M1888 Krag’s Cavalry saber

Ole H. J. Krag was the guy! He was the inventor of the Krag Petersson rifle, the Krag Jørgensen rifle, the Krag saber – and was the big, white chief at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk for 15 years. He never liked Hans Larsen, not only did he make sure that none of Larsen’s many patents ever was approved for the Norwegian military forces (Larsen’s big dream), but he also stole at least one of Larsen’s patents and managed to get the copy patented under his name as well (the tennstempel rifle – the forerunner for the Krag Petersson. His patented tennstempel rifle is, objective to Larsen’s very scarce). So much about Mr. Krag esq.

Krag designed his saber copying a Prussian blade and an Austrian hilt at the peak of his career as MD at Kongsberg. It was a great sword. Both the Prussians and the Austrians made great swords and combining them was a success. But why give the result of this design theft the name of the thief? I know, it is more than 100 years since he screwed Larsen over, but… The Danes, the Swedes and Mr. Krag!

The sword is a bit scary for collectors today. The Germans sent most of the completed sword to be melted down in order to make other arms during WW2, but they did not do that with the spare parts.

The sword was in use until 1940, so there were plenty of spare hilts and blades at Kongsberg. These were still there after WW2. The original swords are fairly few and far between, but the later assembled ones are plentiful and usually not properly marked. The marking on the blade should show a crowned K, O II (Oscar II), production year on one side and the serial number n the other. Hilt and scabbard should be black. So watch out! Click the pictures to enlarge them.