Three Fencers in Jena, Germany


This Cabinet card is a terrific image of three fencers photographed by Friedr. Haack of Jena, Germany. Note the color which was added after the photograph was taken. Jena is a university city in central Germany. At the end of the 18th century Jena became a center for precision machinery, optics, and glass making. The subjects of this fencing Cabinet card probably were university students, as academic fencing was very popular during the time period this photograph was taken. I hope some knowledegable fencing aficionados can provide further information about the details concerning this image.

Published in: on January 1, 2009 at 7:19 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I do not have any information but just wanted to comment on the great picture.

  2. These are 3 members of a student fraternity, probably the 3 Chargen or officers that were elected to head the active fraternity each semester. The hand-coloring of the fraternity’s colors is still done in photographs taken today.

    The uniforms would be worn at official events only. The swords are basket-hilt Schlägers or cutting rapiers… which may be unusual for Jena, as they preferred bell-guard Schläger. In any case, these are the ceremonial variety.

    I cannot identify the fraternity. They may be a dueling fraternity, even though the faces don’t show the tell-tale scars. Or they may be from a non-dueling fraternity.

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