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Swords, Cutting and Military History

Epee duels in modern France: 1911 through 1958 – on film

Epee duels in modern France:  1911 through 1958 – on film

Historical photo

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Who would have thought that the art of the duel survived so far into modern day France?  As dueling was illegal at this period, these were all held privately and reported on later.

In addition to the 1967 duel I posted on previously, here are videos of four different duels, held between 1911 – 1958.  All were fought to the touch, or at least no further than first blood.


1911 – Pierre Mortier vs Gustave Tery 

Two journalist duel for the right to report on Madame Curie.  According to the notes, Tery was wounded in the arm


1912 – Leon Blum vs Pierre Weber

A bad review lead to a duel to the touch between critic Leon Blum and playwright Pierre Weber.  Neither was injured, both announced honour was upheld.


1948 – Maitre Vignancourt vs Prof. Nordman

A bit of American newsreel footage, this shows the duel between Vigancourt and Norman, over a “pointed remark” made during a trial.  Vigancourt was pronounced the winner, cutting Prof. Norman.


1958 – Serge Lifar vs Marquis de Cuevas

Another newsreel, this duel took place between 72 year old Marquis de Cuevas, a theatre producer, and choreographer Serge Lifar, over de Cuevas staging one of Lifar’s ballets.  Apparently an artistic disagreement.  Fought to first blood, with the Marquis the winner.

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