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Thread: JS&Co. makers mark

  1. #1
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    JS&Co. makers mark

    Working on a corroded sword I found the small cursive JS&Co. makers mark on top of spine. This mark is not common but does turn up from time to time. While the standard consensus is it is for John Salter &Co. I find it hard to accept off hand. John Salter only used the (&Co.) one year, 1830 to 31. Most of the swords marked JS&Co. in my view have a decidedly German look and most are earlier styling. The only viable candidate I could find that according to Old Swords and Bezdek used the JS&Co. for an extended time (1810-D1831) was Johann Schimmelbusch. JS&Co. made the small fullered light calvary 1796 pattern swords. Most British makers used the standard large shallow fuller making it possible a German maker made the small fullerd 1796 pattern swords. You can view one on the bay 191706808450. The etching on my sword and others looks German. I would be very interested in any help on this one.


    There are a couple of threads on here that have some info about this maker mark. I would be interested to read the Bezdek notes mentioned in one thread..
    Regards Eric
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 09-10-2016 at 06:26 PM.
    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

  2. #2
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    Hey, believe what you will but considering they turn up on British made eagle pommel swords and other decidedly British swords, I'd call your attribution to Schimmelbusch quite a bit of a stretch. The other issue (as I see it) is labeling anything with this guard type a 1796.

    Mowbray lists JS&Co as a New York silversmith John Sayre (figure 16.d regarding an Osborn weeper) and John Salter as a London silversmith. It is my opinion that the & Co relates exports in association with Londoner John Salter.

    Here is a white etched JS&Co marked sword.





    More pictures of that one in my Spies folder, along with a pristine Spies with white etch. Both had been at Shiloh Relics, so lots of pictures of both.
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...3c?usp=sharing

    I have seen JS&Co on both Ketland and Osborn eagles, just as I have seen Wolfe and Spies spine marked swords. I have never segregated swords with that mark in a folder of their own but have seen it enough to more believe it English exports.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; the loss of the auto image sizer means I'll likely not use the attachment feature anymore and the volume of images shared by me will decrease.

  3. #3
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    I did not attribute it to anyone I merely raised a question to a attributation that does not have conclusive evidence. There is speculation it is Salter but no proof. If the sword I referenced in my last post on ebay is not a light calvary 1796 pattern, what is it?
    I see no reason the Germans could not copy Ketland or Osborn for that matter. I do not know if it was Schimmelbusch or someone else but do not know it was Salter either. The whole point of the thread was to raise that question to gain input and information not to raise your hackles. 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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    I wouldn't put too much money on any of the candidates, but if "JS&Co" is Salter, he most certainly must have used this mark for a longer period than just 1830-31. There are just too many swords of too many patterns existent to all be from a one year production run. Also some of the swords would have been truly anachronistic in 1830-31.

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    You are hardly raising any hackles Eric. I simply pointed out that there are a fair number of English made swords with the mark. That is borne out not just in form but also blade decoration. Again, you are welcome to speculate, as you are wont to do.

    By your own definition, a German made saber would not be called a 1796, simply a sword or better yet an 1811 . However, I find your definition based on fullers to be faulty in and of itself.
    "Most British makers used the standard large shallow fuller making it possible a German maker made the small fullerd 1796 pattern swords."

    My comment was in regard to all swords with that guard being listed as a 1796, when it is common to so, so many swords of many sizes and origins. I have offered information as I know it and posted a very British looking sword to support the mark being British. You asked for opinion and I have supplied it.

    The sword you show in your first post is a much narrower blade than the one I show in mine. Go figure. The sword I showed also has a very broad fuller. Go figure Checkered ivory, on and on.

    Mowbray may have been spot on in mentioning Sayre and perhaps we'll never know

    Cheers

    Hotspur; perhaps it's that I just don't see the mark as uncommon on British patterns

