Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Horstmann M1832 Foot Artillery Sword

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718

    Horstmann M1832 Foot Artillery Sword

    I just bought a Horstmann M1832 Foot Artillery Sword. My standard rule is not to buy items with significant condition issues. I bent it a bit with this purchase because I have been looking for a Horstmann M1832 without success for some time - they seem rather scarce- and the price for this one was fairly reasonable. Overall the condition isn't bad, but some dolt apparently wanted to try to clean it up and buffed about a 3-4"section of one side of the blade bright; the remainder of the blade still has a dark patina. Obviously the effect isn't very attractive. I suppose I could continue the job and polish the whole sword bright, but that certainly goes against the grain. Any one know of a good way to re-darken the polished section?

    Name:  Horstmann SS 1.jpg
Views: 277
Size:  79.9 KBName:  Horstmann SS 2 comp.jpg
Views: 288
Size:  22.8 KBName:  Horstmann SS 3.jpg
Views: 261
Size:  75.4 KB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,599
    Richard,

    There is a way to re-darken the blade. I once bought a very cheap sword with a similar problem. Some "Bubba" had wire ground 3/4 of the reverse of the blade bright then realized his mistake and quit. I was able to get some of the grind marks out with a metal eraser to make the grinding it less obvious. I was then able to use some cold blue to darken the blade to a thin shade that approximated the front of the blade. This bluing is reversible if it ever becomes offensive so no lasting damage was done. It is a trial and error process to re-darken the blade but my sword now looks better.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by George Wheeler View Post
    Richard,

    There is a way to re-darken the blade. I once bought a very cheap sword with a similar problem. Some "Bubba" had wire ground 3/4 of the reverse of the blade bright then realized his mistake and quit. I was able to get some of the grind marks out with a metal eraser to make the grinding it less obvious. I was then able to use some cold blue to darken the blade to a thin shade that approximated the front of the blade. This bluing is reversible if it ever becomes offensive so no lasting damage was done. It is a trial and error process to re-darken the blade but my sword now looks better.
    Thanks George, I'll try it. Not sure how closely i can get the colors to match, but I'm sure an un-matched dark color will look better than the current silver-black contrast.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,076
    Richard, Both cold bluing and cold browning is available and perhaps by coating and buffing with 0000 steel wool and using both you can come up with a matching darkness. 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    Richard, Both cold bluing and cold browning is available and perhaps by coating and buffing with 0000 steel wool and using both you can come up with a matching darkness. Eric
    Thanks Eric. I think you make a good point - using both may well help achieve a color closer to the grey-black of the rest of the blade than either by itself. I guess we will see.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,076
    George, are you refering to a rust eraser like the one called Super Eraser. I bought a very special federal period sword recently and it must have been rusty because someone took a grinder and wire wheel to it. The blade is horrid but hilt is absolutely gorgeous, untouched with many years of patina. I really dread this one as it will require many man hours but Prahl's are a bit hard to come by. I do not want to start until I believe I am confident of success. I have repaired and cleaned many relic swords but delt with rust primarily and small spots of grinding or wire wheel. I could use some expert advice from you and 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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    Posts
    1,599
    Eric,

    I think that is what it is called but I no longer have the box. It looks rather like a standard rectangular eraser but it is super abrasive. You have to use it carefully and check often what is happening. It will basically remove rust but will also work on grind marks. For instance if the grinder was used to cross grind the blade (i.e. leaving grind marks from edge to edge) one can use the eraser to mitigate those markings by rubbing parallel to the blade edges. Be careful! This is not for the faint of heart as it will also remove any etching, bluing, gilt, etc. Do not used it on the blued or patina on your blade... only the ground tip.

    Looking at the picture, I don't think you need to do any surface prep except perhaps 0000 fine steel wool over all of the blade. Then use pipe cleaner to remove any oil or gunk problems before using the cold blue. Put the blue on the bright tip and follow directions to let it set then continue with applications until the finish is a bit darker than the rest of the blade. Then stop the process with a bit of oil and the 0000 fine steel wool to blend it in. This will make the new finish thinner and a shade lighter so you can blend the newly blued part with the existing patina. It is a trial and error process but it is reversible if you screw up. Cold blue also comes in browning color so both are done the same way.

