Ecole de Mars Style,
Gladius Style,
or "Artillery-Style"

The following sword is yet another one that I cannot positively identify. It appears to be a costume, fraternal or society sword - in the French Ecole de Mars Revolutionary Military Academy, c.1794/5 style - but this example most likely dates from the period of about 1900 to 1950 (possibly later).

The hilt crossguard, ferrule, and pommel are all integrated and of cast brass.The style is very similar to the neo-classical Roman Gladius Short-Sword. The grip has 12 rows of "fish-scales" or "feathers." The cross-guard is devoid of proper quillon finials, and crossguard ends in 90 degree angles. Hilt is attached to the blade by method of peening and deforming the blade tang.

The blade is 17-3/4" long; blade cross-section is flat rectangular ~ 1/8" in thickness, ~1-3/8 in height. The blade is un-fullered; doubled-edged but edges are flat, not sharpened. The sword is obviously intended for a non-combatant - blade-point is blunted - and would not be useful as a cutting or thrusting weapon. Blade is unmarked, so maker is not immediately apparent.

The scabbard is 19-1/8" long, including drag. It is sheet-steel, brass-plated, with red-velvet vertical center-cloth (color indicates rank); the drag is of brass and is retained by two side-screws, near the top; throat is unremarkable with the exception of the two hanger ringlets.

Further thoughts -
I am sure this is for ceremonial or costume use only and I was told this sword came from an Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) lodge (not a Masonic order).
A comparable sword is listed in the Ames Sword Company catalog of the late 1800's as item number 339 under I.O.O.F. [Independent Order of Odd Fellows] - Short Swords, "Roman Sword, square edged, Velvet Scabbard."

This design is very similar to a type apparently used by pupils of the French Revolutionary Military Academy Ecole de Mars, apparently in the year 1794 - perhaps 1795 - only. I have no aspirations that this might be that exact style sword, although this design was clearly created from that original pattern. The original is discussed in at least two works: European & American Arms by Claude Blair, pages 102 (text) and 103 (illustration); it is described as a "sword a l'antique of a pupil of the Ecole de Mars, the Revolutionary military academy that existed during the year 1794 only. Hilt entirely of brass. Straight, double-edged, leaf-shaped blade 530mm long. Wooden sheath covered with cloth - the colour varying according to the rank, etc., of the owner - and mounted in brass. This sword was designed, in imitation of an ancient Roman gladius, by the artist Jacques Louis David (1748-1825)"; and Swords and Hilt Weapons by Michael Coe, et al, on page 90 (illustration on same page) it discusses a "sword of a member of the Ecole de Mars [War College], French, c.1795, designed by the painter David. The hilt is of brass, with a steel guard, and the scabbard is brass mounted."
I am sure there are other references for the original sword, but I am not aware of them at this time.
The initially obvious differences - between the original sword and the one illustrated on this page - is the absence of a fragile curved "knuckle-guard" (attached at the crossguard in a 90 degree, rear-ward facing, disconnected at the pommel), two langets extending downward over the blade ricasso, and two fragile pincer-like quillons - perhaps intended as counter-guards - extending over the blade edges at the ricasso. These extra devices appear on the originals, not on this example.

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