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Thread: Screaming (so called Ames) Eagle

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    Screaming (so called Ames) Eagle

    This is one of the larger variation screaming eagles. While the different Ames heads are very interesting and difficult for me to understand my focus at this post is the etching on blade. This sabre is etched with two different types. Any thoughts?Name:  20140918_122043.jpg
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    Screaming eagle couple more photos

    Total 33 in.
    Blade 27 7/8 in.
    Wide 1 1/4in.
    Thick 5/16in.
    Fuller 20 3/8in.
    No false edge
    American made blade I would think. But not sure.
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    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Hi Eric,

    The sword you show was entirely British made. The combination of white etch (sometimes silvered) panels with adjoining blue&gilt are not uncommon or scarce but fewer in the grand scheme of things. The counterguard is gone.

    My mind is a mess today and I and just packed up pertinent books yesterday but there are telling traits between the English and Ames screamers. From tail to tooth, they are quite different aside from some basic profiles. I'll attach one example of each but I have many dozens in my files. The first three things to notice are the pommel collar, guard at the pommel and the blades. Other traits are the grips themselves, ferrules, and blade etching.

    It is hard to prove whether the form began with Ames or in England but Nathan Ames was po'd about the British copies of his swords. Although that article is less than specific, The screamers may well be one that made him mad. Given time, I would be able to retrace where I have already posted the article (I guess It wasn't such a chore ). I should make a copy of it.
    http://www.gunandswordcollector.com/...eferences.html

    The English made examples are much more common finds in today's market and once familiar with the Ames builds, easy to spot at a glance. There have been a few that still defy logic and probably privately cutlered with some Ames parts. Simple blade traits on the Ames species screamer are an unstopped fuller (no ricasso) until some time in the 1840s-1850s when we see an occasional example with an Ames m1840 mounted artillery sword blade. Going through a couple of folders today and I realize how much indexing I still have to do.

    The burgundy background is the Ames, green English

    Hamilton's history of Ames book, invaluable and a good start.
    http://www.gunandswordcollector.com/...lton_ames.html

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I lack owning any of the screamers in question

    http://www.gunandswordcollector.com/...eferences.html
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-18-2014 at 12:37 PM.

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    Another Screamer

    If the Ames company started in 1829 andrelevanceEagle heads are not generally listed in production most must be 1827 to 1834 (when Ames Manufacturing was founded) date. If the sword is British then it also must be a late date. The way the fuller turns up and knife edge gets bigger must be a late British attribute. Not to mention copying Ames who was born in 1803 and would have been hard pressed to make a sword before 1823 unless it was designed by his Father earlier. So the Screaming English would be 1830 to 1834? The Screaming Ames could be 1829 to 1834? Notice the repaired guard on the Ames? Sad but its what you get from time to time. Recent repair or butchery I think. I bought the Ames book some time ago but could only find my Hickox Collectors Guide.I guess I am inclined to think some Brit stepped on a Ketlands tail and Ames copied them. Eric

    I do not understand your Ames articles relevance as it was by a news paper that obviously loved Mr. Ames and he does not mention pioneering work by Winner, Rose, the VM, or Starr by name.
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    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 09-19-2014 at 09:53 AM. Reason: add info
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Nathan senior was a tool maker. The Hamilton book shows the screamers and date of the initial contract. As mentioned, packed away for the coming weekend.

    Some more bookmarks

    http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=39

    http://newenglandtravels.blogspot.co...civil-war.html

    The screamers are not a Ketland form, imo. I have to agree to disagree. Ketland was a purveyor sourcing from many shops in Birmingham and I personally associate only one form with Ketland, broadly discussed and shown in Mowbray's primer on eagle pommel swords.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; perhaps the only other hotly contentious debate I would enter is listing the ACW Ames American light cavalry sword as an m1860
    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-18-2014 at 02:58 PM.

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    Perhaps not brothers but at least primo.

