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Thread: Help!! N. STARR SWORD help identify

  1. #1

    Help!! N. STARR SWORD help identify

    I'm considering purchasing my first sword (of many I hope). Can anyone help by telling me if the sword in the attached pics has the appropriate makers mark? It only has N. STARR written on it and no other markings on either side. Can you tell me what model it is? I am unable to inspect sword until tomorrow. Is it worth purchasing in its current condition. Are you able to give a price range? I'm worried about purchasing a reproduction. Any information would be greatly appreciated from this newbee!
    Thanks so much!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    What does cause concern is the bend where the blade and tang meet. Difficult especially to bend a sword blade in this direction. You can tell by the blade shoulders it was never intended to have such a angle.
    Bending it back may break it. If the owner has not bent it back, it is for this very reason.The hilt will always be loose unless taken apart and repaired. Once apart it will always raise a question and doubt.
    Has the pommel been disturbed, by that I mean has the sword been disassembled?
    With the gap at the blade and guard you would think the tang that is riveted over the pommel would have been pulled inside the pommel.
    Pictures of the pommel end would be a great help.
    There are many out there in better shape and worse.
    In my experience a sword in need of major repair is worth only a small fraction of one in good shape.
    The blade holds most of the value of a sword, if it is structurally unsound then???? Condition and rarity is everything, neither is too apparent here.
    If still you are happy with it and the price that's all that matters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA

    Not sure why we need two threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Hi Nelson

    Welcome aboard

    It appears to be an 1812 contract sword, which differs somewhat from the 1813. There were both the first and improved batches of the 1812 swords. The images are inconclusive in that regard as to improved or not..

    Per the guidelines here, we are not supposed to coach pricing but if you were to search around, you will find both current and past sales of these swords. Condition as shown is pretty rough, so depending on your expectations of cost, you might want to keep looking. Nice condition 1818 models with scabbards are a lot more economical and sellers will play the earlier swords for more money, simply judged on date. Sure, the first 1812 variant scarcer but what are you really wanting to collect and why. Ask yourself those two questions and research pricing across the board.

    There are subtleties between the first and improved models that are tough to judge even in hand but the pictures as shown are of no real help aside from showing it not an 1813. Prices are going up for sound examples but a piece in poor/fair condition may be a mistake as an entry piece.

    I may be off base and it is one of the non contract Starr militia swords but what I see is a very tired 1812 with no scabbard
    (some of the 1812 type swords were supplied with leather vs iron scabbards). No way I would consider this one a reproduction but the pictures are lousy.


    Hotspur; Eric Fairbanks has some of these and should chime in

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA
    I agree the tang looks bent and it might be a bit (even considering the washer missing which was seated under the blade shoulders) but this a sword type that had a lot of hilt cant to begin with and the hilt sloppy loose overall.

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    With the gap at the blade and guard you would think the tang that is riveted over the pommel would have been pulled inside the pommel.
    The fixture on these swords is a cutlery nut. Again, many swords where a blade seats atop the washer will show a gap when the washers/bumpers deteriorate.
    Last edited by Glen C.; 01-28-2015 at 05:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Sorry for the two separate posts, I'm new to the website and to the hobby!
    Thank you so much for all of the insight! It was more than helpful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    North West US

    Nathan Starr 1812 contract

    I am with Glenn it is possibly bent a tad but is very consistent with the improved model. I also believe it to be second portion of m1812 contract although all were made in 1813 and later. The m1813 made from 1814 to 1817 have a fatter belly and less canter to the hilt. It would be one of 4050 which makes it fairly rare.HHP Henry Perkins also inspected a large portion of the m1813s but your stamp is consistent with the early models in its location, hilt angle is also correct even if a bit bent down. Many I run into are. Your blade as best I can tell has very few or no nicks. The clip point on yours looks beautiful, most are wore or blunted. I see very little rust or corrosion on your blade. Leather seems fair and is always a plus. Scabbards are great to have and would be iron for this model but these are the only m1812s that were for sure used in War of 1812. Some 1813s caught the tail end but how do you know which ones? Your other marks appear to have rubbed off unless it is a militia sword. The sword on top is an 1812 and the bottom 1813.
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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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