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Thread: C.1800 Horseman's Saber?

  1. #1
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    C.1800 Horseman's Saber?

    I just bought what I believe is a early Federal -period, c.1800, horseman’s saber with a brass half-basket stirrup hilt. I presume it is either a German or British import, but I’m not sure which. If anyone has any further thoughts on what this might be and where it was made, I’d appreciate hearing them. I did a quick on-line search and didn’t find any comparables. Thanks.

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  2. #2
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    I'm not sure why it is felt the need to list some as imports to the US when there are other European possibilities. Rather than concentrating solely on US references, I would be looking at other possibilities. Say of Bavaria, Hungary, Austria; the possibilities, while not endless, are certainly more expansive than just listing it as a US import with no provenance. Hit Old Swords, that is what I would begin with. The Blankwaffen boards as well. I'll poke around myself, starting with the Medicus book.

    On another note, not of Jan's sales, there is an unmarked Widmann on the bay.

    Cheers

    GC

  3. #3
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    For instance

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    http://www.deutsches-blankwaffenforu...pic.php?id=959
    The type of saber purchased in Bavaria in 1822 was carried on by the transformation of the two Hussars into Dragoon regiments.
    Seen in the University Museum of Cultural History in the Margrave Landgrafenschloss.

    Husarensäbel für Mannschaften um 1822-45

    Might be Italian as well but I haven't gone there yet.

    A decent but sparse flash card deck id page
    http://www.deutsches-blankwaffenforu...rie/index.html

    Happy hunting
    GC

  4. #4
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    1806 infantry ^^^^^
    If we go back to the Bavarian 1788 heavy cavalry palasch and "Rumford" sabre, we see the trend continuing for decades. The above from
    http://www.antikportal24.de/cms/?Mus...useum:Sammlung



    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 03-06-2018 at 02:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    A sabre I dreamed to own for some months and went to a different home. No branches but "tasty"

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    I watched that cutey for months four years ago. Listed a couple/three times and finally disappeared. I still watch for it, as iirc it did not sell on ebay. I have no idea how to attribute this one but wanted it badly. As always, over budget and pining over the unmarked late Ames screamer sabre that will end today, at a screaming deal.

    Cheers
    GC

  6. #6
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    Thanks Glen. Although not exactly the same, there is certainly a close resemblance between my sword and the M1788 cavalry, and even more so, the M1813 cavalry saber.

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    My new sword came out of the late Dick Bezdek’s collection and was listed as an imported dragoon saber. My question now is whether it is a German cavalry sword made for Bavaria or other German state, of whether it was a sword of German pattern made for export to America. I have been told that enlisted swords made for European use could be identified as such because they would have government inspection/acceptance marks and/or unit control numbers stamped on the hilts and/or blades, whereas those sent to the US would be unmarked. Is this true? I know it applies to later German enlisted swords, but does it apply to swords made in the first couple decades of the 19th century? Perhaps one of our German sword experts could comment.

  7. #7
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    Why single out the US as the only possible recipient? I don't attribute some unmarked swords I own as specifically intended for the US. An exception is eagle pommel swords and a few others. Generic forms that turn up unmarked are one of life's guesses.

    One thing I find true is find one and more are bound to surface.

    Heck, I could write that my 1750ish Wundes sabre was meant for the US except for where the chain of ownership was better known and the sword confirmed to be likely for Swedish use, simply due to profiling.

    There are simply too many bring back possibilities for swords surfacing in American collections. It is cool that you came to adopt an example once in Bezdek's study but if he had no solid information, I personally view it as a large question mark and can show some lineage/background. It is not like we have a half dozen known to be imports bound for the US.

    An example of "hey, guess what? The unmarked ones may well have been meant for north America, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, on and on. My Bavarian/Saxon type marked to Horstmann mirrors the hilts on many unmarked sabres and pallasch. Is my other dove head sabre absolutely an import for the US? German made? mebbe..shrug
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    I guess I'd rather live with the unanswered questions than list such as more than "in the style of". Heck, my unmarked wristbreaker could have been made as late as the 20th century, so I list it as "of the type" rather than assign a specific date. Probably Prussian made and of the style of the m1840 wristbreakers.

    We just need to find some more brass counterparts for your sabre.

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 03-07-2018 at 06:54 PM.