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    My point is merely, most or rather all British made 1796 light calvary have the wide shallow fuller. The only narrow fullered 1796 light calvary is this one we see occasionally that is most offten attributed to the American market. Most are unmarked but the one I posted is marked JS&Co. Is it a 1796 pattern or a m1811? The grip and guard are surely compatible with the 1796 pattern, or at least more so than the m1811. Sadly I do not own a Blutcher and have very little info on them perhaps a German sword affectionado could give some insight. The sword you posted does have a very British look while many have a Solingen look. If Salter & Co. is the maker I want to know. If Schimmelbusch is I want to know that too. I really do not care who I just want to know. Johann used &Co. for 20 years which in my mind given those pesky Germans dominated the sword market for many years, copied others, were copied and were masters of the copy trade makes him a viable candidate. I will review John Sayre as I am looking for any leads. The Germans could do any thing when it comes to swords I have an eagle head marked Warranted with a very nice kings head stamp. As far as all being 1796 pattern from this period, swords can be very different but be the inspiration for the next generation. The 1796 light calvary is just that a calvary sword while most bone grip bird pommels are infantry officer or artillery officer but the copy in my mind is the use of the p guard, bird pommel and 10.5 diameter on blade curve. Perkins did not like the first Starr 1812 as it was 14.5 much like the m1810 and m1798. Straighter with less curve. Most of these bone grip swords follow the deep curve. Cox called the pattern the german pattern but who copied who on the bird head, p guards. I think the British were first but do not know for sure. 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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    I am revisiting this one again, as another sword surfaces listed as Sayre. I have gone through Mowbray's noted example and now spent time with Bezdek's assembly of data. My issues with the Sayre attribution are several. First and foremost, the man was a silversmith and watchmaker, not a cutler. The association with Thomas Richards, a compounded error by Bezdek. It is simple to say the Thomas Richards must then be the Richard's family in England selling swords but it simply doesn't hold any water when realizing Thomas Richards was simply a silversmith and jeweler himself. No matter how one approaches the John Sayre as a candidate for the J.S.&Co mark, I (personally) will never see it as anything but false.

    One can then revisit Mowbray again and take a good hard look at Salter, Bates and Bolton notes. Will I change anybody's thoughts on this? I just don't know but the more hours I look into the background of all the players, the whole Sayre attribution for swords is simply wrong (imo). Posting to a thread in the US Militaria edged weapon subforum, the topic steered to a J.S.&Co sword. I can't but help appreciate Mowbray and Bezdek for all their work but the Bezdek reasoning, particularly, misguided in assuming all silversmiths that can be found, must then also have been importers of swords.

    More and more information comes to light every day and I can't truly faulty anyone publishing but there are times I wish they had simply left a page or two out while waiting for more data. There are both genealogical and silver sites that back up my thoughts on Sayre and Richards (Thomas). My thoughts on Salter and the J.S.&Co mark continue to gather evidence in the positive.

    Cheers

    GC

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    The new sword to which Glen alludes is one from the estate of the late Richard Bezdek that I recently purchased on the usual auction site. It is a brass reverse-P hilted horseman’s saber with a bird’s head pommel, a slit for a knot at the top of the knuckle bow, a step reinforcement piece at the juncture of the knuckle bow and the cross guard, and a small, flat disc quillon. It also has semicircular langets and a convex-ring ferrule. The grip is an 11-ribbed carved wood affair which was originally covered with leather which is now missing. It has a pronounced hump. The curved 33” blade has a single medium-wide fuller and resembles the UK P1796 light cavalry saber. It is stamped on the spine near the grip with the script letters “J S & Co”.

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    Although I have no new evidence to add, I tend to accept the Mowbray attribution of the “J S & Co” mark to John Sayre rather than to Salter as suggested by Glen. I have no problem with the fact Sayre was a silversmith and watchmaker rather than a cutler. It seems a good number of New York silversmiths of the period imported and retailed swords under their name. Earlier this year I posted pictures of my c.1805 pillow-pommel spadroon named to Perry and Eagles. They were New York silversmiths, and not cutlers, but since their full names are spelled out on this and other swords, there is no question that they were the retailer. If they could import and retail swords, I see no reason to doubt that their fellow NY silversmith John Sayre could do the same.

    As for John Salter, there are a lot of swords from the same period as the “J S & Co”-marked examples which have Salter’s name and address spelled out in full. None of these names which I have seen are compatible with the “& Co” formulation. Eric tells us in Post 1 that Salter did use the “and Company” formulation in the one year 1830-1831, but the swords with the “J S & Co” marking seem to date to the first two decades of the 19th century.

    I am also skeptical of Eric’s suggestion that this mark may belong to Solingen maker Johann Schimmelbusch. Most of the swords on which this mark are found, mainly Ketland and Osborne eagles, appear to be Birmingham products. Although it is possible Schimmelbusch was using this mark on Birmingham-style swords which he was counterfeiting, I believe the simpler and more likely explanation is that they are Birmingham swords being imported and sold by John Sayre.

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    As for John Salter, there are a lot of swords from the same period as the “J S & Co”-marked examples which have Salter’s name and address spelled out
    If you are able, post a few for my edification.

