Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Interesting sword, ID British? American?

  1. #1

    Interesting sword, ID British? American?

    This sword has been in my family for a long time. My father first rediscovered the sword in the attic of a log cabin that was said to be the home of my ancestors that settled in Indiana sometime around early to mid 1800's. The sword was not the only thing he salvaged, he took a wood chest, and a dresser that was known to make the journey to Indiana in the back of a coverd wagon from West Virginia.

    The sword its self I know not much about, it has not Makers marks, or stamps!..it has a Brass hilt, with a wood grip. on the base of the blade there is a engraved design that turns into laurel that travels up both sides of the "blood catch" and ends just before the point of the blood catch.

    sorry you can not see the design in the pictures, the blade is not in very good shape. also i would like to know of some methods i could use to take some of the rust off, ive lightly wiped it down with oil but other than that i dont have confidence in my abilities.

    Im really wondering about when it was made, who it was made by, and where it was made..and i guess what it is used for if not combat.

    Thank you very much for looking.
    Seth Pickerill




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950




    Hi Seth

    Welcome To Sword Forum International

    You have an extra http:// in your post tags for the images, that is why they don't show.

    To me it kind of looks like a US general officer infantry sword from the 1830s but I may well be wrong and it might be a British officer's heavy cavalry dress sword from some time before that. To me it looks like one of the American variants though I don't know these very well. Here is one that just finished in auction.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/320795156840...84.m1423.l2649

    Cheers


    Edit to add that with the sweetheart on the hilt, I'd blame it on the British in a heartbeat
    Hotspur; hopefully those png images post up ok

  3. #3

    Smile

    Thanks for helping me out with the photos! I was using a computer with a slow internet hookup and I was losing my patience and didn't check. Lol

    But that is very interesting. I don't know much about the Martin side mf my family past my great great grandpa. It defiantly raises some questions. And the link you showed me did look a lot like my sword but had its differences. Any idea why its not marked? Or is that not unusual?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Hi Seth

    Is there what looks like a small irregular dent in the blade on the other side right near the guard?. It mmay be a mark hiding from us in plain sight. It would be small and easy to overlook, being covered in rust.

    Oh also,

    Is there a slot in the knuckle guard near the egg end of the handle?
    Last edited by Glen C.; 11-20-2011 at 09:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Yes, the guard is loose and when you pull it out of the egg it has a square slot. I've went over it pretty good with a bright flashlight and I can't tell any that there is any markings. But one side is worse than the other, rust wise. Also Id like to clean it up just enough to see the design on the blade and maybe uncover a mark. Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Hi Seth

    The slot I was wondering about would be in the guard itself and not the hole in the egg where the guard enters. Some of these had a slot in the guard to affix a strap.sword knot to put over the wrist. If that is not present, one more consideration in a different column.

    As to cleaning the blade, please do take a look at the conservation post at the head of the thread index as well as the Tips for sword collectors thread. Do not use power tools, do not use coarse sandpaper and do not use chemicals you are unfamiliar with.

    You would do no harm by using light oil on a soft cloth to start to soften the existing rust.

    The etching on these blades is not very deep and will be lost if a lot of abrasive force is used. If the mark I suggested is not readily apparent, I would not specifically dig for it at this point.

    If you are seeing decoration on the blade, Tell me if you see an eagle and some stars above that. The way the stars display may be another hint as to the maker. If you do see stars are they in an arch (more or less) above the eagle or more of just a bunched cloud above the eagle. I don't want to jump to any conclusions on this one without knowing more that may be seen. The heart shape addition is unknown to me for the American makers and cutlers for these swords but just when you think you have seen it all, something like this may make sense in time.

