Edgar Isaac Seligman (14 April 1867 – 27 September 1958) was a British épée, foil, and sabre fencer. Seligman was born in San Francisco, California, United States to German parents. After the family moved to London he became a British citizen by naturalisation.[2]

A talented artist by profession, Seligman competed in five Olympiads as a member of the British fencing team, and was the only man to win the British fencing championship in all three weapons twice.[3]

He fought in the Boer War as a Corporal in the Imperial Yeomanry, and his brother was Brigadier General Herbert Seligman.

Fencing career

British Championships

Seligman was the British epee champion in 1904 and 1906,[4] the foil champion in 1906–1907, and the sabre champion in 1923 and 1924.

Intercalated Games

He first competed at the 1906 "Intercalated Games" held in Athens to renew interest in the Olympic Games. Although considered "unofficial," the Games attracted 900 athletes from 20 countries. The British épée team came in second.[5] The Games succeeded in renewing interest in the Olympics, and Seligman competed in his first "official" Olympiad 2 years later at the 1908 London Games.

1908 London Olympic Games

With England the host country in 1908, Seligman and his teammates won the silver medal in the team épée competition[1] (they defeated Belgium and Denmark to win the silver). Seligman was not successful in the individual épée, however, losing in the 1st round. The Official Report of the Olympics stated that his "...failure was unaccountable and naturally caused disappointment."

1912 Stockholm Olympic Games

Four years later at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, Seligman captained the British fencing team, competed in 3 events, and won another medal (he reached the finals in all 3 of his events). In the team épée competition, Seligman and the British team won the silver. In the individual épée, Seligman finished 6th overall after winning only 2 of 7 matches in the final round. He also competed in the individual foil event and won 3 of 7 matches in the finals, to finish in 6th place.

1920 Antwerp Games

At the 1920 Antwerp Games (there were no Olympics in 1916 due to World War I), Edgar was again the British captain and finished in 7th place in the team foil competition, and 5th in the team épée.

1924 Paris Olympic Games

At the 1924 Paris Games, Seligman was captain for a third time. In the first three rounds of the competition in the individual foil event, he won 12 of 13 matches and easily advanced to the finals. Unfortunately, according to the Olympic Games of 1924 British Report: "... in the final pool of the individual foil event, he [Seligman] slipped in the course of his second fight and strained his leg, with the result that he was compelled to retire – a most unfortunate happening, since he had previously won his fight against Roger Ducret of France, the eventual Olympic winner."

In Paris Seligman also managed to compete in the individual sabre and team foil events. In the individual sabre, he finished 3rd in his elimination pool, but then forfeited in the semifinals. The British team was eliminated in the quarterfinals; Seligman fenced in both matches and won 6 of 8 bouts combined. He was also scheduled to participate in the team épée and team sabre, but his injury did not allow him to compete.

1928 and 1932 Olympic Games

At the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics, Seligman competed in the Mixed Painting Art Competitions.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Edgar SELIGMAN". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  2. ^ "Wills and Bequests – Print Collection for Museums" (Deaths). The Times (London). Friday, 30 January 1959. (54372), col B, p. 15.
  3. ^ "20 Century". fencingmuseum.com. 
  4. ^ "Epee-de-combat". 1911encyclopedia.org. 17 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-05-17. 
  5. ^ "EPEE – Online Information article about EPEE". encyclopedia.jrank.org. 
  6. ^ "Edgar Seligman". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 25 March 2010.