    Looking at 3 different heads from 2 different countries I see no way there is no plagiarism going on. The nostrils, crest, eye placement, shape of beak and neck proportions are similar. Three different patternmakers do not have an idea for an eagle head that close. While I do believe the screamers are not a casting direct copy it is obvious they had a Ketland example in the room while carving these puppies out of wood. Many eagle heads are design copies or at least inspired by others work. The french forward staring angry eagles come to mind. Americans seemed to like that. The Ames screamer and the Brit screamer are not casting copies but somebody had someone elses bird in hand when the mold was made. They are different sizes. Because of the waste of molten brass when pouring for spouts and vents I would guess they used a board with 4, 6 or eight patterns of which no two would have been exact but very close. There would have been a fill point and vent for each that would have to be filed and polished. Which affects design conserns. Just like the hotspot created where the counter guard met the knuckle guard on the early US attempts at casting hilts. Now for the Light Calvary vs. M1860, convenience would be the simple answer. New words and phrases are created all the time for convenience. The word or phrases most used or catchy get to be the ones used. Now to get back to what I ask in my last post. What dates do you reacon for the Ames and the Brit screamer? Eric
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    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    What dates do you reacon for the Ames and the Brit screamer?
    I have reiterated my thoughts a couple of times now. After I am set up tomorrow I can give you the date for the Ames bird once I have the book opened. For some reason 1836 sticks in my mind for the infantry spadroon, with the counterguard artillery sabre following.

    One could speculate that the British open mouth screamer was earlier but the facts as we know it don't gel with the known examples before the 1830s. A good many of the small Ketland type are post 1820 and Ketland in type/shape only. The older wedge top Ketland pommel the only known example even marked to Ketland. I do not believe either the early Ketland or later copies have anything to do with the screamers. Instead (my hunch), look to the other magnates such as Salter, who also sourced shops up and down the lanes of Birmingham. The Ketland Co. went bankrupt in 1821, exports ceased in 1831. The jr Ketland brothers were done as Philadelphia sellers before that (1815). Sources from net searches.

    Show me data and source for the British screamer and I would welcome it but I prefer not to speculate. Instead I read existing files/books and pick those apart when I can show a difference with proof. I have the utmost regard for Flayderman and the younger Mowbray for presenting the Medicus collection with little speculation, including just the facts. The elder Mowbray as well.

    In my first reply I write "It is hard to prove whether the form began with Ames or in England" I then do speculate that the linked article may well relate to what was being copied. Truly, It is not at the top of my lists, only that I tend to winnow the two as best I can when saving images. What I have yet to see is a British maker or retailer screamer actually marked to them. Somewhere in my files is a marked mixed etch bladed spadroon done that looks like British parts on a British blade. I carry less in my mind after the stroke. I'll check out Bezdek. Edit well duh it says Porter right there on the blade.

    As far as the larger early wedge top Ketland and the second decade examples; I sort them in my mind as type I and type II. I have a large head sabre and small head spadroon.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; still looking for a dark grip plain blade Bolton sabre
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-19-2014 at 01:01 PM.

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    The rest, iirc, 20 per post?

    Sold by and photos courtesy of Deal Joe Salter. He is ok with sharing photos. My Bolton came from him.

    Note the only British name on Oldswords is.
    England Birmingham Porter, Robert 1642 1649
    England Birmingham Porter, Robert 1643
    England Birmingham Porter, Robert 1686
    England Birmingham Porter, Samuel 1697

    I'll dig out Bezdek American. I'll get the crane out and get it to the desk Looks later, not an earlier sword. 1830s-1840s
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-19-2014 at 01:35 PM.

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    From Bezdek

    Utica, NY

    Joseph S Porter born 1783

    Porter&White 1808-1811
    Barton&Porter 1811-1817
    Joseph S. Porter 1817-1842
    Doolittle, Norris&Co (associated/partnered with Porter) 1842-1846
    Joseph S. Porter 1846-1862

    Silversmith, Goldsmith, Jeweler, Military Goods

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    Nice spadroon I would love to smell that. I have no spadroons with gold and bluing left. Some sabres with a bit but nothing that nice. Nice sword. All of the Ketlands I have big or small have the peening crown. Some more detailed and pronounced depending on the freshness of the casting pattern I suppose. I do not know if the Ames screamer came before the cart or the Brit screamer. I have no idea. But I think I can safely say the Ketland came first. The Ames or the British screamer came second and third. Ames should have known Bald Eagles have no crest but he used it anyway because he liked someone else design. To me the Ketland is a beaut. I do not see Salter in the screamers as his birds are hairy and morose facial expression. Perhaps eagle no. 55 in Mowbray but it is a Ketland copy with the LePage or SH&F forward angry stare. So perhaps a copy of a copy and copy would be incorrect it would be more inspired from. I have some Ames swords but focus more on swords from War of 1812. In order to do that you have to have some eagle heads and if you buy one, well there you go. Now I have an Ames eagle from 1834, 1836 thanks to your observations. While not 1812 it is early American. I thought most 5 balls went out of Vogue in mid to late 1820's in America and by 1805 for the Brits. 1834 seems really late for 5 ball I will have to adjust my thinking. Do you know of other Brits besides Porter making screamers? I will keep my eye out for a Bolton for you. I do not have a Bolton or a Thurkle. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    So there are a couple of pages about the Ames screamers in Hamilton's book that have the dialog about British copies and the request by the Army for officer swords (the spadroons). 1835 listed for both the spadroon and sabre. The chapter entitled early officer swords.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; not entirely conclusive but a major vote in the book that Ames was first with the pommel

