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Thread: Sword Knots

  1. #51
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    thanks for posting that, Robert! I would *love* to have one of those holsters...
    mark@swordforum.com

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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Scott View Post
    I've heard the blue=Navy before, but I've seen several examples of a M1852 with a period all-gold knot, and the US Navy still uses the same knot...all gold.

    What really put the doubt in my mind was seeing a period knot with a red center...artillery?

    I took a photo of the silver knot next to a gold one...
    Was the blue bottom exclusively used by the Navy? I recently acquired this Springfield M1860/78 S&F sword with the last style address which Farrington tells us was used from 1900-1903. It has what is supposedly its original gilt bullion knot, which looks the right age, but the center appears to be black (dark navy?). Would this be correct for a turn-of-the-century Army officer, or is it more likely a navy knot which was mated with the sword at some later time?

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  3. #53
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    Richard,

    I don't think the gilt knot with a blue insert in the bottom was exclusive to USN Officers. A blue US Navy uniform may equate to a blue insert on the knot but the US Army dress uniform is also blue... Don't forget that Officers were/are responsible for buying their own swords and knots. They could purchase whatever they wanted and there is little difference in the largely unseen insert in the bottom of a sword knot.

    I would not spend a minute of worry over your Army S&F sword with a period correct knot with a blue insert. I have learned over the years to never say never concerning what was actually worn by soldiers during time of use, particularly US soldiers.

    George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  4. #54
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    George,

    Thanks for the information.

    Here is another knot that doesn't seem to fit the normal pattern. Some years ago I bought a Springfield M1882 (before Farrington, M1872) artillery saber from an elderly lady who said it belonged to her great uncle, Col. James Farley Cox who died in 1898. He was a CW veteran who also served in the post-war 22nd Regiment of the NY National Guard. There is one disconnect in this story in that from the records I've seen, the 22nd is an infantry, not artillery unit. In any event, the sword had what certainly looked to be its original knot still attached in the proper manner. Rather than being gold bullion as would be expected, it was primarily tarnished silver bullion with two gold threads running the length of the strap, gold boarders on the slide, and gold bullion on the end piece. See atch'd photos. Does this match anything you've seen before?

    Dick

    Name:  M1882 Artillery Knot 1.jpg
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  5. #55
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    Dick,

    Your silver knot looks similar to the silver sword knot, discussed and pictured, in post #25 of this thread. I have one of these silver knots too but I have found no regulations for such a US knot. There is another possibility seeing the excellent photos of your knot. I have seen similar knots made with mixed media where tarnish or age or unstable dye lots change the colors. Most notably, a mixture of wire and celluloid will produce highlights like this where some threads hold their color while others do not. Many of these officer knots are made of gilt or silver washed copper wire parts and the wash will simply disappear over time. Colors were unstable early on and I have repeatedly seen this phenomenon on various Officer & Enlisted German knots of various styles.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Wheeler View Post
    Dick,

    Your silver knot looks similar to the silver sword knot, discussed and pictured, in post #25 of this thread. I have one of these silver knots too but I have found no regulations for such a US knot. There is another possibility seeing the excellent photos of your knot. I have seen similar knots made with mixed media where tarnish or age or unstable dye lots change the colors. Most notably, a mixture of wire and celluloid will produce highlights like this where some threads hold their color while others do not. Many of these officer knots are made of gilt or silver washed copper wire parts and the wash will simply disappear over time. Colors were unstable early on and I have repeatedly seen this phenomenon on various Officer & Enlisted German knots of various styles.
    Thanks George.

    You are right, my knot appears identical in construction to your silver knot with the exception of the gold stripes and end piece on mine. Looking closely at the threads, etc on mine, I don't think your alternate theory about fading applies to this knot - the colors are too even, even in recesses and protected areas. I think these are the original colors, only with the silver being tarnished to a more blackish shade.

    In the absence of any real evidence, I would speculate this might be a unit-specific variation. I know militia/National Guard units at the time often had uniform elements, especially in their dress uniforms, which varied considerably from those of the regular Army. It would be nice to know if anyone else has encountered like knots, especially if they had specific provenance.

    Dick
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 02-12-2016 at 08:59 AM.

  7. #57
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    Anyone know anything about 18th Century Sword Knots?

    My Dragoon Unit added a Sword Knot section to our SOP (for insurance) and the Captain said the last one he saw was in 1980 A.D. and the repro. is $45.00 without shipping. So I've decided to make them myself.
    ~Your most humble and obedient servant,
    ~Sir Frederick William-Francis Rivard Dit LaVigne~

  8. #58
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    Frederick,

    Are you talking about US Dragoons or German, etc? I think we need some more specific information on what you are asking.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  9. #59
    nice article George, got your book a lot of info in it ..one question i have, i a few various sword knots from the weimer republic , various colors and etc . and at one time i had heard some of them were being reproduced, if so, can they be looked at and see some how if they have been reproduced ? thanks for your help ....bill

  10. #60
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    Thanks Bill. I appreciate the kudos as a lot of time and effort went into research of that book section.

    Yes, the German knots (Portepee, Troddel, & Faustriemen) have been extensively reproduced. I have not seen a lot of Faustriemen reproductions but quite a few varieties of the other two styles. Early on Tom Johnson reproduced some Portepee that used some new old stock (NOS) German bits and pieces that are very good reproductions. These can typically be spotted with a black light that will make some new parts glow. Another thing is to pull apart the vertical cords on the ball and look at the thread underneath. If is looks new it is a reproduction as this was usually made with grey or old waste thread during the original time of use. Later knots made in Pakistan just look new and sloppy in execution with odd bullion or thread parts so look at the overall knot next to one you know is good. The current Rex Reddick reproductions are better executed than the Pakistan and Chinese made ones and one can see his examples listed in his catalog or at his tables set up at shows such as SOS. BTW, Reddick has a good book "Edged Weapon Accouterments of Germany 1800-1945" out on German knots.

    Ebay is full of these reproductions and is a good place to look by searching for "sword knot" or one of the German terms listed above.

    George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  11. #61
    wow thanks George for that info .. ok i got of them faustriemens so i ran in the other room to check them out well underneath mine looks like a wound wire sticking into a wood plug ?? please dont tell me these are faked !!.. boy they sure look good !! one other question also i have a nice wwll german army officer dagger with burnt orange handle an silver fitting a real nice piece ( i think) ... some time ago a person said that the dagger could what you called (NOS) because johnson had a lot of stuff shipped back here to the U.S to sell or part out with that in mind a lot daggers could be put together that way ? and who would know ?? i understand even when they were first assembling they fitted them together matching up parts for a nice fit which could be done here also thanks for you help ..bill P.S after reading your article i bet MINE are FAKE !!!

  12. #62
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    I would love to see an example of any Federal period knot including US Dragoons. What would the leather on a Starr m1812 look like?
    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

  13. #63
    George since i last posted a comment i got your book out and on page 262 you show a construction of a portepee with wire inside it just like mine so i believe mine are original too ? hopefully thanks ..bill

  14. #64
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    Bill,

    Yes, the Portepee and Troddel were both constructed with this wire securing the strap and stem to the ball as shown in the parts photo. The tacky looking thread in the upper left hand quadrant of the photo is the wrapping you will see if you pull the vertical twisted cords apart with your fingernails. This is what the reproduction makers almost always get wrong because it is not seen unless you look for it. If your Troddel or Faustriemen has open tassels instead of a gathered at the bottom ball this waste thread wrap will not be there. Your knots are constructed properly from your description.

    As to the daggers, Tom Johnson bought out the parts that Jim Atwood purchased from Solingen in the 1960s before he died. While Atwood assembled these parts into daggers (along with newly made parts as well) Johnson sells them as parts and does not assemble them into so-called "parts daggers". Most would consider the "parts daggers" assembled by Atwood as fakes because they were sold by Atwood as originals. The only way to tell if your dagger is original is to have someone take it apart and look at it who knows what he is looking at.

    Eric,

    US Sword knots from the War of 1812 time period are very scarce and uniform regulations from this time period were sporadic at best. Militia Dragoons and Federal Dragoons would have worn a variety of knots I think. After circa 1840 regulations were better published and accouterments were more standardized until the US Civil War saw masses of Militia Federalized with US Regulars and regulations again were largely discounted since Militia, and Officers, tended to wear what pleased them since they had to buy their own equipment in most cases.

    Having said all that, Some generalizations can be made from later regulations. For instance, CW period regulations generally called for leather knots for Enlisted and NCOs and bullion knots for Officers. Earlier knots tended to be leather for Enlisted/NCO and lace for Officers. While lace covers a lot of material there is a difference. But you ask about Dragoon knots and in my thinking a Dragoon Trooper would have a leather or linen knot. I don't know about the color. Some Dragoon collectors I know believe they would have been white buff leather but earlier accouterments such as crossbelts and bayonet frogs were made of white or unbleached linen. There was also the matter of a complete lack of consistency in early accouterments due to the fact of local manufacture and vague, or non-existent, regulations.

    I think the early uniform plates of the Company of Military Historians or the uniform plate collection of Anne Brown might be helpful but not definitive I am afraid.

    George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  15. #65
    Thanks a lot George.... i looked at mine inside and the only thing there was the wire piece going into the wood piece so for once i got lucky with good ones !! also thanks for the other info on parts daggers ... bill

  16. #66
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    George,

    - What do you think of the knot on Eric Fairbank's Le Page-style saber shown in the thread http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...n-Terminology?

    - Do you believe the style would fit the timeframe of the sword? It looks like it has been with the sword a long time, and seems to fit as if made for it. I'm really not sure of the age of the sword. Most Le Page-style swords are dated to the First Empire timeframe, but I think this one may be a bit later.

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  17. #67
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    I agree that the knot seems to have been on the sword for quite awhile. I don't see any particular reason that it could not be contemporaneous with the time frame of the sword. I don't know what the red and green inner cords might signify. Italy comes immediately to mind and I don't understand why these colors would be on a North American sword knot but never say never. It is an interesting knot but I don't recognize it.

    George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  18. #68
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    The Massachusetts Historical Society recently obtained the sword of Col Robert Shaw, commander of the famous 54th Infantry portrayed in the movie "Glory" (see http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/201...?event=event25). If I recall correctly, in the movie he was shown wearing the M1850 Foot Officer sword, but in life it appears he had a non-reg Brit sword. Of interest, I see his sword also had a non-regulation sword knot as shown below. It appears to be a silver knot with red lines. I don't know enough about these to recognize what it might be. Looks rather British and with the red threads would seem more appropriate for an artillery than a infantry element. Does anyone recognize this knot?

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  19. #69
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    Crimson and gold cord/riband and acorn is used for several corps. The sword pictured has a special order blade, possibly the etching on the blade will give an answer.

  20. #70
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    Just learning on these knots so nothing to add but many thanks George for a most excellent thread. I am on my third read. 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

  21. #71
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    Does anyone know what the wrist cords looked like which were attached to Austro-Hungarian sabres through holes in the grip? I would imagine the cords might be similar to the ones on Kilic? Does anyone have any graphic illustrations which show what these cords looked like, and how they were attached to the sabres?

    I attach a picture which shows the use of portepee in action!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Magnus K; 07-16-2017 at 07:05 AM.

  22. #72
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    Magnus,

    Look at the Austrian sword knots shown in post #9 for several styles over time. The knot that this Trooper in your post is wearing is the style with a loose fringe ball. Worn by Officers and enlisted alike notice the yellow wool enlisted Cavalry knot shown in post #9. Austrian and Hungarian knots were similar but distinctive even under the dual monarchy.

    Here are a couple of other examples.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Wheeler View Post
    Magnus,

    Look at the Austrian sword knots shown in post #9 for several styles over time. The knot that this Trooper in your post is wearing is the style with a loose fringe ball. Worn by Officers and enlisted alike notice the yellow wool enlisted Cavalry knot shown in post #9. Austrian and Hungarian knots were similar but distinctive even under the dual monarchy.
    Here are a couple of other examples.
    George,

    Many thanks for that. But I meant Austro-Hungarian hussar sabres from the 1700s with holes in the grip for wrist cords. I'm curious to know what these wrist cords looked like and how they were attached to the sabre. Presumably the cords were round in cross section rather than flat. Has anyone seen any paintings or pictures?

    I would love to display the sabre on the wall with a wrist cord, like in the days when it was still in use. But I would need to know what they looked like to try to recreate the effect.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Magnus K; 07-16-2017 at 01:32 PM.

  24. #74
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    I attach some interesting pictures from some research by Erich Artlieb (Vienna University) which show:
    a) that many Austro-Hungarian hussars did not always use portepees with their sabres,
    b) what a hussar sabre portepee from the 18thC looked like, and
    c) how the portepee was attached to the sword through a hole in the grip
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  25. #75
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    US Regimentally Marked Sword Knot

    Hi all, this is a great thread. Here's a knot of US origin that is regimentally marked. I'm not sure if it rare or knot but still nice. The knot is marked RIA on one side and
    FIRST COMPANY SIGNAL CORPS N.G.N.Y 43. This seems to be one item in my collection that I loose than find again and then loose :-( What sword should go with this knot?

    Regards,

    Greg
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