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Collection – Militaria

Frankfurt is a city with next to no significant military tradition. The city placed more and more value on peace and wealth through trade. The weapons inventory, which makes up the Militaria Collection along with uniforms, Orders and badges of honour, is thus mainly the result of a wealthy collector’s private passion.
The 400 weapons in the Historisches Museum originate from the 12th to the 20th century. A few of them came from the city armoury, where the canons and mortars of Frankfurt were kept. They were operated by gunners, known as “constables” in Frankfurt. Their most important job was to use these cannons to shoot firecrackers during imperial coronations and large celebrations.

The collection is mostly sorted into two temporal sections: Firstly, there are the old weapons of the 13th to the 18th century. There are some swords, spurs and stirrups from the Middle Ages. For the following period, there is a large selection of bladed weapons such as sabres, swords, halberds and partisans. There is also a smaller number of crossbows, maces, executioner's swords, pistols and rifles. The cavalry section includes bridles, spurs, stirrups and horseshoes. The museum also possesses protective clothing for troops, such as iron helmets, chain mails and parts from five sets of armour.
A completely differently structured collection is made up of weapons of the “Free City of Frankfurt” (1815-1866), which almost exclusively served as representation. These swords of honour and ornamental sabres never drew blood. These weapons combine with the uniforms to show how members of the Frankfurt citizens' militia and regular troops were decked out. They were mostly compiled by collector Christian Alexander Fellner (1800-1883) and bequeathed to the museum.

Albert Rapp, Die Waffensammlung im Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum, Frankfurt 1937.

Frank Berger, Die Sammlung historischer Waffen von Christian Alexander Fellner (1800-1883).
In: Jan Gerchow (ed.), Frankfurter Sammler und Stifter, Frankfurt 2012, p. 169-179.

Volker Löbner, Frankfurter Orden und Ehrenzeichen 1806-1866, Frankfurt 2015.

Volker Löbner, Frankfurter Blankwaffen und Militaria 1806-1866, Frankfurt 2016