    Good luck. George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,076
    Thank you George, this blade has no blue or etching but alas I am still faint of heart as it is a matching model to one I now own with a type 2 pommel. Buffing a ground blade leaves waves and I want to minimize the grind marks. 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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    I just bought another German-made variant M1832 Foot Artillery sword. It is a Weyersberg product with the king's head mark, probably made for Horstmann. These are somewhat scarce swords, so I was a bit surprised to see two of them come on the market within two months. This one varies somewhat in small details from the one I bought in November, e.g. the Weyersberg logo, the stippling on the cross guard, etc. I am not aware of these being reproduced, but I am a bit concerned about this sword, if for no other reason than no one else seemed to have any interest in it. The patina also looks a bit unusual. What do you all think - does it look okay to you?

    Name:  Weyersberg 3 comp.jpg
Views: 164
Size:  49.7 KBName:  Weyersberg 1 comp.jpg
Views: 161
Size:  20.8 KBName:  Weyersberg 7 comp.jpg
Views: 165
Size:  26.0 KBName:  Weyersberg 4.jpg
Views: 158
Size:  35.3 KBName:  Weyersberg 8 comp.jpg
Views: 170
Size:  22.3 KB
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 12-28-2016 at 10:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,076
    My best guess is no one knew what it was. I have not paid a lot of attention to any of the French infantry models sadly. Beautiful and almost carbon copy of the other one. Does the first sword have Horstmann markings? I just picked up a couple of these gladus style swords in my travels but both are heavy short back sword blades. Some one on the net said they are a 1855 British infantry pattern but to me look like a composite of some sort. Your two both look legit to me. Nice finds. 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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Horstmann was never bashful in marking goods to them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    My best guess is no one knew what it was.
    Eric,

    - I think you are right. The more I examine the photos and compare them with my other sword, the more comfortable I am with its authenticity. It is certainly not a common, well-known sword, but you would have thought at least a couple people would be familiar enough with Thillmann to recognize this as a rare variety. Apparently not, however, because as closing time approached there was only one bidder who had put in a minimum bid, so when I put in my bid, I won the lot for just the minimum plus $5. I was really surprised to get it so cheaply - was expecting a lot of last minute snipes to drive the price much higher. One contributory factor may have been the timing - the sale closed yesterday evening; just how many people are closely following sword sales Xmas week?

    - As for Horstmann markings, I don't see any in the pictures but I will have to wait until I get the sword in hand for close examination to be sure. The Horstmann markings on Thillmann's example are very weakly struck and are partially worn away. Even if there are none visible, I'm fairly confident this is a Horstmann piece. Glen is right that Horstmann was hardly shy about putting his name on things, but I have seen a lot of examples of Horstmann swords either unmarked or marked with other merchants' names, especially M1860 S&F swords. Many Horstmann M1860s had distinctive features by which they could be recognized, e.g. the flat spring locking mechanism rather than the spring and ball mechanism, the distinctive design on the ferrules, etc. Jason Kaplan has a M1860 S&F with the Weyersberg king's head and the name "Miller & Co/New York" on the ricasso which, to my eyes at least, is clearly a Horstmann product. (http://www.jjmilitaryantiques.com/Ho...%20M1860%20Sta)

    - I really don't need two examples of this sword, but at the price I couldn't resist. I don't know how many were made, but you don't see many. Even Thillmann had to settle for using pictures of Kevin Hoffmann's (Civil War Preservations) example which has holes drilled in the ends of the cross bar. Unfortunately rarity does not necessarily mean value. I doubt I'll get rich selling these because they are too obscure for there to be much demand.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Sure, I have recently seen an obviously Horstmann type VI eagle pommel clearly marked to Lambert of Philadelphia but it is in regard to completely unmarked swords that always makes me wonder. I have a couple of militia swords as well unmarked that are likely Horstmann, so I can understand that.

    As other countries also used the various gladius patterns I tend to be careful in describing unmarked examples of them.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; it is also possible sterile swords were more common during war years

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    I was just outbid on yet another Horstmann M1832 Foot Artillery sword with a Weyersberg blade. This is the third example of this sword to sell on our favorite site since November. I find this rather amazing since I have been looking for an example to buy for some years, now three in two months! I wondered if this were just an odd coincidence or if someone was disposing of a hoard of this model, or, worst case, someone was making quality repros. I contacted each of the sellers to see if there was a common source, and found there was not. The first seller obtained his from an old Tennessee estate (he suggested it was probably Confederate-used; I was highly skeptical); the second had obtained his at a gun show over five years ago; the third obtained his from an estate in upstate New York. Based on this, I would guess the three coming on the market at almost the same time was just coincidence. It still raises the question of just how scarce these swords are. Do any of you Forum members have examples? Simon, have you run across these Horstmann/Weyersberg M1832 Foot Artillery swords while doing research for your “American Swords” web site?

