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Thread: 19th century boarding sword?

  1. #1

    19th century boarding sword?

    When I was 14 years old ( a very long time ago ), my father asked me to trim the dead fronds from a palm tree in our back yard. He was not specific as to which tool to use, so I grabbed this old machete-looking tool. Finding me hacking away with this blade, he quietly asked me to find a more appropriate instrument, mentioning that it was, in fact, a boarding sword from the early 19th century. Is there anything else anyone can tell me about it? The "GR" is, I assume, George Rex, which might put it in the War of 1812 era. Other markings include, on the port side, "John D. Post (W)arranted", and "24". On the starboard side is a difficult to read stamp of, "All...", and Best...". Thanks in advance for any insight you can throw my direction.
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  2. #2
    Hi 'R'
    Looks like a nice big Machete to me.
    The '24' could be 1924? WHich could make the GR: George the 5th (1910-1936).
    Unusual in my experience. Nice to see so many markings.
    Certianly would double as a hell of a weapon! As evidenced by the amount that are converted into swords or used as such as-is in Africa.
    Could be George the 6th even and WW2 period.
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 07-29-2013 at 01:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA
    Welcome aboard

    Gilkerson's Boarders Away" shows similar guardless cutlasses in a Solingen catalog mid 19th century. One example, a blade very much this profile and fullering. There is no need (in my mind) to think the form couldn't have been as old as GIII or GIV's time. There was good trade between Solingen and england for sword blades and entire swords.

    I can't explain the other marks, nor do I know the cutler/retailer Best maybe Best Cast, which would also lean towards earlier than mid 19th century.

    Hotspur; a main difference between a machete and a sword is often the blade cross section and weight

  4. #4
    The attached may be of some interest, these forms I believe were produced into the latter half of the 19thC if not later. The blade markings continued to be taken, including possibly the GR stamp as well, as a "guarantee of quality" by the end users of these items usually of course the peoples of non industrial countries. Hope this is of some interest.
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  5. #5
    Thanks Gene, Glen, and Norman for responding. Given what I'll pretend is provenance, I have to believe this piece is older than 20th century. I'm interested in the fact that the foundry stamp is not more well-known, and I do wonder at the "24". I will certainly continue rooting around for bits of information, but I appreciate your input. You've headed me in a good direction. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    L'abbaye de Theleme
    Could "24" refer to the blade length in inches? If this is a civilian use item there could be different sizes. After all you were using the right tool for the plam tree!
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Javier Ramos View Post
    Could "24" refer to the blade length in inches? If this is a civilian use item there could be different sizes. After all you were using the right tool for the plam tree!
    As one of my students might say, "Well, duh." The blade is about 1/2 inch short of two feet, so I expect that takes care of the 24. Thanks, Javier!


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