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Thread: Early Ames And Other's Militia NCO Patterns

  1. #101
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  2. #102
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    Thanks, Glen, for that information. I admit this is not my area, but I do have one nice example of this type in my collection--such a reasonable asking price that I just had to pick it up. These seem to come in degrees of quality and blade width/length, with or without etching. How do we determine if they were carried as militia or society swords? Are there clues?
    Tom Donoho

  3. #103
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    Well Tom,


    As they were standard militia patterns along with fraternal use (fraternal moreso after the ACW), what I have approached it as is concentrating on the original Ames patterns of the 1840s and 1850s. This thread has grown to include many variations, as has my own collection of them. If you look to that urn in my collective picture and just to our right of that, you will see a significant difference in the way the reeding of the handles was done. Those two most certainly Horstmann vs Ames construction. However, Ames caught up in by the 1860s in the way the grips were cut with machines, rather than sitting at a bench carving one line at a time on a rotating stand/jig. We see the evolution of the Ames grips themselves becoming less asymmetrical.


    Post ACW, it is really anyone's guess for the unmarked and undecorated swords. We see blades getting narrower and by the 1870s, the grips sleeker and bottom heavy on some of them. Kind of a squash shape instead of the barrel look or straighter columns. There are a great number of later swords on the market, while the truly pre ACW swords are getting fewer and further apart. A red vellum scabbard (for instance) more likely a group buy for a society. The Ames and other catalogs show this fairly clearly.


    Cheers


    Hotspur; So much of understanding these is much like any sword variety in looking closely at differences, rather than just a general profile.
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-28-2012 at 09:43 AM.

  4. #104
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    Thanks, Glen, for that useful information.
    Tom Donoho

  5. #105
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    Text for that photo above RE: the 7th NY militia circa 1862


    Cheers


    Hotpsur; I had forklifted many tons of the Time Life Civil War series books in the late 1980s and generally failed to appreciate the content, even passing on to another an old volume of Matthew Brady photography. (I was kind of sick of looking at books by the late 1990s but it was honest work at the time)
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-28-2012 at 09:59 AM.

  6. #106
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    I have reviewed this thread--very enjoyable!
    Tom Donoho

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    VMI Bone grip and knight head sword

    Well, as I had thought the military schools used them. This photo is VMI 1870-80. It only seems logical that Military schools used them because they are so common. Can you see that the knight is facing the viewer.
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  8. #108
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    Clauberg- Schuyler, Hartley & Graham NCO

    The knight's head seemed a little odd, but I lacked the endoscope and the angle to see what could be marked on the Ricasso. Surprise, surprise.
    Schuyler, Hartley and Graham 1867-1878, were in business 1867-1878, and Hartley & Graham 1878-1899. This sword was likely imported in 1878 and was caught in the over lap.
    Anyone seen anything like it?
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  9. #109
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    Anyone seen anything like it?

    Well, we have now ! I don't find it surprising, really because we know SH&G offered building swords to suit and definitely imported at least blades from Germany (as well as entire swords).. The Horstmann swords as well. There is really no way to definitely date so many, even if a blade might speak to one specific time frame. An assembly could be put together anytime within many decades of operations.


    The horizontal bars on the knight heads I first see in example of in Hamilton's Ames book and Hartzler's Lattimer collection book The casting is substantially different than this one but still a good note of the evolution of perception between a knight vs Roman helmet. It is one of those Americanized anomalies that persists. Recently, another discussion in the use of a caduceus for the US medical corp when mythology does not bear that out. Looks cool though with the wings and two snakes. Just so born the knights head pommels of America vs the French origin of Roman empires.


    That is an impressive etched blade from Clauberg


    Cheers


    Hotspur; still looking for more early Ames examples

  10. #110
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    When received the scabbard was was a piece of burned, incomplete leather. I had no choice but to replace it.

