If you have found your way here, you are clearly interested in Belgian smallswords and I can but urge you to buy my book 'Belgian Smallswords, Status Symbols of Times Past', which has been written since I created this site and contains a lot more information than you will find on this page.
For more information on the first ever book on Belgian smallswords, see here.
Standard Issue Belgian Swords
In my search to acquire more knowledge on swords that interest me, I have recently been able to consult one of the only books presenting an overview of standard issue Belgian military swords. This is L. Leconte's "Les armes portatives des troupes belges de 1830 à 1910", which is out of my price range but readily available for consultation in the Royal Library, Brussels.
This book dates from 1910 and does a very good job of listing and describing all the official issue Belgian military swords up to that point in time. I could never criticize it, being so very glad of its existence. Newer sword issues are, logically, very few but I still have to add them to Leconte's list, as I did with some belgian civil servant's sword issues.
You will soon see that the first Belgian swords were not Belgian at all, but were appropriated or bought from neighboring countries, mostly France and the Nederlands. Most of the later models were slightly modified French or Dutch models.
As I could not lay hands on examples of all these swords, I went to the Brussel's Royal Army Museum and snapped some pictures of the enormous collection they have on display. Please excuse the poor quality of the shots taken of objects in display cases and under very low light conditions.
Though the collection of the army museum is superlative, the oldest display cases contain little information as to what they contain. I thus ventured to identify sword types based on Leconte's descriptions. So far, I have been able to illustrate most smallswords, and quite a few, but not all, sabers. Whenever available, I link sword descriptions to new or better pictures.
Also included : a page on military marks and another on the Fonson Family, sword makers in Brussels
The result of my efforts is presented here in two ways :
- as a group of photos at the bottom of this page, each photo linking to the corresponding sword model description.
- via the following links, repeated on top of this page for ease of access.