    I really regret I missed this last example even though it sold for more than double what I paid for the others. Not only was it in the best condition of the three, but it also came with a scabbard. I was a bit dubious about the scabbard. The brass mounts were glued on, whereas the examples I had seen previously used a staple similar to that used with the French models. The top mount had also been reversed, and the leather didn’t look quite right, In further researching this, however, I found two photos of Horstmann M1832s, one in the Medicus book and the other in Don Furr’s book, with the same type scabbard mounts. The seller also advised me the top mount was rather lose and could probably be easily be taken off and put back on in the right position.

    Name:  Weyersberg Rohm 6 Comp.jpg
Views: 128
Size:  93.2 KBName:  Weyersberg Rohm 4 comp.jpg
Views: 122
Size:  37.9 KB

    Babelon’s “Horstmanns: The Enterprise of Military Equipage” also has a picture of the M1832 on page 140. (The top mount of this examples is fastened by four rivets around the frog knob.) What I had never really notice before, however is that it also shows in the background the page from the Widmann/Horstmann 1851 pattern book with the drawing for this sword. Norm Flaydermann owned this book which has detailed line drawings of a number of the swords produced by Horstmann. Unfortunately I can’t really get a good copy of the M1832 page, but here is the drawing for the Marine Sergeant’s sword from the same book which is done in the same style.

    Name:  Hosrstmann 1851 Drawing Sgts Sword comp.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  80.7 KB

    I had thought Horstmann had probably made these swords in the 1860s to meet CW demands. However seeing that it is in the 1851 pattern book, it seems likely at least some were made in the 1850s or possibly even in the 1840s or earlier. If so, maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss the first seller’s comment on possible CSA use. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it is at least possible.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 01-10-2017 at 07:51 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Another thing to keep in mind is that the Odd Fellows loved these and had been regular Ames customers for them. As these you are coming across are (so far) unmarked to Horstmann and uninspected, there isn't reason I can see that the German made examples might not have been available for fraternal use (even fairly late).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Another thing to keep in mind is that the Odd Fellows loved these and had been regular Ames customers for them. As these you are coming across are (so far) unmarked to Horstmann and uninspected, there isn't reason I can see that the German made examples might not have been available for fraternal use (even fairly late).
    Very few Horstmann swords of any model were ever inspector marked. The Horstmann address on the M1832s seemed to have been very lightly struck to begin with and would have been easily worn/polished away. Here is the Thillmann example, which is about as good as I have seen, and it is hardly there:

    Name:  Horstmann CWP 2.JPG
Views: 114
Size:  90.6 KB

    You have a good point that these could have been sold to fraternal groups. I notice, however, that the Ames M1832-types sold to fraternal groups seem to have etched blades, and I would suspect the same would apply to Horstmann-made examples. I therefore think it more likely these were sold to militia units, although the Federal government did buy some - somehat over a thousand IIRC.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    The few book examples are etched, yes but the Odd Fellows hardly the only group out there and consider group buys over the decades of entirely plain Tyler swords with no etching whatsoever. My books are packed but note the mention of the Ames examples following pretty much after the introduction of the model and then expansion of the overall demographic of fraternal groups after the war. Then the bulls-eye glaives sold with no etching. Why bother with the bullseye except to stem the flow of crossover between military goods and fraternal use. I'm pretty sure the Hamilton, Marino & Kaplan fraternal book shows unetched tang through peened unetched fish scale no bullseye examples.

    My point is that there is still no proof the unmarked examples were soley imported by Horstmann and I find it unlikely they were doing the foundry work in house. It has been agreed by many that the widman and Horstmann marked Marines eagles were entirely German manufacture and despite Horstmanns ability and evidence that they did assemble some swords, there were already complete swords being marked by Widmann in the 1830s-40s.

    On my mental page the unmarked swords are listed as Wyersburg swords with a Horstmann association rather than a Horstmann sword with a Wyersburg association.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; still looking for that first ordnance record showing the Ames light cavalry sword an m1860 (or any of the ACW contracts listing them as such (same thing really, after all)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    I really can’t make an argument one way or the other on whether these swords were used by fraternal groups. I know virtually nothing about lodge and other fraternal group swords – I really should get Jason Kaplan’s book and educate myself on the topic. One thing on which I have no doubt is that if anyone approached Horstmann to buy a sword of whichever design for whatever purpose, they would not have been refused.

    As to whether Horstmann imported the whole sword from Weyersberg or just the blade, in the absence of contemporary company records, I doubt the matter can be definitively resolved. Thillmann has this to say: “Because of the crude assembly of the hilt, it is believed that the brass sword hilt was probably cast by Horstmann from an Ames copied mold.” I tend to agree with him that the hilt is not good enough to be a Weyersberg product. If the hilt was indeed a Horstmann-cast item, it is likely all the swords with this hilt were Horstmann products.

