Norwegian Swords post 1814
When Norway now entered a union “of two independent countries” with Sweden in 1814, the Swedes demanded that all remains of the Danish king’s monograms were to be removed from the hilts and blades of Norway’s edged weapons. Original monogrammed weapons can therefor be somewhat therefor difficult to find in Norway.
Large broadswords with decorated brass baskets were the cavalry weapons of the Danish/Norwegian army. Sweden was more “modern” and used cavalry sabres. Norway gradually adopted the Swedish style, partly by receiving ams from Sweden or having them produced abroad, partly by producing copies at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk. The Kongsberg produced copies are usually more worth than the Swedish originals, but the quality is hardly the same.
Kongsberg had huge silver mines with a workforce of several thousands since 1623 – wealth to the Danish kings. By 1805 the silver was seemingly exhausted and the city seemed to have no future. Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk was started in order to employ as many as possible of the silver miners. Kongsberg started out as a repair facility, but made their first weapons in 1818. The quality was appalling! They got better over the years, but never really, really god. Etching of sword blades was one of the many arts they never managed. The mines actually started up again in a smaller scale in 1816 and was in operation to 1957.
I must admit that my interest for swords mainly lies in the older stuff meant to be used and swords from the 19. century, with a few exceptions, don’t really give me the big thrill. My 19. century swords are actually “displayed” in one large pile in the basement.