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Thread: Eagle Pommel. Question on Terminology

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    Eagle Pommel. Question on Terminology

    I just bought an early Federal saber with a Ketland eagle pommel and and compressed horn grips. The unusual feature of this sword is the knuckle guard which has an upward-pointed hook rather than the more commonly seen stirup hilt. It's not in quite the condition I would like, but it's not bad. My question is, is there a term of art to describe this style hilt as there is for other hilt styles, e.g. stirup hilt, reverse-P, D-guard, etc.?

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    Most of the swords I have seen with this style hilt have been more ornate, 1820s-era swords, but I am fairly confident this sword is from the first decade of the 19th century and contemporary to the pillow-pommel NCO swords, Peterson #5, which it strongly resembles.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 11-01-2016 at 07:58 PM.

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    First Empire French influence. Stirrup or D with a cherry on top? I dunno ?8^)~

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    Meant to add also that you got a neat sword. Looks intact and should clean up well. There is a Civil War photo in one thread or another that I have posted a few times that has this hilt. I know I have it in files as well (as will be the Ebay pictures of this one).

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    There are a few other examples in my files
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...1U?usp=sharing
    Last edited by Glen C.; 11-01-2016 at 10:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post

    Glen, Thanks, neat photo. Grip appears a bit different, but knuckle bow looks identical. I'll capture your photo to keep with my folder on this sword. Wonder if this was a photographer's prop or whether this officer was really carrying a War of 1812 saber.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 11-01-2016 at 10:30 PM.

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    It looks like an original chubby face Ketland eagle with peen ridge to me so would have to be early. I know of very few eagle head Civil War photos. If they were used as props I would think there would be many of them as with some of the other ferrotype but they are hard to find. Interesting a Ketland and an Osborn both early types with the same guard. The tintype grip looks to be bone or ivory and a tad elongated, possibly a calvary saber? I watched another one of these a while back or perhaps this one go through. Can you photograph it next to a m1790 NCO? Eric

    Glen, those photos are hot.
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 11-02-2016 at 05:14 AM. Reason: More 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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    Eric, if you can find an Osborn with this guard, I would be interested in seeing a picture of such. In many years of archival, I have never seen another Osborn or Bolton with this guard. I know the photo I posted does look Osborn, I believe it is a Ketland. (observe the upper beak differences under magnification)

    Eric and Richard, if you look close, you can see the straps going to the sword belt, so it is more likely than some to have been the individual's sword.

    Richard, if you run through that folder linked, you will see a set of pictures with an orange background that sold by Michael D Long that has the bone or ivory reeded grip. I had encountered a b&g horn example in the past that was not this particular sword you adopted, so there must be more out there. There are also white Ketlands with flatter sides and reeded edges. There is also a fancier first empire guard in the same basic shape but with a more baroque or roccoco theme I'm not sure which drive that on is on). I guess we could call it a gothic or Old English D guard but first empire might best describe it.




    I did scoop the slotted hilt Osborn that was on Ebay last month. A bit rustier but another horn never having b&g.



    Cheers

    Hotspur; a distinctive, while simple guard that may link to a single cutler/furbisher
    Last edited by Glen C.; 11-02-2016 at 07:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    It looks like an original chubby face Ketland eagle with peen ridge to me so would have to be early. I know of very few eagle head Civil War photos. If they were used as props I would think there would be many of them as with some of the other ferrotype but they are hard to find. Interesting a Ketland and an Osborn both early types with the same guard. The tintype grip looks to be bone or ivory and a tad elongated, possibly a calvary saber? I watched another one of these a while back or perhaps this one go through. Can you photograph it next to a m1790 NCO? Eric.
    Will take a photo with a M1790 NCO when the new sword arrives.

    When you speak of an Osborn with the same guard, are you referring to the sword in Glen's photo? It does look a bit like an Osborn pommel, but I'm not sure. I blew it up some more, but still could not see enough detail to make the call.

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    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 11-02-2016 at 07:43 AM.

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    I have studied that photo for a decade or so. In both photoshopping and other enhancements, I have been convinced it is a Ketland and not an Osborn. I had originally "jumped for joy" that it might be an Osborn but believe me, I have spent a long, long time examining the photo and sword characteristics. Simply put in my last post, examine thejaw/beak and you will see the differences. Then move back from the beak and note the rather distinctive feathers behind the beak of Ketlands that is lacking on the Osborns. I have gone over the photo time and again, pixel by pixel. The overall of the jaws from both types quite similar by themselves but side by side different.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I can't say I have seen them all but I challenge any to post or reference as many eagle files as I have amassed over the years.

