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Thread: Not Quite the Bargain I Hoped

  1. #1
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    Not Quite the Bargain I Hoped

    I have had a lot of luck picking up bargains at auctions where the item was incompletely and/or incorrectly described. Thus I was hopeful when I saw this silver-hilted Weaver eagle head pommel sword offered by a smaller auction house and described simply as "Sword 1812 by Wolfe". I was still hopeful as we went into the last minute of bidding with the top bid in the $500 range. Then in the last seconds two smipers posted bids, both in excess of $3500. Oh well, maybe next time.

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    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 10-16-2017 at 11:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    Richard I too find it rarely happens anymore that misidentified swords sell cheap. Had my eye on a "Chinese" sword that was a British coffin hilt, went to a good home though not mine.

  3. #3
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    It would have been a beaut, scabbard fittings too. Could have had one sewn. 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

  4. #4
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    Was the sword marked to Wolfe?

    I feel there is enough awareness that a real free lunch for such a sword is an unlikely bargain these days. mediocre swords are stable and even reducing in price but there are some frenzy bidding items and premium swords that are selling in the four figure ballpark. Images are free

    Cheers

    GC

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Was the sword marked to Wolfe?

    I feel there is enough awareness that a real free lunch for such a sword is an unlikely bargain these days. mediocre swords are stable and even reducing in price but there are some frenzy bidding items and premium swords that are selling in the four figure ballpark. Images are free

    Cheers

    GC
    I don't know for sure, but other than in the listing title nothing is said about Wolfe markings, and none were visible in the photos. Stylistically, this sword is almost certainly by Weaver, and it seems unlikely a silver-mounted Weaver would be marketed by Wolfe.

  6. #6
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    Francis Wolfe Eagle head

    In American silver hilted, Revolutionary and Early Federal swords by Daniel D. Hartzler in the Pennsylvania chapter there is a Philly Eagle silver hilt marked to Francis Wolfe. I also own one that is very similar to the one shown and marked in the same fashion. This is a most excellent book and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in federal period and earlier American made swords.
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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

  7. #7
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    The two Hartzler volumes are on my Christmas list.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fairbanks View Post
    In American silver hilted, Revolutionary and Early Federal swords by Daniel D. Hartzler in the Pennsylvania chapter there is a Philly Eagle silver hilt marked to Francis Wolfe. I also own one that is very similar to the one shown and marked in the same fashion. This is a most excellent book and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in federal period and earlier American made swords.
    Right - I didn't even think of Francis Wolfe. the silver smith; I was thinking of C & JD Wolfe, the retailers. That is apparently what the cataloger was also thinking,

    Here is the full description as it appeared in the catalog: "Fine War of 1812 officer's sword or saber with remnants of blue on blade with gilt designs. Has seamed eagle head pommel with bone or ivory handle. Attributed to C&JD Wolfe of NY. Blade is 30 in, overall 35.5 in long. Has 3 fancy hand wrought solid silver scabbard mounts (missing scabbard)." I suspect the owner of the sword or someone told them that the sword was attributed to Wolfe, probably thinking FrancisWolfe, and the cataloger, who probably wasn't familiar with Francis, thought they were referring to C&JD. The auction house has recently sold another eagle-head pommel sword which was marked "Sold by C & JD Wolfe", so that name was familiar to them.

    Whichever, I still believe this is more in Weaver's style than Francis Wolfe's. Whoever made it, I wish I owned it!
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 10-22-2017 at 06:21 PM.

  9. #9
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    Definitely looks Weaver but he was stamping the blade side of the guard (see the old testament). I wouldn't be very surprised at anything I see these days and I see new (to me) traits all the time when working my files. I am still way behind in condensing my files but it appears I will never be done anyway. Life is much simpler in my just working on just a few variations.

    Cheers

    GC

  10. #10
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    C. and J. D. Wolfe would be after 1819 and I would think a bit late for these types of American eagle heads. 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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