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Thread: Another Ketland Eaglehead?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Another Ketland Eaglehead?

    There seems to be a theme on Ketland eagleheads recently, so I thought I would ask for an opinion on my one. Bought in the UK a few years ago, it would appear to be a classic eaglehead by Ketland. I am no expert in the various eaglehead types and the dating thereof, so I would welcome comments/advice generally. The blade has very worn decoration, which includes cannon so I am thinking perhaps an artillery officer. No discernible makers name or marks.

    Thanks
    Jerry

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Nice sword.

    It is easy to generalize and say this is of the Ketland family and I even list these in a ketbck folder (I also have folders for the original and screamer crested eagles with a ket tag)
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...W8?usp=sharing

    However, I do so for convenience only. A lot of the crested backstrap swords were manufactured in Germany. With your's in the form of the English 1803 infantry swords, English manufacture fairly likely. My own example of a crested eagle with a backstrap undeniably German. Widmann of Philadelphia imported entire swords of this general form.

    While the crested backstrap eagles lasted (I believe) well into the 1830s, your sword seems to me to be on either side (timewise) of the 1812 conflict.

    My crested backstrap


    Cheers

    Hotspur; again, my eagle folders online from a couple of years ago and only a start with many misplaced (purposefully) or simply lost. Eagles II to follow some day with a vastly condensed and annotated version.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...mM?usp=sharing
    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-29-2016 at 09:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Glen.

    Do the Ketland or the German made swords normally carry a makers name or mark?

  4. #4
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    Some of the German swords do. I have never been able to decipher the mark on mine but the blade and grip traits point to Germany.

    The original labeled Ketland form has become a catch all term and label. We really nedd to think beyond that but at the same time, easier than saying crested backstrap similar to the Ketland form.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    1,140
    Jerry, no not at all. I find very few do. Ketlands crested eagle is a beautiful design and was copied by Starr, the germans and I think everybody else. The Ketland design at first look all appear the same but on closer inspection has many variations. Some do not have the famous Ketland ridge. To my knowledge Ketland never made a backstrap type eagle. This backstrap crested eagle you posted was also a popular design, quite possibly and most likely was inspired by the Ketland design. Your sword while hard to see in photos does have the fine checked grip which is almost impossible on bone. I would think perhaps mammoth ivory and with the early slotted style hilt would give you a pre 1808 date as the ivory ran out in 1807. Parts were stored, sold and used for some years on these eagle head swords as some are a mix match of parts. With the peen button, slotted hild and ivory grip on yours I think it a safe early sword. 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Near Cambridge UK
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    Thanks both for the helpful information. Very pleased to have confirmed this is an early sword.

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