Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 5

18th Century Watercolor of a Great Sword Duel in Germany



A truly rare and remarkable scene of hundreds of swordsmen meeting in a towns square. The circle is closed around the two in the duel, each of whom have drawn blood. German school 18th century. Titled Duel at Jena and indistinctly signed on the back. Watercolor measures 4.25" x 7.25" and 11" x 13.5" including the frame. Scraps, fights, and duels with thrusting swords had been a constant phenomenon in 17th- and 18th-century German university life. The number of incidents waxed and waned over the decades, depending on the political situation, the ups and downs of economic cycles, on wars and plagues, and especially on the moral and religious climate of the times. During some periods, several students died at each others’ hands within a few years. At other times, decades could pass between killings. Most of these encounters resulted from mixing three combustible elements: Testosterone, steel, and alcohol. No matter the outcome, the consequences could be devastating to the participants: Death, mutilation and lasting illness, or, at best, relegation from the university. Those who by skill or, more frequently, chance, managed to outlast their opponents, faced murder charges and the hangman. If they had removed themselves from the jurisdiction, the university and local authorities would actually make the effort to hang the surviving duelist in effigy. In Germany, the sword as sidearm had always played a pre-eminent role as a badge of rank and standing. Originally a privilege of the nobility, carrying the Degen on your side was a visible sign of belonging to the top tier of society. Even university professors didn’t want to stand back to the Degen of their aristocratic students and demanded a sword to go with their robes and vestments of office. The young aristocrats’ bürgerlich fellow students didn’t either—and neither did the craftsmen’s apprentices who rubbed elbows and scrapped with the students. In the last decades of the 18th century, everyone was wearing a sword on his side in university towns like Jena, Halle, Erlangen, or Würzburg. Credit: The Historical Fencer.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 11 in. (27.94 cm)Width: 13.5 in. (34.29 cm)Depth: 1 in. (2.54 cm)
  • Style
    Folk Art (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. In very good condition considering its age. Very nicely framed.
  • Seller Location
    Boulder, CO
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1017621962302

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Boulder, CO
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Boulder, CO
Gold Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are highly rated and consistently exceed customer expectations.
Established in 1998
1stDibs seller since 2013
122 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

18th Century Italian Watercolor
Located in Atlanta, GA
18th century Italian watercolor which represent the entry of a monastery and a fountain. Signed "Mandonneti."

Antique Late 18th Century Italian Paintings



French 18th Century Oil Painting
Located in Atlanta, GA
A very beautiful 18th century oil on canvas painting of a scene from the Palais Du Cardinal De Turin in Villeneuve Les Avignons, France. Wonderful grisaille shades and wonderful brus...

Antique 18th Century French Paintings



Pair of 18th Century Portraits of Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa
By Martin van Meytens
Located in Essex, MA
Pair of oil portraits of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I of Austria 18th century, in the manner of Martin van Meytens (Dutch/Swedish, 1695-1770), oil on canvas, Franci...

Antique Late 18th Century Austrian Rococo Paintings



Antique Native American Watercolor, 19th Century
Located in Santa Fe, NM
Watercolor, native woman with trade items, fisherman with leister spear and axe. Region / Tribe: Northeastern woodlands / Mic-Mac, Maliseet, circa 1834. Material: Watercolor...

Antique Early 19th Century American Native American Paintings


Paper, Watercolor

19th Century 24 Watercolor and Gouache Portraits of Gentry, Dancers, Artist
Located in Lowestoft, GB
A quite remarkable collection of twenty four watercolor and gouache full length portraits, the majority are dated (1872-1875) and signed with a monogram M.E. These images have come f...

Antique Late 19th Century English Late Victorian Paintings



Early Watercolor View of a Sailor with Pet Bird
Located in Nantucket, MA
Antique watercolor view of a sailor with pet bird, circa 1800, a lovely detailed painting of a sailor seated in rough chair, tenderly spoon feeding a finch perched on his hand, inscr...

Antique Early 1800s English Folk Art Paintings



American Watercolor Landscape Painting of Barn and Fall Foliage Signed
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
Original watercolor of American landscape on paper. Subject features landscape painting of a barn in Fall. Trees in orange and brown fill the background. The foreground shows wheat i...

21st Century and Contemporary American Folk Art Paintings


Paint, Paper

18th Century, Willem Muys, Rebekka and Eliëzer at the Water Source, Oil on
Located in Leuven , BE
Rotterdam-born painter Willem Muys (1720-1763) specialized in wallpaper paintings. Little is known about his work, as not many paintings can be attributed to him. His children Cornel...

Antique Mid-18th Century Dutch Paintings



The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery