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Thread: More USMC M1859 Questions

  1. #1
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    More USMC M1859 Questions

    I have found seven variations of the Horstmann name stamped or etched on pre-WWI USMC sergeants swords, i.e.:

    Type One: The name “HORSTMANN/& SONS” stamped on the reverse ricasso and “PHILADELPHIA” on the obverse. This mark is only found on early versions with plain, unetched blades. This marking does not appear on blades with the Weyersberg king’s head marking.

    Name:  Horstmann Mark  Type 1 1 comp.jpg
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    Type Two: The name “HORSTMANN/& SONS/PHILADELPHIA” stamped on the obverse ricasso and the Weyersburg king’s head on the reverse. This mark is also only found on plain, unetched blades.

    Name:  Horstmann Mark Type 2 1 comp.jpg
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    Type Three: the name “W. H./Horstman/& Sons/PHILADELPHIA” etched in italics on the base of the obverse side of the blade. The Weyersberg stamped king’s head mark is also usually present.

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    Type Four: The name “W. H. HORSTMANN/& SONS/PHILADELPHIA” is etched in plain block letters within a square box with a strong undecorated lines above and below on the obverse base of the blade. The Weyersburg king’s head mark is usually present on the obverse or reverse ricasso.

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    Type Five: As above, but the lines above and below the name are decorated with a filigree design with triangular points. The Weyersburg King’s head is also usually present.

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    Type Six: The name “W. H./HORSTMANN/& SONS/PHILADELPHIA” etched on the obverse base of the blade within a square box with fancy corners. The Weyersburg head is often present.

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    Type Seven: The name “W.H. HORSTMANN/& SONS/PHILADELPHIA” is etched at the base of the obverse side within a rectangular panel with fancy corners. The top and bottom lines are arched in opposite directions to form an ovoid design. The Weyersburg King’s head is frequently found stamped on the ricasso.

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    I suspect there may be other variations out there. Other Horstmann swords of the era Include markings similar to type 5 above, but in four lines, i.e. ‘W. H./HORSTMANN/& SONS/PHILADELPHIA”. There is also a Horstmann marking with the words all in three arches. It is quite possible that some Marine sergeants' swords exist with these and/or other markings. If any Forum members have or know of any such, I’d appreciate hearing about them.

    I have been unable to establish a chronology of when these different variations were used. The stamped vice etched designs are obviously the older, with the type one probably being from the April 1859 contract. The etched designs all appear, although not always, on blades with the Weyersburg king’s head mark. This would seem to indicate a date before or shortly after 1883 when Weyersburg merged with Kirschbaum, another prominent Solingen cutler, to form the firm WKC which still exists. This is a bit disconcerting because Horstmann continued to receive contracts to supply Sergeant’s swords to the Marines long after 1883. You would expect to see some with later style logos, but I have not done so. As noted in an earlier thread, Ridabock also received a contract to produce Sergeants’ swords, but I have seen none with its name either. Where are all these post-1883 swords?

    As always, I'd appreciate any input. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Sorry about the duplicate post. I have no idea what happened. I mistakenly posted the wrong photo for Marking Type 5 in my original post, so I tried to edit it to replace the incorrect photo with the right one. However when I tried to upload the edited post, the system treated it as a new thread. When I then clicked on the "Edit Post" icon for the new thread, I got a window for a new post. Rather than take a chance on further complicating things, I decided to leave well enough alone.

  3. #3
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    Threads merged for clarity.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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