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    Ames? National Shield NCO

    There is little difference between the hilt this one and the Horstmann types, except this is a one piece sand casting as opposed to the two piece method used by Horstmann's foundry. So I am going to assume it is an Ames' hilt. Close examination down inside the 'shield', with a flash light, does not show any maker or retailer mark. I will not take it apart.
    The interesting surprise was the leather cover over the entire length of the scabbard. I think the 'steel' scabbard was dented early in its use and covering with leather was easier than trying to remove the dents. Steel scabbards seem to be very uncommon. I would date it as the immediate post ACW period.
    The hand applied etching is an unsophisticated.
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  12. #112
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    #625 in the Ames catalog but that one with a leather scabbard. The finial on your scabbard looks like the earlier otype but even the 1885 catalog shows it in the leather scabbard fittings. There is a bit in the Ames book aboout steel hassles with scabbards but that was early (iirc and maybe brought up previously). The blade etch may show something in comparison but looks definitely later than the examples shown in HAmilton's pages. Definitely a heavier etch than the 1850s and earlier stuff.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; blade width a gauge of the times as well. Length? Figure 25 1/2" + from the 1850s on

  13. #113
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    Ames 625 and 627

    The is no doubt that the leather was added later. While nicely done , it was not done by a scabbard maker. The 625 is very similar but with a 'grooved' or fullered blade. The Ames catalog came out in 1882 after they took over Gaylord. So I do not think it applies to this sword.
    Attached is a 627 with the 'grooved' blade.
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  14. #114
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    I'll take your word for it. The pages I have don't list blade particulars for the 625. I mention it as the drawing shows the tighter symmetrical reeding of the later years and the hilt parts the same.

  15. #115
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    You seem to have a great deal of knowledge of this style of sword. I was wondering if you can shed any light on this Ancient Order of Hibernians sword that I just picked up that is in the style of the NCO Militia sword. The thing that I am most interested in is it's age. Any help that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. The maker's mark says "Chas Svendsen/ Cin Ohio and the blade is 30" long.

    Thanks,

    Patrick
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    Last edited by Patrick H; 11-09-2012 at 02:23 PM.

  16. #116
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    Hi Patrick

    Welcome To Sword Forum International


    Charles Svendsen operated a business from 1866 to 1901, when he died but the company stayed in business until 1925.

    This sword looks like one that had been on the neaca.com site for some years. I cannot say that the sword was produced by Ames but it does have some of those traits and I would think this sword from before the 1880s, going by some of the manufacturing traits. I cannot be sure of a specific date. On these fraternal swords, if there was an owner's name etched on the blade, that may prove to be searchable and provide the best dating possible.

    The Hiberians were a Catholic charity group and they were created some decades before this sword may have been made. You may want to network with historians of that fraternity to determine if they are familiar with similar swords but most groups are not very helpful in terms of reasearhing sword types, while sometimes helpful for searching out personal information.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; the sword would seem to predate the Virgil Price castings projections of the mid 1870s. So, maybe soon after Svendsen set up shop

  17. #117
    Thanks for your quick response. The organizations history is pretty interesting - their charity work was important but it was their "defensive" role of the early Irish immigrants and their ties to the Molly maguires that really interested me. The name, Tim Tosney, produced no results unfortunately. So the remark that the sword probably predating the "Virgil price casting" makes you think it may be from the 1860s? I just wanted something from the 1860 - 1870s range when my family came over from Ireland. It really is a beautiful sword. Thanks a lot for your time and trouble.

  18. #118
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    Glen, I must disagree. In my opinion, the one piece cast cross-guard and lower grip band places it closer to 1890. This particular sword is not shown in the 1882 Ames Sword Co. Catalog. One Page 256 there are three AOH swords. The scabbards are similar, but none of the hilts are close. On page 56 of The American Fraternal Sword there is a similar hilt with an eagle on the helmet. It, like most of the other shown, is marked Svendsen. I have owned a couple of AOH swords and the earlier ones tend to be of cheaper quality.

