Antique French Fencing Mask c.1880-1920
This is an original vintage fencing mask from France. The main body is a steel frame with wire meshing. The piece has retained most of its original finish and is in good condition with appropriate patina for its age.
- CREATOR Unknown.
- DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1880-1920.
- MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Steel, Mesh.
- CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use.
- DIMENSIONS H 12 in. W 8 in. D 8.5 in.
As a preparation for armed combat, fencing is as old as the sword itself. Even as a sport it has a surprisingly long history - ancient Egyptian temple paintings show fencing bouts over 3000 years ago using sticks, a recreation that continues unbroken to this day in upper Egypt.
In the late 1700s, a change was motivated after several unskilled students reportedly wounded their fencing masters in the eye. Due to these successive injuries, the French fencing master Nicolas B. Texier La Boëssière invented the first wire-mesh fencing mask.