Dueling among German nobility, particularly academy students, many of which went on to become military officers, rose to popularity in the late 19th century following the unification Germany in 1871. Duels to the first blood, were waged with the goal of inflicting the cheek stroke which produced the Mensur scars which were deemed badges of honor. Dueling proficiency was considered defining of character. Technically illegal, the duels often took place clandestinely and the swords were made to disassemble to transport undetected. This pair has 34” blades with the rounded tip point specifically designed to inflict the scar stroke. They retain their original basket liners, finger rings and cord grip wrap. The blades marked MADE IN GERMANY, interestingly bear J H LAU NEW YORK distributor markings. Lau, active 1866-c.1920, was a large distributor of sports equipment of all types. Well known for fencing equipment, this is the only pair known to us, of dueling swords bearing that name. It’s likely that the massive immigration of Germans brought the custom here. That Lau would stock schlagers, confirms that practice was well established in America.