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Thread: Please help me date and learn about this sword

  1. #1

    Please help me date and learn about this sword

    I believe this is a 1856 pattern mid midshipman's dirk but a post 1891 model. Other than that I don't really know much about it. If there is anything that you might be able to shed light on (or information I can give you to help you do this) please let me know.

    So far the only real information I have learned about it has been from https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...dating&f=false

    Images: http://imgur.com/a/elLxP

  2. #2
    Forgot to say- it has not never been sharpened so the edge is entirely dull, don't know if this helps.

  3. #3
    Hi Mike,

    I have a fairly identical piece to the one in your picture, and I'm fairly sure it's an M1879. If I'm wrong, I stand corrected and am sorry for the inconvenience.

    It's a nice one.
    Ron Goos

  4. #4
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    Were plastic grips used on these? If so, that might help narrow down the possible age. The 1891 Uniform Regulations say "white fish skin". I don't know if/when this changed to allow plastic grips.

    (If plastic grips weren't used, then this would a replica.)
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen View Post
    Were plastic grips used on these?
    What makes you say plastic? The grip looks fine to me.
    The journey not the destination

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy C View Post
    What makes you say plastic? The grip looks fine to me.
    Looks like rayskin-textured plastic to me. Compare with the plastic grip shown here: http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...eal-or-Replica

    (There are two common replicas of the this dirk, both Indian. Weapon Edge and Universal Swords. The WE uses a finer-textured grip. I haven't seen the Universal up close, and can't find a good photo (Kult of Athena has photos, but with bad lighting).)
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  7. #7
    Thanks for all the replies

    I don't know enough about swords to say it's not a replica but as far as I can see it is not either of the two replicas you have mentioned the engraving starts too high up on the blade on the "badge" side (RH) to be the Universal swords replica (the blank patch on them seems to go down to the bottom of the "badge". And I don't think it is the Weapon Edge replica as the wire in the grip of the Weapon Edge one is much less tightly coiled .
    But I may well be wrong, would there be any (cost free) way of finding out if it was real/fake?

  8. #8
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    You can try a red hot pin on the grip. Most (but not all plastics will melt. If the grip is genuine there will be no effect. Not foolproof but a good place to start.
    The journey not the destination

  9. #9
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    Other than finding out whether plastic grips and unsharpened blades were ever used on real ones, I don't know. These are typical for Indian-made replicas (Windlass was/is making an expensive one with a real skin grip, but the cheaper replicas use plastic grips). The etching is in similar style to Indian replicas; some (real) dirks have a quite visibly different style of etching (I'd say much better quality). If I was buying it, I'd pay probable-replica money for it, not real-thing money.

    Military swords are often easy when it comes to telling real from replica, from the thickness of the blade, but this might not be true for these dirks. This dirk also looks somewhat old, and the current crop of replicas probably wouldn't match it even if it's a replica.

    The best photos of the Universal I've found: https://www.thehemashop.com/british-...rk-midshipmans
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

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