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    I cannot find my Ames book did a search and the Ames book went up. Headed to the mountains so I ordered one for there. Kind of hard to find and a little pricey. Never the less while I mostly buy the m1833's the eagles are very interesting and American made. Would also appear to be from same time period as 33's. Thanks for info. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Well here is a true wrench in the British Screaming eagles, it seems Captain Christopher Perry had one and he died June 1, 1818. The sword scabbard is inscribed with a date of 1798 which must be the date of some dastardly deed as it is really early for an eagle head of this design. Non the less it does take things way beyond 1834 which is the assumed date for the Ames Screamers. Page 22 and 23 in US Naval Officers their Swords and their Dirks. Also the New York Historical Society. Were the Brits first with the screamers and could it be 1798-1801 as the NYHS suggest?
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    Well here is a true wrench in the British Screaming eagles, it seems Captain Christopher Perry had one and he died June 1, 1818. The sword scabbard is inscribed with a date of 1798 which must be the date of some dastardly deed as it is really early for an eagle head of this design. Non the less it does take things way beyond 1834 which is the assumed date for the Ames Screamers. Page 22 and 23 in US Naval Officers their Swords and their Dirks. Also the New York Historical Society. Were the Brits first with the screamers and could it be 1798-1801 as the NYHS suggest?
    Attribution based on the scabbard mount. Show me the money Not too long ago, I was contacted by someone that lurks here. We were discussing a number of things but of the topics, empty scabbards came up.

    I'll not say it is impossible but as even the elder Mowbray does not include this bird in his treatise on early models, I am a hard sell. Another point I would make is that if this type were apparently so common early on, as to be found along with the Osborn, Bolton and Ketland (wedge and later), then we would surely see it marked by American retailers in those years both before and after the 1812 war. Show me a Wells or Wolfe marked sword. Show me an early Spies marked example. Show me an Upson marked example. Show me any early retailer marking one such.

    Tuite very carefully lists it as attributed to the scabbard inscription and I think it was included in the book as an inclusion of a noted figure in naval history.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; we will likely continue to see it listed as a Ketland, with no basis in fact

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    From your note above I take it NYHS published an article on Captain Christopher Perry's sword. Is it available on line? If so do you have a link? I can't find it.

    Christopher Perry had a quite short career as a US Navy officer. He was commissioned as a Captain in 1798 during the quasi-war with France and was involuntarily retired in 1801. It would be reasonable to expect his sword would date to his period of active service, which I suppose is the basis for the NYHS dating. It is possible, of course, that he could have bought another sword for wear after his retirement, but 1818 would remain the absolutely latest date possible, which pretty much settles the question of which had the screaming eagle first.

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    Richard I don't know for sure all I know is whats in the NYHS museum. It is the scabbard so inscribed and not the sword. Possibly a later added sword or hilt not true to scabbard, I do not know. I will have to fly up there later and see what provenance comes with the sword. Interesting so many of these come up with early guards and never the Ames. It is hard to find on their site I will try to send a link. Eric

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    Interesting so many of these come up with early guards and never the Ames.
    Which early guards you you see that are not found on the Ames variations?

    The only stirrup example I have archived was that likely composition piece. The other very flowery guards are most certainly post 1812 war, including the first empire spike/hook type on the top near the pommel. The one other exception in my files is a British 1803 like guard that has a very 1830s-1840s look. Several use the same guard we see on Spies marked swords (again a later trend for those guards). The screamers with backstraps almost need a different folder but the trend is always on late grips.

