not COUNTS, so collateral branches. Without a regiment to go by there is no way to distinguish which is which.

"Zestermeister" is NOT a Bavarian (or Prussian) officer's name, at least from 1903+, which throws the whole thing off. With presentation swords (often, helpfully, Cadet School presents from one F?hnrich to another on graduation) the ONLY way to tell who GAVE and who RECEIVED one of the wretched "s/l" inscriptions is if they were in different branchs of service so only one could have the relevant sword.

This could be FROM a Freiherr Schenk von Stauffenberg TO whoever the heck "Zestermeister" was.

And without any possibility to PLACE "Zestermeister" (not cadets of the same seniority, not in same regiment etc etc etc) no way to tell what the OCCASION was.

The only GOOD thing is that there WERE the pair of Stauffenbergs in Bavarian heavy cavalry so he was, there being no Bavarian cavalry "Zestermeister," presumably the recipient in this case... but 2 is 1 too many with no first name/unit.

I have the relevant branch of Claus's "GRAF von..." family's genealogy, but the two heavy cavalry suspects were BARONS not COUNTS.

There was also a reservist COUNT but he was in the Uhlans-- Claus's uncle Berthold.

Claus's father the Reichsrat was purely nominally a "rank holder" ? la Suite with uniform of the 1st Bavarian Uhlan Regiment, so it could not be his.

In my experience researching named German swords, when there is a giver and a recipient with only a year date like this, it was usually related to cadet school graduation or initial commissioning. Promotion, transfer, or retirement blades usually have some sort of group presentation from the officers plural of that regiment and a commemorative inscription about the specific event.

The regular (Werner) in 1. SRR entered the Bavarian army in 1896, but was first commissioned in 1898, so this seems... premature for him. (He also seems to have been dead by 1909.)

I have no date for 2. SRR reservist Franz's initial commission date since dR rank dates are not shown :banger: in the 1903 List--he was Oberlt dR 18.10.10. My best guess by process of elimination is that this sword must have belonged to Franz Freiherr Schenk von Stauffenberg. When the war started, he held the Bavarian Army 1905 Jubilee medal and BLD2. He won the BMV4X as a Rittmeister dR on 15.1.15.

But if Franz was NOT commissioned in 1896....

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Hi Rick, et al,

I am half blind looking as the inscription and the pommel cap crest!! :(

But.... I think the first name on the inscription is:

v. Histermeister

So this guy is a baron the same as v. Staffenberg ???????

Also, I think the crest is a reverse ... in other words it could be used as a stamp!!! like on wax or something!!

Does any of this make sense to you????

Many thanks,


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Here is (maybe) a better pic of the engraving. If you have time I would greatly appreciate you taking a look.

Does the "Damast-Stahl" marking on the blade indicate it is a true damascus as opposed to an acid etched (simulated) damascus?????

I am sure I am wearing you out but I so appreciate your help.

Thanks so very much,


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It's STILL a blur... but I am The Master Of Blurs & Smudges. :catjava:

NOW I HAVE THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :jumping::jumping::jumping:

FROM Hermann Ritter v(on) Pfistermeister of K.B. Chevaulegers Regiment 5 TO Werner Schenk Freiherr v(on) Stauffenberg of K.B. Schweres Reiter Regiment 1

They were exactly 3 apart on the seniority lists as cavalry regular Lieutenants

Ritter von Pfistermeister (born 1877) Leutnant 6 March 1898, and

Schenk Freiherr von Stauffenberg (born 1878) Leutnant 5 October 1898

so this was a present when they were 1st year CADETS together undergoing basic training.

THIS Baron Stauffenberg served in China with the 3. Eskadron/Ostasiatisches Reiter Regiment during the Boxer Rebellion, earning the old model Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords, the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class with Swords, and the China Medal (with bar "Hophu"?) for combatants.

I have a gap in Bavarian rank Lists from 1903 to 1909-- during which period your Baron appears to have died, since he vanishes and never appears again.

Ritter von Pfistermeister was promoted to Oberleutnant 27.10.06 (having earned the 1905 Luitpold Jubilee Medal), and was attending the Kriegsakademie in 1909. As of 1913 he'd switched over to CLR 6 as a Rittmeister ohne Patent (1912? 1913?) but appears to have retired 1913/14, being called back up "zur Disposition" again on 1 August 1914. He served during the war as a Hauptmann iG on the General Staff of the Bavarian Cavalry Division, earning both Iron Crosses by April 1916, the BMV4X and later same mKr, HOH3X, and ?M3K before re-retiring after the war as a charakterisiert Major aD.

ONE possible giver. ONE possible recipient. :cheers:

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RICK!!! :jumping::jumping:

I am thrilled !!!

You are the absolutely BEST and a GEM!!

Not ony have you significantly increased my appreciation of this sword but also of its value to owners after me. :D

Your generousity of patience, expertise and time are unbelievable.

Thank you .. thank you .. thank you!!!

AMAZED Rod :beer:

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Rick, Rob,

Leutnant Werner Schenk Frhr. von Stauffenberg left Bavarian military service effective 20 July 1904 with a view to joining the Schutztruppe for German South West Africa. He was duly accepted into the Schutztruppe the same date with a Patent of 5 October 1898. Unfortunately the poor lad did not last long, dying of Typhus on 18 December 1904.



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Perhaps you may be interested in a better description of the sword and some pics:

The leather wire wrapped grip is on a very plain hilt. The original red felt buffer is this there.i

A very old (original?) Bavarian portepee is there.

The blade is dual fuller ... "Damast-Stahl", "Eisenhauer" and "Lorenz Stanko, Munchen" all marked in gilt.

Blue panels appear on both side of the blade with floral designs marked "In/Treue?Fest" also in gilt.

I am told the damascus pattern is "maidenhair"


Edited by Rod
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The pommel cap crest is the Schenk Von Stauffenberg family.

Wikipedia show the following entry for the 1st son of Baron Karl Maria von Stauffenberg:

1. Clear Mr. Werner C. Schenk von Stauffenberg (1878)

I don't understand the "Clear Mr.", but I think this is my guy!!! Note the entry does not have a death year.


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I have tried and tried to translate Stauffenberg's death notice that you provided (above) into english using the Babel Fish translator ... but with no success :blush:

Perhaps you could help or maybe someone else would be kind enough to chime in?

Many thanks,


Edited by Rod
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Although I am not entirely sure about the name Eskorit (or whatever it may be), this might shed some light on the death notice:

Leutnant Schenk Freiherr Werner von Stauffenberg

Born in Munich on 17 February 1878. Educated at the School for Young Bavarian Noblemen. Joined Bavarian 1st Heavy Cavalry Regiment "Prinz Carl" as an officer candidate. Promoted to Leutnant in the autumn of 1898. Took part in the Expedition to China in 1900/01. Took part in the ride through Mongolia. Rejoined his old regiment on returning home. Transferred to the Schutztruppe for South-West Africa, graduated (presumably to an officer appointment) on 23 July 1904, assigned to the Eskorit (spelling??) column. Died of typhus in Owinaua-Naua on 18 December 1904


Edited by David Gregory
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I know I must be really getting to a pain in the "posterior" :blush: to you on this item.. BUT could I again prevail upon you to revisit your micro scan of the langet engraving.???

I took another look at it with my 10X loupe and I now I think may be 1898 and not 1896 as I first thought. If it is 1898 it could have been given when Stauffenber was appointed Leutnant. What do you think???


Edited by Rod
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