Antique Joseph Vince Fencing Mask c.1940



An original vintage fencing mask from Joseph Vince. The main body is a steel frame with wire meshing and fabric padding. The padding is held onto the body of the mask by wrapping around the wire. The leather and wire have retained most of its original finish and is in good condition with appropriate patina for its age. The fabric is fragile and is missing in parts.

  • CREATOR Joseph Vince.
  • MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Steel, Mesh, Fabric, Leather. 
  • CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use.
  • DIMENSIONS H 14 in. W 7 in. D 10 in.


Joseph Vince was born Josef Douglas Vincze in Talpos, Romania (then a part of Hungary), married his first wife in 1917 and emigrated to the United States in 1924.

He won the US National Sabre title in 1925 and shortly after, turned to coaching. He was part of the coaching cadre at the 1936 Olympics and had a hugely successful club in New York that won the US National Women’s Foil team title 10 years in a row. After divorcing his first wife, he married one of his students, Marion Lloyd.

They moved to California around 1938, opened a new Salle Vince in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, and Joseph taught fencing and sold real estate. He wrote a couple of books on fencing, ran a fencing supply company and taught a number of Hollywood elite the sport for film roles, most notably Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis for The Great Race. Upon his retirement, he sold his salle and equipment business to Torao Mori, his long-time assistant.

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