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Thread: Early Ames And Other's Militia NCO Patterns

  1. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Graham View Post
    Recently I pick up these cuties from feeBay and am presenting them to you with photos more detailed than when I bought them. After close examination, this pair have some interesting features. But before I go into ad nauseam detail, I though my fellow forum members may want to jump in with an off the cuff opinion.
    These two NCO swords are another example of M.C. Lilley/ Lilley-Ames taking old (in this case pre ACW militia officer) Horstmann blades and using them for something very different. I would date them as1920-30's assemblies. They may have been made for Horstmann. When closely examined you will see that they were assembled by two different workers. The scabbards should have had a leather cover and you can see clearance space between the brass mountings and the silver painted steel. They look horrible.
    I should start a threat about M.C. Lilley/Lilley-Ames re-purposing surplus Horstmann blades.
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    Last edited by T. Graham; 05-06-2014 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #177
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    This one was kind of exciting to see, as it is only the third one I have seen and two of those in books. A Portsmouth Artillery etched blade as shown as sword 42 in Peterson's bible and another in Hamilton's Ames book. The Peterson example marked 26 and the Hamilton example marked 12. It went for a song, all in all. Did you get it Tim?

    attached pictures of #23

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/161302190413?

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I could only watch
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 05-19-2014 at 12:37 AM.

  3. #178
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    I tried. But, I continue life knowing another will come along.

  4. #179
    I stumbled upon this forum while trying to identify a sword I picked up recently from an estate. It is marked J.H. Lambert & Son and the blade is roughly 28" in length. I have included a few photographs. Thank you kindly.






  5. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Robar View Post
    I stumbled upon this forum while trying to identify a sword I picked up recently from an estate. It is marked J.H. Lambert & Son and the blade is roughly 28" in length. I have included a few photographs. Thank you kindly.

    Welcome aboard

    Going by the current fraternal sword bible, J.H. Lambert & Son operated in Philadelphia between 1883 and 1897. The elder Lambert operated earlier than that but the sword shown is of the fraternal or military associations type. These generic unadorned examples sometimes bought in batches from a given organization. I see no acronym added to the sword decoration that might better identify the group for which it was intended. The eagle atop the helmet pommel is sometimes regarded as the crapping eagle and can be found in the Ames Manufacturing biography and old catalogs. The knights Pythias and several others used similar swords with either a lion or eagle atop the helmet. An easy way to distinguish the later swords is the blade shape, both cross section and width. Usually, the narrower the blade the later the sword. A good many slim bladed swords of the US had a flattened diamond cross section, as you see with your sword and that shape generally accepted as starting in the 1870s.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; T Graham has a good grasp on how early one would see this shape of guard. IIRC Lambert sr was retailing as early as the 1860s as a wartime supplier of goods

  6. #181
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    Hello Glen et al.,

    It is funny there is a new post in this topic because I was just reading through it over the weekend. There is a lot of interesting information posted here but it is a bit overwhelming. I don't have a lot of interest in fraternal swords but I do find the earlier militia swords to be interesting. As you've stated the older swords tend to have a broader blade while newer swords are more narrow. Can you suggest an easy way to tell the difference between fraternal swords and militia swords? It seems like the shell guard for the militia swords has the stars and stripes on it while the fraternal swords that looked nearly identical have a plain shell and maybe fraternal symbolism of some sort. Also it seems like the etching on the blade wil have either military decoration or fraternal decoration based on the intended end user/customer. And of course there were some swords that served both purposes. Does this sound accurate?

    Thanks for all the hard work, effort and research you've done for these often neglected swords.
    Chris
    Chris Covington

  7. #182
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    Hi Chris

    I had originally been looking primarily at just the Ames swords of the 1840s and 1850s. The thread header was changed to be more encompassing of all the roman and knightly pommel swords, not necessarily fraternal. The society swords were born out of that initial form. There were a lot of plain swords with no decoration, such as this last one discussed that might have been used ib local militias but by that time, we are more regarding it as a local national guard with serious weapons. The swords of this type after the ACW really not serious weapons. Even those 1840s swords more a badge of rank for militia ncos. So, really no way to spot a difference of the plain swords between fraternal or military association groups after the ACW because they are really one and the same.