    So the only possible pre 1800 I fried my brain over was that funky looking Ebay sword. Find a sister or two





    My eagle files uploaded a couple of years ago an open book. More pictures of screamers can be found at
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...Vk&usp=sharing

    Some cross referenced in my Ames folder and there are some Ames in that other folder
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...lE&usp=sharing

    The entire old eagle archive is here. Feel free to browse and link any of the images in referencing what some see as old guard types. For some reason that Porter sword shown above is only in a different section of an older drive but it is around my files somewhere (militia folder, iirc).
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...mM&usp=sharing

    Eagles system II will probably be uploaded next year, as I have accumulated more images. I need to do some serious editing. I guess one reason I wait is that I occasionally find new variants. I have more in a few of those folders, such as the Navy folder. Tuite seemed approachable at the one show I met him at and he was selling. For the life of me, I have lost the web pages he had up with contact and stuff. He might vouch for a deeper provenance regarding the Perry sword. Mark Cloke has some uploaded at Old Swords. I guess that dedicated eagles page should really go up but I really tend to defer to stuff already published.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I may have missed a few I've never seen before but that occurrence is getting less and less as the years march on

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    hilt and blade motifs very beautiful.
    the best things in life is living a good life

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    I do not have one of the Ames screaming eagles, but would like one. I was therefore initially interested when I saw a dealer listing for a five-ball eagle head with an Ames blade. Unfortunately, when I looked at it, it was not really a screaming eagle.

    Name:  Shiloh Ames 5 Ball 1 comp.jpg
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Size:  32.1 KBName:  Shiloh Ames 5 Ball 2 comp.jpg
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    The pommel appears to be a more-or-less generic Ketland eagle with a closed beak - don't believe Ames ever used one of this design. The blade is ovoid in cross section, is acid etched, and marked with dry needle with the Ames Chicopee address. A Chicopee address would make this blade too late for the Ames eagle heads. I suspect the blade is from one of the knight's head-pommel militia NCO swords from the late-1840s/1850s which has been mated with an older Birmingham Ketland-style five-ball hilt.

    The real reason for this post, however, is to get some clarification of the official status of the Ames screaming eagles. Hamilton seems to imply that these swords had some official status, i.e. that Col Bamford, Chief of Army Ordinance had approved the silver-mounted version with straight blade for use by infantry officers and had requested a gold-mounted model with a saber blade for use by artillery officers. Thillmann, however, tells us the M1832/4 General and Staff Officers sword with leather scabbard was intended for all officers of the infantry, artillery, and ordinance. He doesn't even mention the Ames eagle heads. So what is the story? Were they approved prior to the M1832/4 and superseded by it? Or were they, as Hamilton indicates, a cheaper alternative to the M1832/4 for use by company grade officers? Or were they totally unofficial? The lack of any examples with inspection marks would seem to support their unofficial status, but if they were lacking official status, why did Bamford ask Ames to produce an Artillery version? Can anyone clarify? Thanks.

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    Question

    Guys: My Wife has this one, which I think I posted once.....straight blade and silver plated scabbard....One presumes an Artillery NCO..

    Dale
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    The screamer with the older guard is most assured a composite. The grip looks like some I have tried to make from deer and elk antler not like bone. Antler can make a really nice grip but 90% of the ones I make get into the pith before completing them. Very thin hard surface and very hard to find a section straight enough. It does look like ivory once polished. Richard your photo of the Ames I have looked at on the dealers site a few times and had went back to it yesterday and I agree with you a composite also. Looking at where the eagle meets the bone it does not match up nor is the ferrule correct and your analysis of the blade seems spot on to me. Dale what an unusual configuration does it have a laminated grip? The guard reminds me of bird pommel p guards the way it is widened in the counter guard. I love the angry eagles. I think perhaps infantry officer if silver. Regards Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Cool

    Eric, Long oval shape, two pieces, held by the ferrules no rivets...Looks like flat panels to me, possibly bone.....I have no idea what this sword actually is, someone told me Infantry and another said Artillery...I think Infantry, as it is straight, not curved.

    I cannot find a maker anywhere on this weapon, even under the langets. Needle etching with the usual gold and blue, but no maker. If anyone has an idea.....?

    Dale
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    Last edited by Dale Martin; 09-25-2016 at 08:14 AM.

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    Dale perhaps SH&F infantry officer. The 1821 regulations called for straight blade. Take a look at this http://landandseacollection.com/id765.html
    Thanks for better photo. Eric
    Simon Helvig & Fils
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Dale perhaps SH&F infantry officer. The 1821 regulations called for straight blade. Take a look at this http://landandseacollection.com/id765.html
    Thanks for better photo. Eric
    Simon Helvig & Fils
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    OK, someone else suggested it was War of 1812 and French made, but the lack of maker puts me off...It does have the Medusa, so one presumes it is French made.

    Dale

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