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    You Gentlemen may be correct but the eye profile certainly looks like an Osborn. If Glen has never seen with his vast array of files an Osborn I guess I would sumize a lighting trick. I also would pass the long grip look off to lighting as well. Hard to tell on these old photos.Never the less very interesting as I have always wrote these hilts off as late but in my efforts to prove them late I would have to say early. I do love this forum and gentle nudges to truth. Excellent thread Richard, you and Glen made me look at these differently. What a nice 1812er Richard. 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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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    Can you photograph it next to a m1790 NCO? Eric
    Eric,

    It's been a while, but better late than never - per your request, here are some photos of my eagle pommel with the 1st Empire-style knuckle bow next to a couple of my M1790 NCO-style sabers. I think there is a quite a bit of family resemblance, e.g. the tapered reeded horn grip, the ferrules, the quillon, and, though with some differences, the general blade shape and configuration.

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    I'm still quite happy with my 1st Empire-hilted eagle head. It actually looks better in person than in photos. The grip is really nice - smooth with none of the scaling you often see with these old pressed horn grips. The blade also looks better, with clearer B&G decoration than evident in the photos. I really like these old horn-gripped swords. I sort of regret I didn't buy the Wolfe example with the twisted knuckle bow we discussed earlier this month, but you can't buy everything (at least not on my budget).

    Dick

    Dick

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    It is a nice addition, the 1790 NCO swords come with different blades. There are length, fuller and blade radious variations, I think depending on British, Solingen or the maker. Your eagle reminded me of these NCO blades although contemporary also. (1790 to 1810). NCO with two fullers that went through bidding recently is perhaps the earlier sword. Very informative on eagle dating. Yours an officers model with the etch and B&G. L. Wells 1790 NCO swords seem to prefer the cherry grips. Perhaps hilted here. 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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    Just a thought on this eagle head style guard. Is it perhaps a progression of the french le Page style made by France and Solingen in the first decade of 19th. Perhaps by Solingen makers after French occupation. Just a thought not a statement. 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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    What was the question again? Similar at times but quite different from any LePage influences. The overall of both reflecting first Empire French styling.

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    Something I have meant to add to many eagle (and swords in general) discussions is the fallacy of the undistributed middle.
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/undismid.html

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    What if, is the essence of discovery!

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Something I have meant to add to many eagle (and swords in general) discussions is the fallacy of the undistributed middle.
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/undismid.html
    Something I have meant to add to many eagle (and swords in general) discussions is the fallacy of the undistributed middle.
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/undismid.html

    There is no mountain climbed, no riddle solved, no mystery uncovered with out, supposition, a dream or someone asking "What if". 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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    Ok but along your train of thought

    Some Ketlands have first empire influences
    Some LePage have first empire influences
    All swords with first empire influences must begin with LePage

    The sword above with a horn grip almost certainly British work. Although it has a French inluence, there is no direct similarity to the Le Page knuckle bows. One ending in a distinct spike, the other not. I have never seen that distinct knuckle bow on any other eagle form. I am speaking of that specific casting. One can find some very similar to what occasionally appear as LePage like guards, while not having LePage birds.

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    French Solingen influence

    All Ketlands are not Ketlands as all le Page are not le Page. I myself have never seen a true le Page but none the less call them le Page or Ketlands. By your way of thinking my Starr eagle head must be Ketland and not just a way of grouping. I am not convinced all 1790 NCOs are British and while horn grips do indicate British manufacturers I do not believe it exclusive as those pesky Germans were on top of everything. If blades were exported, why not knucke bows or hilts and pommels? My quest is better dating. If they come from French influence in Solingen 1800 to 1805 and if that was provable better dating of this style could be gained. The band certainly fits a German styling and as for the dip or notch in the knuckle bow it is not far from the French style below I recently bought that I desperately wanted and paid to much for. Regards 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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    Eric,

    That is certainly an interesting LePage-style saber! What is the grip? faceted metal? Can't really tell from the photo, but it almost looks like the grip on the Prahl brass-hilted Philadelphia sabers. The blade is a bit unusual for a Le Page, most all of which have the "Honour and My Country" set of decorative motifs. This blade looks more like what I'd expect to see on the so-called M1790 NCO swords. Finally, and maybe most interesting, the knot. I wonder if it is contemporaneous to the saber? I really don't know knots, but I thought this style was a bit later than the Le Page swords. It looks, however, like it was made for this sword. It certainly would seem to offer a utilitarian reason for the knotch on the top of the knuckle guard beyond just appearance. I think this may be one of the later Le Page-style swords, so maybe it did overlap with the use of this style knot. If not too much trouble, could you post a close-up of the hilt?