    T Graham can really fill in a lot of the blanks for the later swords. The Marino, Kaplan and Hamilton fraternal book runs about $45 and is very good for looking at the post ACW makers and retailers, as well as the extensive pages of photo examples. It is prefaced therein that as complete as that volume might be, there were many dozen other groups not covered in the Marino an Kaplan collections.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I had mostly limited my own acquisitions to pre ACW examples

  8. #183
    Thank you for the information. I appreciate you taking the time.

  9. #184
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    Revisiting this thread with a couple of more examples.

    First an etched Ames that recently sold. Hard to say what the blade will look like under the scabbard throat but it looks like an easy removal. The seller probably went "oops" and left it alone.
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  10. #185
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    This one unknown to me. A flattened diamond profile blade of about 22" length.

    I haven't added any lately bu I have harvested a few more pictures
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  11. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ron Covington View Post
    Hello Glen et al.,

    It is funny there is a new post in this topic because I was just reading through it over the weekend. There is a lot of interesting information posted here but it is a bit overwhelming. I don't have a lot of interest in fraternal swords but I do find the earlier militia swords to be interesting. As you've stated the older swords tend to have a broader blade while newer swords are more narrow. Can you suggest an easy way to tell the difference between fraternal swords and militia swords? It seems like the shell guard for the militia swords has the stars and stripes on it while the fraternal swords that looked nearly identical have a plain shell and maybe fraternal symbolism of some sort. Also it seems like the etching on the blade wil have either military decoration or fraternal decoration based on the intended end user/customer. And of course there were some swords that served both purposes. Does this sound accurate?

    Thanks for all the hard work, effort and research you've done for these often neglected swords.
    Chris
    A "must have" book is The American Fraternal Sword ISBN: 1-931464-38-3. The only problem is that the retailers are identified as the maker. Most of the swords have clues to who made it, but that is for anther thread.

  12. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    This one unknown to me. A flattened diamond profile blade of about 22" length.

    I haven't added any lately bu I have harvested a few more pictures
    The cross guard appears to be 4 3/4 inches if so, I would call it Ames ACW period.

  13. #188
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    Ames for Horstmann Immeadiate Post ACW.

    This is an interesting sword that explains some strange characteristics on the 1870’s period Ames NCO, cadet or general purpose bone grip swords. It has a pre ACW, Horstmann national shield hilt but mounted with an Ames post ACW fullered blade. This hilt design was later slightly shrunk for the no. 625 in the Ames catalog. An example of which is on page 6 of this thread along with a page from the catalog.
    This sword was disassembled in the forlorn hope that there was exciting information on the tang or ricasso; but only the very off center tang came to light.
    The blade with its off center fuller is etched with a pre ACW pattern. This fuller seems to be in line with the off center tang. I suspect that Ames had a considerable number of M1840 musician and NCO blank blades left over and an edge was ground the blade back; resulting in an off center effect. I doubt this was done to finished blades.
    The eagle etch on the blade is in the style of 1840's Ames swords and was likely done by the same hand.
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  14. #189
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    Interesting to see one ground so. My musician length blade of this type appears to be all Ames parts, where the longer nco length blade seems to be all Horstmann parts. Neither are ground, as your example shows. Neither of mine are etched but were possibly just use of surplus blades. Pictures of those two post #164 of the previous page.

    I don't know if it is our fault for steering the market a bit but the real bargains seem to be disappearing. I did see one of yours finally sold, which kind of sets street prices onward and upward. My last associated buy was a few years ago and I had to wait on that short blade Ames with scabbard for more than a year before the price came down (sword pics post #160). A couple of mine came from misc. Ebay sections and fraternal sword sections.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I still keep an eye out for a bargain
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-25-2016 at 12:39 PM.

  15. #190
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    French Blade?

