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Thread: Confederate Swords and Sabres

  1. #26
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    Feb 2002
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    Mississippi, U.S.A.
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    Javier,

    There certainly are some unexpected twists. I have not heard of Spanish swords being mass imported by the Confederacy. Only recently I learned that the Confederacy imported Enfield rifle muskets made in Spain under contract.

    What you have produced to us would be an officer's sword -- and probably for quite a wealthy officer. The CSA did not provide swords to officers, so it would have been a private purchase item. Parts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana were once Spanish colonies. So it is not outside the realm of possibility that an officer from one of those regions would purchase a Spanish sword. Also, it may have even been imported by a retailer. Spanish blades have a reputation of being of very good quality.

    There is a tendency for collectors and dealers of ACW militaria to assume that any period sword which fits a pattern and is found in the US is an import for the CSA or the USA. Personally, I don't ascribe to that believe as there is no provenance which links the sword to either government. However, there are often swords that fit that bill and have good provenance.

    This is the first time that I have seen this particular sword. I, like you, wouldn't expect a Spanish sword to have any CS provenance. Looking at the sword without the reference, I would tend to want to give some different meaning to "CS" other than Confederate States.

    If I may ask, what book is that from? I have just about all of the CS sword books. Based upon the drawing, I'm thinking that maybe it is Albaugh's illustrated Confederate Swords book. I have the photographic supplement, but not the original book.

    Clarify this for me --- did you purchase the sword marked CS?

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  2. #27
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    Feb 2005
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    L'abbaye de Theleme
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    The sword was at an ebay auction. I think it finished between $500 and $1000. Something not exagerated but enough to purchase a XVIII century piece, which I would have prefered, so I did not buy it. The seller included the book illustration. The curious thing is that the hilt also looks similar (French) to Toledo examples from the period, it is not just a blade crossing the Mexican border. The factory was used to carry personal orders and that is what this seems to me, although I would have expected a blade from 1859-1864, not from 1855. Storaged?

    I was told once the following. The last Carlista civil war in Spain finished in 1875 by a peace agreement. The weaponry from the Carlistas with no inmediate use was stored at artillery magazines all through Spain. This included much surplus material from both sides of the French Prussian war of 1870-71. Most of this obsolete material was still there after the civil war of 1936-1939. And in the 1960s when Spanish dictator Franco got quite a lot of US military stuff from WW2 and Corea wars, the magazines were emptied in order to make room and the Americans bought much of it for just pennies. That is the reason of why there are so many Spanish 1895 and Puerto Seguros cavalry swords in USA or 1907 bolo knifes... and maybe many of those spurious US civil war imports from France and German states!

    Regards.
    Javier
    Last edited by Javier Ramos; 04-15-2008 at 12:59 PM.
    La vida amable, el enemigo hombre fuerte, ordinario el peligro, natural la defensa, la Ciencia para conseguirla infalible, su estudio forçoso, y el exercicio necessario conviene al que huviere de ser Diestro, no ignore la teorica, para que en la practica, el cuerpo, el braço, y los instrumentos obren lo conveniente a su perfeccion. --Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javier Ramos View Post
    The sword was at an ebay auction. I think it finished between $500 and $1000. Something not exagerated but enough to purchase a XVIII century piece, which I would have prefered, so I did not buy it. The seller included the book illustration. The curious thing is that the hilt also looks similar (French) to Toledo examples from the period, it is not just a blade crossing the Mexican border. The factory was used to carry personal orders and that is what this seems to me, although I would have expected a blade from 1859-1864, not from 1855. Storaged?


    Regards.
    Javier

    Yes, the blade date would not be what you would normally expect with a CS hilt. I would think 1860-62 more likely. I believe that after 1862, the Federal blockade was pretty effective to slow up blockade runner traffic to the CS. Mail to Europe was probably not a prime cargo for a hard pressed outgoing blockade runner, nor would one sword made on special order be all that attractive either. Rather, blockade runners needed something that would make it worth their time -- outgoing cotton and incoming mass produced arms and accoutrements.

    Still, who knows. I could see an older blade being mated with a CS made hilt by a Confederate maker, but isn't the hilt on this sword of Spanish design?

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  4. #29
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    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
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    Javier, do you really read "CS" on this hilt? I think that what you have there is "VL", which stands for "Voluntarios de la Libertad", a well-known Spanish liberal militia active in mid-19th cent. This swords are not so rare, and their variety is notable, not being for regular units. It is based on the M1851 sabre for regular Spanish Infantry officers.

    Other possibility is "Y II" (Ysabel II, Elisabeth II of Spain), the current Queen in that moment. Difficult to tell with that picture.

    Juan J.
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  5. #30
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    L'abbaye de Theleme
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    Actually i do not see the CS more than you do... once I forget the book illustration!

    It will be nice if somebody is able to identify the book it belongs, and check if the blade matched to the CS hilt was from Toledo.

    Javier

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javier Ramos View Post
    Actually i do not see the CS more than you do... once I forget the book illustration!

    It will be nice if somebody is able to identify the book it belongs, and check if the blade matched to the CS hilt was from Toledo.

    Javier
    Yes, I would like to know what book that is what sword is the source of the drawing as well.

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  7. #32
    Here's one: Leech and Rigdon Cavalry Officer's Sabre, Columbus Mississippi
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Is there a "Holy Grail" of Confederate swords--a particular model by a particular maker, perhaps?

    Jonathan
    There are several at the top of the list:

    Any high grade, presented, one of a kind type
    Leech & Rigdon Cavalry Officer
    Dufilho Staff
    CS Naval Officer
    Haiman Staff
    Griswold Fort Hilt

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