  19. #119
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    Hi Tim

    My last thoughts on this were

    So, maybe soon after Svendsen set up shop

    I would (quite often) defer to what your speculation may point to and I have considered the lack of the form appearing both iin the catalog and the page of AOH swords in the Hamilton, Marino and Kaplan book. I also considered the fact that it is an appliqué cross on bone, which in turn might make it akin to the M.C.Lilley swords with wood grips and an appliqué cross. However, it is exactly the one piece guard and the lack of it in other references that makes me ponder that it might predate the catalog. One might also ponder why the others do make it into the current bible of fraternal swords if it were later than the examples shown in the book. Certainly, as a later model, they would be more common. When you say and the earlier ones tend to be of cheaper quality, that is also almost exactly my point when I allude to the fancier castings and scabbards with fancy fretwork castings which were a later trait. The barrel vs bell bone grips as well something I would generally lump in the earlier than later basket. What do I know anyway though ?8^)~

    Patrick,

    I mention the years of operation in opening and could with some assurance say the sword was made sometime between 1866 and 1925. In closing I do speculate it might be an earlier sword but I cannot be sure of that. Somewhere in the middle of my reply, I mention that if it has an owner's name on the blade, that might lead to finding a more exacting date.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think it was exactly where I had mentioned early Ames militia swords that prompted my own understandings of the prewar swords and the thread title later amended to accomodate later examples and now branching once further to fraternal use. For those early Ames militia swords and exacting early fraternal examples of that Ames form, I am pretty confident of my observations. For ACW, other manufacturers, later associations and fraternal swords; I am not so confident in my findings and observations. So, I am open to thoughts Tim has added and have often defered to his superior experience of them but will always be one to ask "but why?".

    Somewhere in my file pile is a KKK or other sword quite like this one (of which I believe have seen only three models of (aside from this white bone type). Again an example not shown in references but encountered only through browsing (or maybe even in an email exchange but that is just another forgotten file at the moment).

    So, not militia, yes AOH and of indeterminate age

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Charles junior gets a lot of internet search hits and his obit reads as 1871-1959

  20. #120
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    So, another to ponder of this ilk now realized. I would agree though that the longer blade would be in the later basket.

    This is probably the file I was considering and it is not KKK but S.W.M. This grip a little more bell bottom as well, so you may be quite right Tim. I have another oddball I was combining in thought that I will add in a separate post to this thread.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; a couple with acronyms I am not sure of
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  21. #121
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    So yes, this one especially does look later with a really skinny long blade.

    Thoughts on these two Tim?
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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    So, another to ponder of this ilk now realized. I would agree though that the longer blade would be in the later basket.

    This is probably the file I was considering and it is not KKK but S.W.M. This grip a little more bell bottom as well, so you may be quite right Tim. I have another oddball I was combining in thought that I will add in a separate post to this thread.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; a couple with acronyms I am not sure of
    According to page 202 of Hamilton, Marino & Kaplin; S.W.M. means 'Seven Wise Men and relates to Improved Order of Heptasophs. There is no sword shown like this. You may have the only so marked sword. This one could date 60's and 70's.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    So yes, this one especially does look later with a really skinny long blade.

    Thoughts on these two Tim?
    This one is 'Brotherhood of the Union'. Founded in 1850, gone by 1924. This is also from HM&K.

    Since swords with skull pommels are so cool; I am going to start a thread.

  24. #124
    Tim,

    Your estimate that the AOH sword is from the 1880's seems to hold water. A subscription to ancestry.com shows an Irish citizen named Tim Tosney came to the United States in 1880 at age 22 and resided in New Hampshire. Though I have not finished the research, it appears that he stood trial in Lancashire, England in 1879 for a charge that I have not found yet - maybe for a crime against the Crown??? If so, it would make sense that he would join the AOH upon seeking refuge in America. Though I was aiming to get a sword closer to the 1860-1870's range (or earlier), Timmy's story could be an interesting one...

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Graham View Post
    According to page 202 of Hamilton, Marino & Kaplin; S.W.M. means 'Seven Wise Men and relates to Improved Order of Heptasophs. There is no sword shown like this. You may have the only so marked sword. This one could date 60's and 70's.
    Ya, kind of what I was getting at re the AOH marked casting. While the AOH sword being discussed does have the lobed crossguard, it does not have the trellis work we see on the late guards and the intitials cast, quite like the S.W.M. example. Combined with the appliqué cross on the grip, the manufacture of these two examples (the swm and aoh) imo might be contemporary to each other.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I do need to spend more time in the book but the fraternal swords a secondary pastime

    The beginning of the Improved Order of Heptasophs apparently 1878

    editing to add a New York Times article from July 1869
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 11-11-2012 at 01:26 PM.

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