    I again point to Mowbray and his notes that Sayre was not active with Richards past 1811 and that there are notes of both silversmiths agreeing with that. This would bring us back to full bright etches and timelines. Then compare the etching of the sword posted in this thread and at US Militaria and the A.W.Spies sword posted there (with a similarly checkered grip) as well. The style of etch equal and most identical.
    http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/foru...-acquisitions/

    A further reminder to read the opening paragraphs of the Salter chapter in Mowbray's book. Specifically the notes on checkered grips.

    As Bezdek reaffirms that the association with Sayre must be with Richards only now underlines that the association could not have existed in a later timeline. As John Sayre himself is noted as having retired (see silversmith and genealogical sites/notes) in 1818, are we then to assume the name is being used by the next generation and with a different association? I have shown the Oldsword data on the associations with Salter and you now have stated you know of examples with Salter's name and address spelled out on the blades, I ask again that you show some.

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 12-06-2017 at 03:09 PM.

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    https://oldswords.com/maker-notes.php?cID=847
    Salter marks, not sure what you are looking for but a bunch on old swords. 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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    Yes, on pipe back blades as well and none as described for the American market.

    Maybe I seem to be coming across as vague but please explain to me just how the Mowbray and Bezdek information for John Sayre adds up to swords purportedly partnered with Richards are identical in etching to swords etched for A.W.Spies (when Sayre had already left silversmithing and that the association with Richards was through in 1811-1813).

    Or.......are we looking at two individuals named John Salter, or that Sayer was not John but his brother Joel (kidding but also certainly not brothers Paul or Caleb)? John was also a fireman, see the minutes of the common council of the city of New York.
    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb....iths/10269.htm
    http://www.925-1000.com/americansilver_S.html
    http://www.antiquescollaborative.com...pot-Joel-Sayre

    John Sayre as Sayre & Richards from 1802-1813 (sic)


    In none of the Sayre information out there (that I can find), aside from Mowbray and Bezdek is there any mention of swords (feel free to show evidence in other sources not based on those two) whereas there is ample information that Salter was in the arms trade and specialized in checkered grips (amongst other trading). While we do see old Ketland type and Osborn weepers marked with Js&Co, we are also seeing swords we are pretty sure are 1820s and 1830s marked with JS&Co, with the fancy dan of this thread and the linked thread has the JS&Co, are checkered grips and the etch quite similar in fashion to the Spies I show in the US Militaria thread.

    Then pie-crusted slotted hit Osborn eagles with the A.W.Spies spine mark which, imo, are simply old stock being used up post war. It is those old swords marked to JS&Co that is first regarded by Mowbray as "hey, it must be" due to a vague reference to a Richards thought to be a British marketer/exporter when it is just another silversmith in NYC. Again an association over with before Sayre leaving the silver trade (one note has him moving on to run a cotton mill) before the 1820s.

    A real difference between the JS&Co marked swords and the Wells marked swords in that the Wells swords are indeed well marked as to location, as are the Wolfe, and the A.W.Spies swords, or the Upsons; none using just initials of a company. Nothing in the Sayre and Richards association turns up in directories as that partnership importing and being a general mercantile company. Compare that to the histories of the Wolfe family, Wells and Spies; all known to be importers.

    Food for thought

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 12-06-2017 at 06:56 PM.

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    One other factor to consider in this discussion: John Salter was a London-based cutler; most, if not all, the swords with the "J S & Co." mark is found appear to be Birmingham products.

    I certainly don't know for sure whether this is a John Sayre mark, but I feel confident it is not John Salter. It doesn't look like the markings he usually used, the "& Co." is inconsistent with the names under which he conducted business during the time-frame of swords so marked, and it seems unlikely a London cutler would be almost exclusively be exporting Birmingham swords.

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    S&K had an agent in London as well.

    Of eagles Mowbray determined were from Salter, none were marked by him. Yet an agent exporting for a firm might just be marking swords. The marked Salter swords at Old Swords are indeed late and do indeed seem to preclude any of them meant for the US. I still don't read a reply regarding why Sayre would not be spelling out his name, or that there is no mention of his business importing other goods as others did. Nor, a logical explanation as to why the later swords would be attributed to him when he is not listed as active, nor who else might be his &co. Whereas, we have good evidence of both Wolfe and Spies selling swords decades old. We also do have evidence of Salter having partners in those later years.

    We can't prove a negative, or can we?

    I'l forever disagree, based on the conflicting evidence from previous authors. Not really a big deal but if published I won't list them as either and leave it open with a lot of question marks.

    Cheers

    GC

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