Found this sword in my father's basement but need help with ID. Can’t find any info on sword or its markings. The blade itself is 18” from tip to top of hilt and 25” overall.

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  • Interesting... the top of the handle is flat... that is usually done for bayonets, as there will be a rail to slide into a slot. Also, the handle looks like it is made of brass with no leather wrap, also usually done with bayonets for a stouter mount, and the absence of a leather wrap was because bayonets usually weren't held in the hand for very long. However, no ring on the hilt to go around the barrel of the rifle, and the top guard sticks up to where it would interfere with a rifle barrel. Curious.
    – tj1000
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 5:26
  • Does the blade curve (it looks to in the top photo but it might just be the angle)? 18" seems short for a sword and bit too long for a dagger. In which country was it found? Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 9:07
  • Slight curve to the blade. Purchased at an estate sale Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 17:16
  • By my father here in America. Nothing else is known about the sword. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 17:17
  • Is the hilt all brass? Its difficult to tell in the lighting on your photo.
    – justCal
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


From the short length and marking patterns, it looks like this may be a WW1 (or earlier) era Faschinenmesser, a type of Fascine Knife. These were a utility type tool, more akin to a machete then sword:

The fascine knife was a side arm / tool issued to 17th to 19th century light infantry and artillery. It served both as a personal weapon and as a tool for cutting fascines (bundles of sticks used to strengthen the sides of trenches or earth ramparts protecting the batteries).It could be straight or curved, double edged or single edged with a sawtoothed back. 17th- and 18th-century German, Prussian and Swedish fascine knives were more like cavalry swords, often with a brass handle and a hand guard, but later models were more like billhooks in shape and appearance.

An article entitled The Forgotten Faschinenmesser shows a similar weapon (I have cropped original to show similar hilt): crop of hilt area

The above article has a lot of other information you may find interesting, such as the meaning of many of the markings you show. The 66 might indicate this weapon was part of the German 66th Infantry regiment in WW1. I'm not sure what the AE unit designation might represent yet.

@LangLangC found a similar item on Ebay.

  • Looks like WW1 German Prussian FaschinenMesser M.1864 u./M. Short Sword? Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 17:06
  • Thank you. Were you able to identify the A E yet or the small mark of what looks like a crown with a letter under it? What type of monitory value might a sword like this have? Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 17:15
  • Yes, the unit number 66 possibly related to Infanterie Regiment Nr. 66 (3. Magdeburgisches) , can't nail down the AE yet. @LangLangC any ideas on unit designation A.E. in German?
    – justCal
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 17:16
  • Not sure yet, but (Field) "Artillerie (-regiment)[…] Ersatzbatterie" seems likely. Pointing me to sth like FAR66? Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 22:57

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