    There may be no decoration at all, as rubbed out or even never there but it is sometimes extremely hard to say anything for sure without the item in hand. The grip may well have been replaced long ago. A picture or description of the thing on top of the egg and if it has ever been messed with may be another clue. The boat like guard is also lacking decoration we often see on the American swords.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Again, there are quite a few variations, so who might be sure? Not me, yet

  7. #7
    There is no notch in the knuckle guard its self, no.
    But as to the design, I can sketch it on to paper if you think that would be more helpful.
    But to describe the design more, at the base of the blade there is a 3 inch design of more or less lines, "squigles" for the lack of a better word. The 3 inch design ends in a dome shape and above that I see either wings or large leafs. if their wings I'd describe them more like dove wings ending in a a Sharp point. but after that it turns into a long vine of laurel that goes up the catch Untill it ends in another pair of wings or leads, I can not see a bird attached to the wings, if there is one. But as for the cup guard, there are small round dots like u see on the knuckle guard, third only located on the right side. And can't really see it in the pictures I provided.

  8. #8
    As for pictures of the egg, grip, and guard I will post more detailed pictures tonight. Also a picture of a sketch, of the design on the sword, the best that I can see it with the naked eye.

  9. #9



    The wood grip is a bit smaller and looks like it is possible that it was added later, i do not know.

    ps i am no artist =) i hope it helped though. the detail in the ingraining is unbelievable, after i wiped it off with some oil and a light rag it uncoverd a lot more.


    More photos soon, internet problems.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Curiouser and curiouser

    The two leaves may be the upraised wings of the eagle, with the body of it obliterated. From what I can see of the tang end of the blade peened over the end of the pommel, it looks like it was never ground down to be refitted. The grips of some of these had a covering of sheet metal or wire, so that might explain things as well.

    I don't find an exacting match of the sketch designs. Nice job! You are hired The Ames company did make a variety of these swords and some of the design elements almost seem to fit but I am still not positive or wholly convinced it was their work. There was another shop named to Francis Widmann that did these and my own searches of these swords is really kind of new to me, so I am drawing on what I have been able to find. Attached is one of the Widmann examples I had come across and there was another recent thread on these swords here kind of pointing this particular pommel to Ames but who is to say Widmann did not borrow the pommels (eggs).

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...bard-engraving

    Cheers

    Hotspur; More pictures and a trail there at that link

  11. #11
    I followed your link and looked at a picture that someone posted on that forum. There was a wilder sword that had the same kind of wings I saw on my sword, and there was another set of wings I uncovered up the blade a little bit further. Though the sword shown did have its differences, it did have similarities. Most of all the eagle wings. And the design of the laurel traveling up the blade, and same sort of designs on the bottom of the blade, very similar, very curious.

    Sooo Ames company was a larger scale maker of these swords and Francis wilder was more a private maker? Also, I find something peculiar... the design on the blade is metal colored...the background is dark, like it was blued. The edges I can tell where never sharpened because their lacking the dark (in a noticeably straight line) color like the design.

    But more than likely this is pointing us towards a 1830s US generals sword? More than likely a dress sword?

    BTW I just wanted to thank you for the help, I really do appreciate it.

  12. #12
    Wilder.... wildmann* my phone spells things how it wants, apologies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    The American form of these were meant for regular duty, while the British heavycavalry dress swords were not. Quite similar though.

  14. #14
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:...ress_Sword.jpg

    Does this look like it has a heart in the back of the cup to you?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Could be and what kind of prompted my first instincts.

    Be very gentle with the blade in removing the rust. In fact, I would suggest not using any solvents to soften the rust aside from what I mentioned of light oil and a soft rag. Don't scrub.

    If it is a British sword and was etched then blued, the decoration and finish may be damaged beyond recovery. This is one of those cases where someone really needs to see what you are seeing in person or much clearer photos What we are seeing as possibly eagle wings is just that from your description and the sketch and may be entirely foliate decoration along with the other elements.

    I am going to alter the thead header and it might attract more that would otherwise not open the thread.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; either way, a pretty neat sword with characteristics of both countries use

  16. #16
    After further examination the sword is definitely blued, and I'm not so sure the eagle wings really are eagles wings. there was a big similarity to a Francis Wildmann sword i found on a different forum, i have no idea for sure. i hope these pictures help you all out.




    Last edited by Seth Pickerill; 11-24-2011 at 12:24 PM.

  17. #17
    Anyone else have any ideas?

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •