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Thread: What Did I Buy?

  1. #51
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    Jul 2014
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    Annandale, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    Richard I was in on the biding and it is a beautiful example of a Maryland contract saber. I bid on it almost to the end for two reasons. I have a supposed Maryland contract scabbard and needed it for comparison. The other reason is I feel much the same as you and doubt it is a John Joseph Henry because of the hilt. It to me looks like a cross between a Nippes and Winner. I want to measure all the parts to help me make up my mind. Jan sure sells some nice swords. I was hoping you got it so I could quiz you. All of these guys worked together and helped each other many years I do not think it unreasonable that it could be anyone of them. The back strap makes a very decisive turn down two thirds of the way to the pommel. Eric
    I was hoping you were the winner for about the same reasons! I was somewhat surprised about the scabbard - I didn't realize they were metal rather than leather. Is your supposed Maryland scabbard similar?
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 09-20-2017 at 11:38 PM.

  2. #52
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    I have just acquired an inspected Nippes M1810 horseman’s saber. The blade is marked on the obverse side with a “V” for viewed or verified, and an “W” for arms inspector Marine Wickham.

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    Upon comparing this sword with the unmarked example pictured at the top of this thread, which I previously believed was an unmarked Nippes M1810, I find I must reconsider my original identification. Although the blades are essentially the same size and shape, the hilt on the inspected Nippes, while of the same design, is much larger and made with heavier gage material – it is truly massive. The inspected Nippes weighs 2 lbs 1.75 oz, while my original sword weighs only 1 lb 12 oz. I believe the difference in weight is due mainly, if not entirely, to the differences in the size of the hilt. See side-by-side photos below:

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    The question then, is what is my original sword? Based on form, I still believe at least the hilt is probably a Nippes product or that of one of his successors/close associates, e.g. Henkel. One friend suggested it might be an unmarked Maryland saber. Unfortunately, I have not personally handled Maryland sabers, so I really can’t judge. Did Maryland sabers have less massive hilts than the M1810 Nippes? I’d appreciate any input members might provide. Thanks.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 03-17-2018 at 06:38 AM.

  3. #53
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    Feb 2002
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    Nice swords. I've no answers.

    Cheers

    GC

  4. #54
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    Discussed the above two swords with Jim Brown at the Baltimore Show this weekend. He tells me the small-hilted saber is an unmarked Maryland sword. Not all the Maryland swords, especially the earlier ones, were marked with the well-known "M" stamp on the spine. He also confirmed the scabbard which came with my inspected Nippes M1810 was not a Nippes scabbard. The carrying rings on the Nippes scabbard were attached with oval patches, similar to the Starr M1818 cavalry saber, not bands like on mine. My scabbard is instead for the Maryland sword. In fact, it does fit my Maryland sword quite well. Here is a Nippes with the proper scabbard.

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    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 03-18-2018 at 09:20 PM.

  5. #55
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    Feb 2002
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    The rings on my Starr 1818 are attached on rectangular patches
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    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...r-1818-Cavalry

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 03-19-2018 at 08:23 AM.

  6. #56
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    A lot of older stuff is attached so. From my 1800ish urn pommel
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    A lot like etching and blue, we come to try dating by that but it doesn't always work. Or, to determine origin of the work.

    Cheers
    GC

  7. #57
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    Jul 2014
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    I went back and reviewed the literature on these Maryland swords, specifically Jacque Andrews' Philadelphia Gunmakers and the Evolution of the “Maryland Sword”, ASOAC Bulletin 89 and Richard Bexdek's Swords And Sword Makers Of The War Of 1812. They tell us Maryland contracted for a total of 1286 cavalry sabers from 1812 through 1814. These swords were essentially the same as the Winner/Nippes M1810, but with smaller hilts. Henry was the contractor who provided most of these swords, but they were likely made in the Winner/Nippes workshop under the direction of Daniel Henkel, acting as agent for Winner/Nippes and their successors. In June 1813, Maryland decided all swords should be marked with a “M” on the spine of the blade. It purchased dies to mark the swords from Henry, but these dies were not delivered until November 1813. My sword is probably one of the sabers delivered before that date.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
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    I stumbled across this post and found it quite informative. I think I may have one of these swords in my collection that I have always been torn over what it is. I have Bezdek’s book on Swords and Swordmakers of the War of 1812 and I have Harvey Withers book on The British 1796 pattern Light Cavary Trooper’s sword - in which it lists other variations.

    As my piece has very little for markings, I have been unsure how to classify it. I’ll post the pictures and let you see.

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    These are the only markings I can find. A “1 V” ...I think...on the spine of the blade.

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    I’m not sure if you have the Withers booklet, so I’ll post a pic of the page I am referring to.

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    If anything, perhaps these photos can be of further assistance as reference pics. Apologies on the photos, the sword is quite dark and it is hard to capture the details. As a side note, I did see someone at the Sturbridge show last June with an almost identical sword, but with no wood left on the grip. I believe he had it labeled a Virginia Artillery- would this sound right for this piece?

    Regards,

    Matt

  9. #59
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    Nov 2013
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    North West US
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    It is a Virginia Manufactory of Arms artillery saber. A rare bird indeed about 1808 plus or minus a bit. I will look in the book tomorrow. Eric marked to the 1st Virginia Regiment.
    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

  10. #60
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    Jul 2014
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    Annandale, VA
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    798
    I agree with Eric, its a Virginia Manufactory artillery saber. The second sword in the photo below is an example from Jim Brown's collection. (The other two sabers are two models of Pettibone sabers.) They had two of these at the Baltimore show, but these are rare birds a not often seen.

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    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 03-28-2018 at 09:20 PM.

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
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    Thank you Eric and Richard.

    I appreciate the info and can now put this one to rest. It’s amazing were things turn up. For this piece, I purchased it at an estate auction in Saint John, New Brunswick.

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