|This saber (ordonnance 1867) has a very special story to tell:|
One day in 2010 I received an email that someone wants to sell a carbine K11, a Tschako and a saber. I went over and there was an older gentleman, a writer, who didn't want to store these things any longer.
The story he told took my breath away:
After the war, the father of the man (he painted pictures from Swiss WW2 active service), brought some of his pictures to former General Henri Guisan so he can sign them. On this occasion he offered some pictures to Henri Guisan. As a reward he received from the hands of Henri Guisan the saber shown here.
Is this saber laying before me one of Henri Guisan's sabres!?!
Hard to believe! The blade and the scabbard are marked with the initials "H G". The man had no reason to lie, because the price he asked for three things was considerably lower than the value of a normal 1867 ordonnance saber. I told him, the value would be much more than he asked but he didn't want to make profit.
Research has shown that the sabers number is not registered in the service booklet (livret de service, Dienstbüchlein) of Henri Guisan. Only one saber is marked (number 424) to be handed to Henri Guisan in 1894 (presumably on 15 December 1894, when he was promoted to lieutenant). Over the years, the promotions and the reallocations Henri Guisan repeatedly received officer equipment (at the price of CHF 100 to CHF 140). In his service booklet, many firearms are listed, i.e. an infantry rifle 89/96 (weapon number 213391), an Armeerevolver 1878 (number unreadable, presumably 461), an Armeerevolver Cal. 7.5mm (probably 1882, number unreadable, presumably 7921) as well as a pistol 1900 (weapon number 216) are mentioned.
During his long career, Henri Guisan also possessed several sabers; this one here is one of these!
The saber shown corresponds to Swiss ordinance 1867 for mounted officers with wide hilt (88mm) and a federal ordinance 1877/85 sword knot (officers). For special occasions, officers procured socalled Gala saber, where the hilt is small (77mm).
GER: Uniformmantel, Hut und Dolch von General Henri Guisan, Landesmuseum Zürich.
Location: Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum Zürich (http://www.nationalmuseum.ch)
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25.03.2017 22:47:11 IP: 188.8.131.52:46258 Lang: EN
Source: specialized literary, particularly 'Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Schweizer Armee seit 1817, Bände 3 und 4' and 'Die Repetiergewehre der Schweiz, Christian Reinhart, Kurt Sallaz, Michael am Rhyn, Verlag Stocker-Schmid'