    Picked up this cutie on our favorite internet auction site.
    Note the interesting details:
    1. The cross guard is 4 3/4 inches wide, scalloped ends, but lacks a "winged wheel". For it's width it is thinner than the ACW types.
    2. The transfer blade etching is considerable finer than anything done domestically; so I think the blade was imparted from France and it is 26 inches long. I have seen this quality etching on other French swords made for export.
    3. The lower grip band has a distinctive rolled on decoration.
    4. There is considerable gold wash remaining.

    My conclusion is that this is a custom made cadet sword, probably made by Ames in the 1880's. There is nothing quite like it in the Ames catalog. The no. 628 is kind of similar. (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...-NCO-Patterns/ page6 entry #136) But as my wife often reminds me, I maybe wrong.

    I compared it with an Ames no. 627 which has a 4 3/8 wide to the sword above that has a 4 3/4 wide cross guard similar to the ACW NCO swords. It could date to the 1870's.
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    Last edited by T. Graham; 08-06-2016 at 12:15 PM.

  16. #191
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    And another.

    As Crocodile Dundee might say: "You call that an bone grip NCO sword? Now this is an NCO sword".
    I have no idea who made it. The lower right photo shows it in its broken grip state. I disassembled it to repair and in hope that there was an identifying feature on the tang. There was nothing. I redid the top wood support and fixed the thin brass of the knights head.
    The grip is 5 1/16 wide and seems to be a one piece casting. The blade is 26 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide at the langets.
    Note the lack of a lower grip band, the bone is fitted into the cross guard and the tang is centered with a wood insert.
    The Militia Sargent is holding an M1842 musket with bayonet attached, carrying this type of sword and a bayonet scabbard. I do not think these are photographer's props. If I only had the original picture.
    I will look to see if I have another with the same knights head. I look and out of about 50 swords; I was unable to find one like it. It is really big.
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    Last edited by T. Graham; 08-06-2016 at 12:14 PM.

  17. #192
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    Two nice additions. On the first pretty etched one, I would question either French or Ames, as there is no association between them I am aware of. The reeding of the grip is more precise and narrow than the early Ames stuff but to be honest, I know little of the later stuff except my musician bladed example. Could the etch be German? Could it be an effort from an independent furbisher?

    The Dundee example seems to use the pommel we see on the more upscale militia officer swords and the big bow tie more what we would see on the English Freemasons swords. There had been a sword on Ebay for years listed to a Prince of Wales association with a plain bow tie and listed as 18th century. That had a plum shaped pommel. This one you show and the portrait seem to have huge grips, and you show that well.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; just when you think you've seen them all

  18. #193
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    [
    The Dundee example seems to use the pommel we see on the more upscale militia officer swords and the big bow tie more what we would see on the English Freemasons swords. There had been a sword on Ebay for years listed to a Prince of Wales association with a plain bow tie and listed as 18th century. That had a plum shaped pommel. This one you show and the portrait seem to have huge grips, and you show that well.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; just when you think you've seen them all [/QUOTE]

    There was nothing like it in the The American Fraternal Sword, but that does not that there is no fraternal connection.

  19. #194
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    It was these English swords I was thinking of
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/att...1&d=1403868640

    I can't believe I didn't save the pictures of the one that had been listed for so long.

    Your goliath grip sized sword quite interesting.

  20. #195
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  21. #196
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    Recently adopted, a pre Mexican War Ames. Etched blade and a brass scabbard. The older guard casting very reminiscent of the Portsmouth Artillery example above. With an NP Ames Springfield address, this one is pretty early. The 25" etched blade sports a crossed sword and quiver under a spread eagle with E Pluribus Unum, with the obverse etched with a tall liberty pole with flags. Some minor dents and a crack in the brass scabbard but it is all there. The pommel is 180 degrees backwards in these dealer pictures. I'll take some more pictures in time.









    Like so many best offers, it doesn't hurt to take a chance on ebay. This was definitely a case where my expectations have been exceeded. This is now another terrific addition to my collection of mostly Ames examples. A second with a metal scabbard and a third with the scallop guard langet. Merry Christmas to me, I can't see I'll afford something else before then.

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 11-18-2017 at 10:39 AM.

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