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German Imperial Naval Sword


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Well, you've lucked out.

There is NO WAY to determine who the presenter and who the recipient is on one of these wretched "s/l" inscriptions. I've seen to "from your dear" and "to his dear" ("s/l" can be either) on army swords where the two ex cadet-mates went on to different branches and so which was which CAN be determined on specific models of army swords.

What we always look for in this sort of dedication is PROXIMITY. The most common connection is having served as cadets together-- with a sword like this being a commissioning or cadet school gift.

There were a VARIETY of naval Forstmanns and Eichlers but

exactly ONE time and place MATCH.

You will need to find late 1890s Naval rank Lists to confirm my suspicion that Eichler went in as an intended regular and then switched over to the reserves at some point before 1905 (my 1st Naval Rank List). If THAT can be established, that will be confirmation of this specific pair of friends.

Bear in mind that there is NO way to tell which of these two RECEIVED this sword!!!!!!!

Franz Eichler was born 29 October 1877 and entered the navy as a Seekadett on 2 April 1895 . His final rank was Kapit?nleutnant zur See der Reserve 08.02.08 A. When the war began he held the Prussian Reserve-Landwehr Decoration 2nd Class.

He served as a Watch Officer on SMS K?nig Albert and SMS Schlesien to March 1916, then transferred to naval airships, as the 66th officer to join that corps. He commanded the airship "L 13," and was shot down and killed with his crew over the east coast of Kent on 17 June 1917 on "L 48."

Max Forstmann was born 18 February 1876 and entered the navy as a Seekadett on 2 April 1895. He remained on active duty as a regular-- highest rank Fregattenkapit?n zur See 28.04.18 I, retiring 24 November 1919. He had been in the Reichsmarine Amt when the war started (then holding Red Eagle Order 4th Class and 1897 Kaiser Wilhelm I Centenary Medal) but was immediately assigned to North Sea outpost flotilla duties from August 1914 until April 1918. He then returned to the RMA in the Naval Mobilization Section for the rest of 1918. That may not sound terribly exciting, but he managed to rack up both Classes of the Iron Cross, both classes of Oldenburg's Friedrich August Cross, and--on 26 March 1918, the Prussian Hohenzollern House Order 3rd Class with Swords.

He was the brother of Pour le Merite Uboat "ace" Walter Forstmann.

In 1935 Max was the business director for the Cologne office of Economic Assistance for War Injured (Wirtschaftshilfe f?r Kriegsbesch?digte). he died some time between 1935 and 1937.

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Hello Rick,

Thanks for the information, I'm totally speechless, :o This is my dad's sword which I brought home this afternoon too try to find out what type of sword it is, as I know nothing about it,

After reading your post I'm starting to change my mind. Just too clarify how important or interesting/ valuable do you rate It

Kind regards,

Nick

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No clue on retail. I note completely different ideas of "market value" between the U.S., Britain, and Germany for the same things.

This is some pattern of Damascus, though I am too novice to be able to tell which. Try scanning a good length of the blade as big as you can and then cropped tight (the way you did for the maker mark, but with a longer length of blade to show more of the pattern). Black and white or even better, take that scan into your computer's "Paint" program and "invert" the scan for a negative effect-- which shows the pattern clearer than normal as viewed scans. Damascus always looks like used barbecue tinfoil when scanned. (At least when I do it. :unsure::rolleyes: )

I am sure somebody will be along to tell you the pattern and who that maker was.

EITHER of your potential recipients makes for a story more interesting than we normally see.

Condition is important, and this has some problems there. The gilt has worn completely off from the blade inncription. But in my opinion, as a researcher who has seen scores of Imperial naval blades over the decades, any negatives in that regard are compensated for by the attribution to either of the possible owners, both of whom had outstanding WW1 combat records.

I would think somebody from the last place Eichler bombed before being shot down, for instance, would be far more interested in this for an East Kent museum than some flea market dealer. I've never collected for either "invetsment" or resale, so Going price is not my strong suit.

But we ARE coming up on the Great ar VCentennial--fast-- and you can bet that really GOOD items like this are going to be "worth" a whole lot more in 2014+ than they are today as intersst surges.

Your dad had a great eye for souvenirs! :cheers: If you can ask him where he GOT this, that may help attribution. Forstmann's widow lived in Cologne, and Eichler's father lived in Halle a/S so where he was when things calmed down enough to stick something like this ina duffel bagin 1945 might be another clue.

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No clue on retail. I note completely different ideas of "market value" between the U.S., Britain, and Germany for the same things.

This is some pattern of Damascus, though I am too novice to be able to tell which. Try scanning a good length of the blade as big as you can and then cropped tight (the way you did for the maker mark, but with a longer length of blade to show more of the pattern). Black and white or even better, take that scan into your computer's "Paint" program and "invert" the scan for a negative effect-- which shows the pattern clearer than normal as viewed scans. Damascus always looks like used barbecue tinfoil when scanned. (At least when I do it. :unsure::rolleyes: )

I am sure somebody will be along to tell you the pattern and who that maker was.

EITHER of your potential recipients makes for a story more interesting than we normally see.

Condition is important, and this has some problems there. The gilt has worn completely off from the blade inncription. But in my opinion, as a researcher who has seen scores of Imperial naval blades over the decades, any negatives in that regard are compensated for by the attribution to either of the possible owners, both of whom had outstanding WW1 combat records.

I would think somebody from the last place Eichler bombed before being shot down, for instance, would be far more interested in this for an East Kent museum than some flea market dealer. I've never collected for either "invetsment" or resale, so Going price is not my strong suit.

But we ARE coming up on the Great ar VCentennial--fast-- and you can bet that really GOOD items like this are going to be "worth" a whole lot more in 2014+ than they are today as intersst surges.

Your dad had a great eye for souvenirs! :cheers:

Thanks Rick, :beer:

I will pass the good news onto pops

The blade is just plain with no discernable pattern,

still looks like ten pounds well spent :o

Cheers,

Nick.

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Looks like maiden hair damascus steel to me but it has many condition issues that greatly reduces its value. The inscription on the blade makes the sword more interesting because they have now been identified. It is uncommon for Navy swords to have identifications on the blade, that area being reserved for the standard crowned navy anchor and crown and the standard navy ships. The owner's name is normally engraved on the folding guard. I could not identify the mark at the base of the hilt.

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