    There is another non-Ames M1832 Foot Artillery sword usually attributed to Horstmann (although possibly by another importer/assembler such as HS&G) for which the workmanship argument is even stronger. The hilt on these swords is a much closer copy of the Ames design with the droop-wing federal eagle on both sides of the pommel, but with no rivets through the grip. The casting and chasing of the design is really quite good, but it was cast in halves, and the seam on the side where the two halves were braised together is very poorly done. The seam was just polished down leaving no feathers along the seam. Most examples have Weyersberg blades with the king’s head mark on one ricasso and no other markings. My example shown below has no king's head, but is stamped “U.S.”. I have not seen another example so stamped. Thillmann had this to say on the possibility that Weyersberg made the complete sword: “The firm would never have made a sword with such a poorly constructed hilt. They could easily have made the hilt casting, but never would they have joined the halves so poorly. This then leads to the conclusion that the sword parts, while well made, were poorly assembled by an American firm.”

    Here are some photos of my example.

    Name:  Horstman Eagle RES 1 comp.jpg
Views: 95
Size:  14.7 KBName:  Horstman Eagle RES 2 comp.jpg
Views: 112
Size:  24.8 KBName:  Horstman Eagle RES 5 comp.jpg
Views: 102
Size:  38.1 KB

    Here are some photos of the CW Preservations example. It is unmarked except for the Weyersberg king’s head. Note it has a leather scabbard marked “NAVY YARD/N.Y./1861” within an oval. These scabbards were made by the Navy to fit M1832 Artillery swords they had in stock at the beginning of the war. It is too short to accommodate the M1841 cutlass blade. The Navy issued a lot of M1832 Artillery swords to its ships during the CW (See McAulay, “Civil War Small Arms of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps”). It is also marked with the large “G.G.” inspector mark used by Cdr Guart Gansevoort who was Chief of Ordinance at the NY Navy Yard from 1861-1863. He also used such a mark during the inventory/inspection of all Navy small arms at the conclusion of the war.

    Name:  Horstman Eagle CWP 2.JPG
Views: 108
Size:  31.2 KBName:  Horstman Eagle CWP 3.JPG
Views: 98
Size:  76.6 KBName:  Horstman Eagle CWP 4 comp.jpg
Views: 98
Size:  44.7 KB
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 01-11-2017 at 02:57 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,076
    One of the most interesting things about the salvaged City Class Ironclad the USS Cairo in Vicksburg was the number of m1832 infantry swords on board. I guess they made a great cutlass? 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

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schenk View Post
    Babelon’s “Horstmanns: The Enterprise of Military Equipage” also has a picture of the M1832 on page 140. (The top mount of this examples is fastened by four rivets around the frog knob.) What I had never really notice before, however is that it also shows in the background the page from the Widmann/Horstmann 1851 pattern book with the drawing for this sword. Norm Flaydermann owned this book which has detailed line drawings of a number of the swords produced by Horstmann. Unfortunately I can’t really get a good copy of the M1832 page, but here is the drawing for the Marine Sergeant’s sword from the same book which is done in the same style.

    Name:  Hosrstmann 1851 Drawing Sgts Sword comp.jpg
Views: 143
Size:  80.7 KB
    Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the Widmann/Horstman Pattern Book drawing of the M1832 foot artillery sword?

    Actually, it would be great to get copies of the complete set of drawings. Good photos of the drawings of Marine swords have been published in Stan Smullen's articles in "Man at Arms" and elsewhere, and rather poor copies of a number of others are in Bazelon's Horstmann history, but I've not seen anywhere Norm Fleydermann may have published the whole set.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,950
    Slightly off topic but noteworthy is Legendary Arms Inc selling a variety of reproductions of this sword (Ames marked) and the Ames 1841 cutlass. From the small pics offered, they actually look kinfd of convincine. I think you had posted up a "fake here within the past year.

    I do see the marked example posted also has unit or rack numbers and that is more convincing regarding military use. I will hopefully be unpacked by the end of the month and refresh myself with a less assertive manner. I am often wromg but once in awhile I am right.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    718
    These Weyersberg (Horstmann?) M1832 foot artillery swords just keep coming out of the woodwork. Just got another one, this one with a scabbard, at a very reasonable price. Maybe these are not quite as scarce as Thillmann thought.

    Name:  Horstmann Weyersberg RES 1 comp.jpg
Views: 45
Size:  53.7 KB

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •