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Thread: Anyone know of a scabbard for the M1902?

  1. #26
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    Jonathan,

    thats right. Can't remember the exact date as to when it changed (1930's ? ) but yes , the earlier swords have the "US" and "E Pluribus..." eagle banner length -ways on the blade as opposed to across (width). Example of early model below.


    Bill
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  2. #27
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    Sean. As discussed above, my '02 with leather grips, pommel nut and plated steel guard appears to be from no earlier than the 30's however the banner proclaiming "E Pluribus Unum" is not only horizontal to the blade, but, if you hold the sword with the guard to the left and the edge down, both the banner and the eagle holding it are upside down...does anyone find this to be common? These are really not my specialty so I have not handled many.
    "Ancora imparo - Michelangelo Buonarotti"

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    I read somewhere on the 'net that blades that have their decoration with that orientation (perpendicular to the blade) tend to be later, while those with the decoration parallel to the blade are earlier. Sound familiar to anyone?

    Jonathan
    I had heard this also, but as near as I can tell from looking at these, it's more of an import-domestic issue than an earlier-later, at least up to the end of WWII.

    Domestic blades generally have the eagle parallel; imported blades, especially German, generally have it perpendicular.

    Post WWII...current offerings from Spain show the eagle perpendicular; swords from Windlass Steelcrafts in India have it parallel.

    Embrace the confusion....

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert E. Ozias View Post
    Sean. As discussed above, my '02 with leather grips, pommel nut and plated steel guard appears to be from no earlier than the 30's however the banner proclaiming "E Pluribus Unum" is not only horizontal to the blade, but, if you hold the sword with the guard to the left and the edge down, both the banner and the eagle holding it are upside down...does anyone find this to be common? These are really not my specialty so I have not handled many.
    This is not uncommon; I'd consider it to be the norm. Usually, either the US or the eagle are "upside down". This is because sabers are traditionally, for whatever reason, laid down unsheathed with the edge up.

    This would allow your eagle to be correctly oriented.

    I have heard many theories as to why sabers are laid edge-up, and have even been reprooved for displaying a saber edge-down. The reprover's reason was that in time of war, sabers were displayed edge-up, in peacetime, edge-down.

    I do not know, but I do know that the etching on at least one side should be oriented correctly if the saber is displayed edge-up...provided they are not of the type with perpendicular markings, of course...

    [Edited to add a photo of what I'm talking about...three sabers displayed edge-up, the top two with the eagles properly oriented, the bottom with US properly oriented. I haven't seen a pattern as far as which is oriented...hope this pic is clear after resizing...]
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    Last edited by Sean Scott; 10-19-2007 at 08:57 PM.

  5. #30
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    Hi Sean,

    have heard many theories as to why sabers are laid edge-up, and have even been reprooved for displaying a saber edge-down. The reprover's reason was that in time of war, sabers were displayed edge-up, in peacetime, edge-down.
    This may also somewhat embrace older edge or spine facing perpendicular eagles. Mowbray writes about it some regarding engravings starting in the federal period.

    I do not know, but I do know that the etching on at least one side should be oriented correctly if the saber is displayed edge-up...provided they are not of the type with perpendicular markings, of course..
    NowI'm confused.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; confused but actually learning something

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    This may also somewhat embrace older edge or spine facing perpendicular eagles. Mowbray writes about it some regarding engravings starting in the federal period.
    Hi, Glen!

    My first exposure to the "edge-up" thing was actually in my officer's basic 20-someodd years ago, and was attributed to a practice prevalent among continental officers in the Napoleonic era.

    But the elderly lady trying to turn us knuckledraggers into gentlemen seemed to have a tradition for everything, so YMMV.

  7. #32
    British swords don't have the same freedom. The College of Heralds stipulate that where the Royal Coat of Arms or Garter Arms are used, they have to be the right way up. Thus British swords should always be engraved with the arms the right way up when the sword point is upper most.

    These stipulations are still the case. My organisation uses the Garter Crest in our signage (we must be one of the few organisations that don't own our own logo!)
    The College of Heralds insist the Royal crest is placed above all other titling etc in printed literature.
    Last edited by David Critchley; 10-20-2007 at 12:31 AM.

  8. #33
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    Sean.

    The pic you posted is interesting. The 1902's I have, eagles are correct edge up and the US is correct edge down. Thanks for posting pics BTW.


    Cheers,

    Bill
    billgoodwin333@yahoo.com

    "I was born for this" - Joan of Arc

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Goodwin View Post
    Thanks for posting pics BTW.
    Workin' fo da peeps! I'm just happy to run into other M1902 collectors. It's kinda lonely out there...

    If anyone has any pics of their blades and markings, I'd really like to see them! I'm trying to start a photo file of every M1902 I see...I'm bound to learn *something*...

  10. #35

    Now I am totally confused

    OK Everyone, I am really confused, my eagle is perpindicular to the blade which would make it a later model and yet because of the bone/horn handle it is dated pre WW I, do I have this right?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schutte View Post
    OK Everyone, I am really confused, my eagle is perpindicular to the blade which would make it a later model and yet because of the bone/horn handle it is dated pre WW I, do I have this right?

    Thanks,

    Eric
    I dorked this up, see below...
    Last edited by Sean Scott; 10-20-2007 at 03:12 PM. Reason: I'm not nearly as smart as my Mom thinks I am...

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Scott View Post
    If anyone has any pics of their blades and markings, I'd really like to see them! I'm trying to start a photo file of every M1902 I see.
    Sean,

    Here is my 1902, blade marked “M.C. LILLEY & CO. COLOMBUS, O.” , eagle correct when blade UP, U.S. correct when blade DOWN. Grip is ebony or horn.

    Rob
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schutte View Post
    OK Everyone, I am really confused, my eagle is perpindicular to the blade which would make it a later model and yet because of the bone/horn handle it is dated pre WW I, do I have this right?

    Thanks,

    Eric
    OK, I finally saw the pics (remembered that proxy I pay for)...

    I would tentatively date your sword to the early 30s. I have seen horn grips on a sword with dated etching of 1934, and the perpendicular eagle on blades marked "Germany" that would seem to date from the early 30's. Your sword has several early features, such as a peened tang, horn grip, and nickeled brass guard and pommel. It does show some of what to me are later elements, though...having the "Proved" etched instead of on an inlaid brass slug, and that eagle which to me is classic German import...

    The etching pattern is similar to an early Horstmann example I have, which I figured was domestically made due to parallel eagle orientation and lack of a country of origin mark. I didn't see a country mark in the pics of your sword...is there one on the spine (the narrow top of the blade)?

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Scott View Post

    If anyone has any pics of their blades and markings, I'd really like to see them! I'm trying to start a photo file of every M1902 I see...I'm bound to learn *something*...

    Here's 2 more I found that haven't made it to my Photobucket file (yet)

    My 2 '02's

    Francis Bannerman - New York- horn grip (pre 1910)
    William C. Rowland - Phila. - Bakelite grip (1920's )


    Cheers,

    Bill
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  15. #40

    Can't find makers name

    Sean,

    I looked all over the ricasso and the spine and either I am blind as a bat, (Possible) or there is no makers name on this sword. If not, what does that mean exactly? Is it possible that Henry V. Allen actually made this sword?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schutte View Post
    Sean,
    I looked all over the ricasso and the spine and either I am blind as a bat, (Possible) or there is no makers name on this sword. If not, what does that mean exactly? Is it possible that Henry V. Allen actually made this sword?
    Thanks,
    Eric

    Well, maybe…but I don’t think so.

    Bezdek (Vol. I; Vol. II has less info) lists Henry V. Allien in the Sword Dealers section, as active from 1830-1948. The earlier dates I gave you were for Henry Allen, hasty mistake on my part.

    Bezdek says they operated a factory in France, but doesn’t say what was manufactured there (Allien was also a large regalia and uniform dealer), and also says they “made” M1902 sabers. Whether this is in the “forged the blades in their Lyon factory” sense, or the “cutlers who assembled swords on blades from other makers” sense is unclear, though he did put them in the Sword Dealers section and not the Sword Makers.

    French blades were used on some very early M1902s imported by Ridabock, but I have found two of Allien’s fraternal presentation swords with Germany marked blades; this would argue against an organic blade forging capability.

    Arthur Wylie says in his book that Allien was a sword cutler who made presentation swords “in the late 1800s and early 1900s.”

    Harold Peterson says they were sword cutlers that made presentation swords “sometime between 1870 and 1920.”

    I don’t know when they stopped selling swords, but Allien was still making and selling uniform items during WWII.

    In the literature they are consistently called cutlers, and when combined with their confirmed use of German blades it leads me to believe they did not make their own steel.

    As for dating your sword:
    Peened tang…used through the mid-‘30s.
    Horn grip…the latest dated saber I’ve seen with a horn grip was 1934.
    Nickel-plated brass furniture…still used today, at least on WKC sabers.

    I think the eagle orientation is a domestic-import thing, but my opinion is based on lesser experience than that of a dealer who wrote a pretty good guide to dating M1902s that was posted on Ebay’s info pages. I can’t find it, but I saved it. She is an advocate of the eagle orientation being related to chronology, and says the parallel eagle was used up until the 1930s, and the perpendicular eagle coming into use in the mid-‘30s. Even if the chronology theory is correct, this says there was probably some overlap between the two designs among the manufacturers with contemporary swords carrying both designs, and it’s my personal opinion that the perpendicular eagle first appeared on imported German blades.

    Another indicator of a date of a 1930s date *to me* is that etched “Proved” disc. I simply have not seen a saber of confirmed early date with that etched disc. But I haven’t seen them all, and just when I think I see a pattern some sword will pop up that defies my pigeonhole.

    Part of the pain of collecting M1902s...
    Last edited by Sean Scott; 10-21-2007 at 09:19 PM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Scott View Post

    .



    But I haven’t seen them all, and just when I think I see a pattern some sword will pop up that defies my pigeonhole.

    Part of the pain of collecting M1902s...

    So true......there are so many makers / & retailers of 1902's its surprising the variances that pop up. From my understanding, few actually made their swords, as most just imported blades to mount up to other hardware. Names like Springfield Armoury, MC Lilley / Lilley-Ames are just a couple that most likey manufactured the swords. Again, just my view......it usually gets a kick in the teeth when some else pops up.


    Cheers,

    Bill
    billgoodwin333@yahoo.com

    "I was born for this" - Joan of Arc

  18. #43

    Thank you gentlemen

    Sean and Bill,

    Thanks for the insight. I must admit I am a little disappointed as I believed this was a pre WW 1 piece but it appears I am mistaken. Such is the price of learning...

    Thanks again,

    Eric

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schutte View Post
    Sean and Bill,

    Thanks for the insight. I must admit I am a little disappointed as I believed this was a pre WW 1 piece but it appears I am mistaken. Such is the price of learning...

    Thanks again,

    Eric
    I wouldn't be disappointed. You have a clean example of a quality pre-WWII M1902 that would be a nice addition to any M1902 or 20th Century collection.

    "Nice sword."

  20. #45
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    Good morning Gents,

    I am new to the Sword Forum as Sean directed me here when we were discussing a presentation Model 1902 Officer Sword of mine on another forum. I hope I am not interrupting.

    If I may add my two-cents about 1902 Off Sword construction, I will address the orientation of the etching on the blade. I think it has less to do with time of manufacture, or the blade being edge up or down, than with where the sword was made. That is to say, the 1902 is a right handed sword (the branched guard being on the right hand side of the grip and the grip finger grooves being styled for the right hand only). Therefore, the spread wing eagle and the US on the other side of the blade are both correctly viewed if the sword is held in the right hand and turned over to look at either side of the blade. This is also normally the case with any factory presentation etching found on the blade. Not always, but usually. Engraving (not acid etching) is a different matter as that is often not applied at the factory and is not part of the etching template or custom lettering.

    Try holding your sword in your right hand and see what I mean.

    Eagles, and US, that are correctly oriented when viewed with the tip of the blade straight up in the "Present Sabre" position are often imported. At least the blades are often etched and imported from Germany. Early eagles of this type (from say the US Civil War period) are very Germanic and were the style that the German sword makers were familiar with. Also, the Great Seal style eagle (as seen on US Army Officer peaked caps) will only fit on the blade in this orientation. This particular eagle is identified by the cloud surrounded by a circle of stars above the eagle's head. So, this eagle is generally later than either the eagle with wings spread the length of the blade or the eagle with wingtips up toward the head with feet toward the guard but no clouds and stars as seen in the Great Seal of the US.

    Here is an example of a circa 1930 Model 1902 that was made by Carl Eickhorn in Solingen and bears the Great Seal style of eagle with its feet toward the guard.

    George
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  21. #46
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    Welcome to the Forums, George, and thanks for posting your insights!

  22. #47
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    Yes George, thanks for posting even more good info. / views.



    Oh.....where are my manners......welcome!


    Cheers,

    Bill


    ps wonder if the Mods would turn this into a Sticky thread?
    Last edited by Bill Goodwin; 10-23-2007 at 10:10 AM.
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  23. #48

    Thanks George

    Welcome George!! I appreciate your insight on 1902 eagles. Now I am really gonna confuse you. I purchased a sword from Dominic Grant who is an excellent source of antique swords for sale in Great Britain. He thought it was pre WW 1 due to the nickel hilt, and bone handle with a peened tang. The US on my sword runs parallel to the blade while the eagle runs perpindicular to the blade. Also, try as I might I can find no makers name on this sword other that Henry V. Allen, New York. I understand he was a distributor but not a maker so the question remains, who made it and just when was it made? OR is this an older hilt fitted to a newer blade? Ahhhhh the plot thickens......

    Thanks,

    Eric

  24. #49
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    Sean, Bill, & Eric... thanks for the welcome.

    These Model 1902 swords have been made for over 100 years and they are confusing because of the long time of manufacture and the many different makers/dealers/distributors.

    Peterson cites his circa 1964 theory that early swords had soft nickel hilts and later swords had plated steel hilts. Later authors cite their theories on how to date these swords and I think they are good rules of thumb from observed differences. I tend to look at these differences as manufacturer variations as I have seen few real hard and fast rules over the years. For instance, the hilt design tends to make the guards vulnerable to bending. So, some are thick and some are steel and some are reenforced. I tend to look at these things as manufacturer variations rather than a strict determination of age.

    Age can be more or less determined by the maker marking but even that is a rule of thumb subject to error. The Eickhorn made 1902 sword that I show above has the Eickhorn squirrel within a double oval marking. There are two of these almost identical trademarks, with the later one having the letters "C.E." under the squirrel. So, this mark can be dated fairly closely to after 20 January 1921 as their earlier trademark of two back-to-back squirrels over "C.E." was granted on 19 June 1906. Tom Johnson's books date the marking on this particular sword between 1934 and 1935 based on his study of Eickhorn export catalogs. I think this is fairly close and closely dates this particular Model 1902 Sword.

    The plot really does thicken when sword "assemblers" are thrown into the mix. Most sword "makers" are assemblers in that they do not make all their own parts in-house. This is particularly true in the US with these Model 1902 Officer Swords. Ames made almost all of their bits and pieces but they also made variations within their own product lines. At least two different variations of this basic regulation sword that I am aware of. More if you factor in fancy presentations. Other "makers" made some parts but bought various bits and pieces from other manufacturers. The most noticeable being the blades.

    Let me get some photos up to explain these variations.

    Eric, does your Henry V. Allen sword have a US or foreign made blade?
    Last edited by George Wheeler; 10-24-2007 at 09:57 AM.

  25. #50
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    Hilt Configuration

    Here are two examples of Lilley-Ames 1902 sword hilts. Both date between 1925-1951 because of the "Lilley-Ames Co / Columbus / Ohio" markings.

    The dull (unpolished) sword has a reenforced hilt with impressed creases in the backstrap and a thick guard with reenforced weak points as can be seen.

    The bright (polished) sword has a plain backstrap and guard without any reenforcement.

    Neither guard is steel but both are maleable metal that will bend under force. Both blades are peened at the pommel. So, here are two variations of the same sword, by the same maker, during the same time frame. This is not a matter of cost it seems because the bright sword has an extra cost custom presentation blade.
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