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Thread: Samuel Harvey Jr. Mark?

  1. #1

    Samuel Harvey Jr. Mark?

    Hello. For a little over two years now, my father and I have been collecting swords. We recently acquired this Indian Princess Pommel sword at auction, and it has easily become one of the most prized pieces in our collection. It appears to be a militia officer’s sword, circa 1800. The guard features a bust of George Washington. The sword was photographed for the book "Civil War Army Swords," by John H. Thillmann, featured on page 548. In the book, Mr. Thillmann described the blade as being most likely a British import. It is marked with the initials “SHR,” according to Thillmann, with a question mark at the end, because he was unsure if the “R” at the end was the correct letter, and if it was, it was an unknown mark. My dad thinks he’s solved the riddle of this mark, but I wanted to post this online and ask the opinion of sword experts that are much more knowledgeable than us. I was skeptical at first, but I can now see what he is saying. He thinks that the “R” is actually a “J,” with a smaller capital “R” etched next to it, rotated 90 degrees to the right in a decorative design. He believes that this stands for “Samuel Harvey Jr.,” the son of Samuel Harvey Sr. of England. Harvey senior was a sword maker and silversmith, who from what I could find in “Sword and Sword Makers of England and Scotland” by Richard Bezdek, worked from 1718-1778, when he died. His son, Samuel Harvey Jr., took over the business in 1778, until he died in 1795. Although his dates are a little earlier than when we thought our sword (at least the blade) was made, these dates roughly fit our suspected timeline. I know that his father used a “Fox” marking when he marked his blades, but I cannot find a marking that his son used when he produced his own blades. Could this be a marking for Samuel Harvey Jr.? Does this resemble any other marking that any of you have encountered before? I have attached numerous photographs, so you can see the marking. Thank you so much for your time! Best - Orin
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Stratford upon Avon UK
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    Hi, from an historical point of view I think it’s most unlikely, I’ve never seen the word ‘junior’ used in that sense in Georgian English , Bezdek was obviously using it just to differentiate between father and son. There are plenty of Harvey stamp examples on the forum to look at, good luck with the sword search.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
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    12,057
    Hi Orin,

    Oh gourd, how the mighty might be fallen. Thilman is quite off the mark. The mark is for Simon Helvig et Filles
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...-filles)-sword

    Thilman has revised his thoughts more than once, so I am glad he put a question mark. My own issues with some publishing such with a question mark is that they would be better off not publishing that at all and saving more than a page Or, if including a genre of sword types in what is meant to be authoritative, at least pick up a few extant books. I had some questions of my own about Helvig, hence my returning to that linked thread. If I seem to be a bit critical of Thilman, it isn't just his books but often others trying to cover everything they encounter and then including assumptions in a new testament. I say that of many authors and a reason I am still hesitant to publish anything.

    Anyway, the sword is not English and the sword furbisher easily identified. One can find much the same swords from Helvig and other sources, so it becomes a matter of how much was actually produced by a given marked blade. The Princess Pommel swords appear in several noted books, so I am baffled that Thilman was stretching to id it. That he does mention it might be English is even more worrisome. I have never picked up one of his books, as they are not of my studies but I would then be even more critical in what I read of his books.

    A list of books referencing the type would include many noted authors such as Peterson, Rankin, Tuite, Flayderman&Mowbray, Furr, Bezdek; I am sure there are others to mention. Usng the name and swords in a search term will list titles. Reference information for Helvig more of a challenge but I study components more than the marks.

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 11-25-2017 at 08:43 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,057
    Another of these counterguards on an eagle pommel sword
    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...lt-c-1825-1850

  5. #5
    Thank you both so much for your time and wisdom! Glen - thank you especially for your list of books. I will look into them all!
    Best,
    Orin

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