  8. #8
    I would check out Spanish swords from the late 1700s to early 1800s. I used to have one that was a twin to the OP's, but the blade had the usual "No Me Saques" etc... etched in the wide fuller.

    --ElJay

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by E.B. Erickson View Post
    I would check out Spanish swords from the late 1700s to early 1800s. I used to have one that was a twin to the OP's, but the blade had the usual "No Me Saques" etc... etched in the wide fuller.

    --ElJay
    Thanks ElJay. Your post reminded me where I had seen this style before, in a 2015 post on this Forum (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?107804-Second-sword-needing-Identification}. The consensus seems to be these were made in Solingen for the Spanish, mainly Spanish-American, market in the late 18th, early 19th century, and that they were copied from the Bavarian M1788, but with lighter brass hilts. Here is one from Dimetry's collection which was posted in the cited thread:

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    There seems to be a number of this model with the motto found in the US. Is there any evidence to suggest this model without the motto was made for the non-Spanish speaking market and exported to the US? Of course I would like the answer to be "Yes" because I collect US, not Mexican, swords, but wishing it to be true doesn't make it so.

  10. #10
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    I believe you must take into account the early American desire to own and collect edged weapons and many other militaria.
    Sea containers full of items were imported from Europe in the 20th century. Bannerman for one imported tons literally.
    No longer can you assume that the location of a sword found has any ties to it. Now with internet and online auctions these things move world wide.

    Where and when was Bezdeks collection liquidated? He left us a marvelous collection of reference books.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    Where and when was Bezdeks collection liquidated? He left us a marvelous collection of reference books.
    Jan Zejac up in Chicago has been helping Dick's wife Jan to sell Richard's swords for the last few months, primarily on eBay but also through private sales to various interested collectors. I've picked up a few nice items from the sale, but this one was a bit of a shot in the dark. I really didn't recognize this pattern, but thought it was nice looking so I put in a low bid on it on a lark, and since apparently no one else was interested, I won it. If, as seems likely, it is not a US-used item, it really doesn't fit into my collection, but it looks nice and didn't cost much, so I'm not complaining.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 03-08-2018 at 06:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    The Starr went for a song and a couple left are going to be a real bargain.

    Cheers

    GC

  13. #13
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    Hi,

    Not a Spanish pattern to speak of, and very rarely seen here in the mainland, but I assume that during independence wars both the rebellious and loyal armies all over the Americas fought with whatever they could fetch, and Solingen makers were avid to fill the need, coupling blades marketed to Spanish-American areas with almost any kind of hilt.

    To add to confusion, I think that this pattern was also regulation in Russia, right after the Napoleonic Wars. I remember to have read it in some Russian website, long time ago. I'm sorry!

    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  14. #14
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    I have one very similar to yours with the no mi saques blade without branches. The no mi saques were just a trade blade and sold to many different places. Many to South America, Mexico and Southern Us. Being found in the States it was most likely for the Americas market but some I am sure were brought over in this and last century.. I have seen multiple Confederate swords including a Dufilo with no mi saques blade. I do believe the majority of these came over for the Spanish army in the final years of their rule. Spanish ruled and the Southern States were a fluid border with people buying and trading across the fuzzy line. I have an espada Ancha with a silver dog head pommel, a southern trait. There is not much written on these type swords here in US or Mexico for that matter but they do pop up not often but often enough and at least one example is most appropriate for anyone collecting American swords. They are a most interesting swords and deserve more attention than they get. I think there is a story for this type but as yet it is unwritten. Winner and many of the early US makers sold south of the border swords they could not sell here and for better prices. Perhaps there is more to it than what is known, Jan is one smart cookie on sword and did run with Bezdek many years. The Spanish were our ally against the British. Very interesting and could be as early as 1780 or as late as 1815 I would think. Anyone know dates of use? 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

  15. #15
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    I saw an exact duplicate of this sword at the Baltimore show last week. It had a leather scabbard with brass mounts with a frog knot. It also lacked the " No Me Sagues..." motto engraved on the blade, so apparently this pattern was made with plain unengraved blades. It would be nice to have one with provenance linking it to US militia use, but I haven't found it yet. The owner of the duplicate of my sword had obtained his at anothergun show some time ago, and had no idea where it had come from before that.

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