    Dick

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    We speak of genre generally to categorize a type. I do refer to your Starr as similar to the Ketland family while absolutely denying that the sword guard you now show above bears any but a very passing resemblence to the object in discussion.

    German blades on pressed horn grips not an unusual occurence, as England was sourcing German blades. My own straight blade example an example of that but what does that have to do with the Le Page inluencing the casting example in this thread? Show me a Le Page type (or any other for that matter) with that spiked casting and you would have more than just speculation to discuss/debate.

    If your quest truly is dating, I think we have already determined that ballpark.

    "The band certainly fits a German styling"
    What band is that?

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    FWIW, there are Berger marked Ketland types so far from denying crossover, what I look for is hard data and not absolutes by any measure of my own understandings.

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    Ah, I have struggled understanding your reasoning with chastisement sounding post. Sometime you are quite offensive with your responce, but after all this time I have had an epiphany. You think like an engineer or Phd. Your thought process is in the box and can only analyze data you are given. Social skills are more difficult. Unfortunately for me though quite successful I am not very educated. I do not only look out side the box, I live out side. I have many close friends who are engineers and Phd.s and will endeavour to phrase my questions or comments in such a way to be more palatable to your thought process. If I understand your fallacy files you are saying just because a buggy wheel and a wagon wheel are similar and both are descendents of the ox cart and chariot wheels they are not necessarily related or provable one came first as they are completely different. The buggy wheel being spoked and load solid. The wagon wheel being spoked but stress load design that actually gains strength with more weight. Two completely different designs that look very similar. I believe it is very possible the guard above is a direct descendent of the first empire, le Page or French style which ever term you prefer. The forward part and inward loop in back unquestionably the French influence. The quillion looks like it was added and does not fit the French design being similar to the reverse "P" quillions used by British and Solingen. The sharp spike in the back being neither smooth nor flowing has a rigid sharp look typical of German designs. Unquestionably a mixture of styles. The French controlled Solingen from 1800 to 1805 which would account for the French influence. If that is the case then these swords would be later and not contemporary with the first French le Page style swords although the style could have carried on. The smooth domed band or ferrule if you prefer typical of German production line mentality. Simple, attractive, strong and easy to make. Definitely used by Solingen more than by British with the Americans prefering the flat bands or ferrules. Regards Eric
    What date have you determined for this hilt style?
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 02-25-2017 at 10:45 PM. Reason: Add question
    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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    Eric, you brought up Le Page when you could simply have pursued French influences overall. The rounded curves of the other guards in stark contrast to the object casting in question. Undoubtedly French influenced, as posted in my first reply to this thread. You will find others in the Mowbary 1st edition and in the Medicus book. Not to forget my picture files.

    In your first post of this sidebar you ask

    "Is it perhaps a progression of the french le Page style made by France and Solingen in the first decade of 19th.?"

    I have contended that no, it is simply a parallel (and quite singular) evolution of the same period. I disagree with your insistence of direct decendance but we would no doubt go to the same lengths regarding five ball hilts, slotted hilts; any number of other traits that can be speculated about without end.

    So just as your thought was just that, I honestly don't understand how vehemetly you now stand behind countering some fairly simple logic. I don't see that you can really have it both ways except to allow the absense of absolutes. That is very much my stance while wanting to know who cast the guard? If it were cast in Germany, why is it only on these eagles? Who dunnit is the question in my mind, not the simplicity of first empire influences. You go on about how similar the two are, where I see them as wholly different.

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    duplicate,delete
    Last edited by Glen C.; 02-26-2017 at 08:47 AM.

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    In le Page style is the key, as with "a Ketland type pommel". There are at least 5 different distinct "Ketland style eagles" and possibly 7 or 8. For me when referring to le Page style is more distinct than First Empire or French style in that it invokes not just the guard but eagle pommel also albeit Ketland style eagle verses le Page angry eagle. As in for American market. Because there has been no progression in defining the Ketland style I believe we must look to the Germans for answers. They after all could copy and mass produce very quickly and in great detail.You can not determine who without establishing where. The hilt in question is undoubtedly a mixture of styles, German quillion on French knuckle bow. Even the sharp distinct rear loop is consistent with German styling. Speculation without end that the earth is round brought the Portuguese man in the Spanish Caravells to our shores. Only these swords is the easy answer, market, no one much wanted to buy them as they are a tad ugly mixing styles. Regards Eric

    Actually Mr. Colon rode in the Santa Maria which was a carrack and the Nina and Pinta Caravells.
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 02-26-2017 at 10:52 AM. Reason: spelling and extra 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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