Brazilian M1899 Heavy Cavalry Trooper's Sword by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co.
Pipeback blade, marked on the ricasso with the German manufacturer’s name ‘Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co. Solingen’, on the shoulder with ‘2’ and on the spine with a 5 pointed star, which is a Brazilian inspection mark. The grip is of wood wrapped in leather and wire-bound. Steel bowl hilt marked with the crest of the then newly formed Brazilian Republic, including 5-pointed star and a banner reading ‘15 De Novembro De 1889’, commemorating the date of its establishment. Iron scabbard with single fixed hanging ring and slot. The shoe of the chape is marked on one side with AGRJ (Arsenal de Guerra in Rio de Janeiro), and ‘57’, probably an item number, and on the other side has been faintly stamped with many numbers, all overlapping and largely illegible.
The hilt’s wire binding is all present and intact, with some small patches of wear to the leather but it is largely intact and supple. The blade is bright and undamaged, hilt has a darker patina but is in good shape too. The scabbard is missing a screw at the throat end and has minor dents.
The Brazilian Army’s arsenal in Rio de Janeiro dates back to 1762, when the ‘Casa do Trem’ (House of the Train) at Fort Santiago was used as a storage house for guns and ammunition. After several changes of name and the successful revolution in 1889 that established a Republic it became the ‘Arsenal de Guerra da Capital’ (Capital War Arsenal), before being moved to a new site in 1902 as the ‘Arsenal de Guerra do Rio de Janeiro’, a military production plant as well as storage site. The fact that this sword’s scabbard uses the later name suggests that it was probably imported after 1902, or that the scabbard is a later replacement. The Brazilian Republic made extensive efforts in the early 20th century to cut its reliance on imported arms, and by 1911 was manufacturing many iron articles for the cavalry at the AGRJ, which may have included scabbards.