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Thread: Can someone help me identify this OLD sword?

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    213

    Re: just to confirm...

    Originally posted by Bob Reed
    The custom from the 19th century onward was for any sword produced in Toledo to bear a mark to indicate it. I own a antique artillery sword manufactured in 1881 in Toledo, that bears a mark. This was most likely an edict of the city government, and carrying the weight of law.

    From this example you can see it applied to swords intended for use as well as decoration. Luckily for me, my sword is of excelent quality steel, and would preform it's intended function well. I was also pretty lucky to have a wonderful cousin who thought enough of me to bring it back for an 8 year old when she visited Spain - she found it in an antique shop or flea market in the city, and bought it for something like $15 at the time. It was my first sword.
    Hmmmm.... well, I'll let Juan José comment further on this, Bob, as he's the expert in Spanish Regulation swords. But... all the military swords in Spain from 1761 onwards were made by the Toledo Factory, that was operated by the Artillery section of the Army, so many of the stamps that may be found in Spanish regulation swords (they changed over the time, the stamps, I mean) wear the word "artillería" ("artillery"). The factory stayed in Toledo until the 1980's with some intervals in other cities due to the Napoleonic invasions, and the name of the city have accompanied those stamps always. So, the Spanish regulation swords, made from 1761 onwards, are indeed marked with the name of the city, but not all the swords coming out of Toledo had to. In fact, I seem to remember that even not all the swords coming out the Toledo Factory were marked, specially some of the ones destined for export (Juan José? Help!).
    The word "artillería" in your blade, in short, don't make your sword an artillery model. In fact, if you post some pics we could try an identification. I suggest another thread, though...
    Last edited by Marc G.; 03-16-2002 at 09:34 AM.
    Marc
    "Living and trying to learn"

  2. #27

    Post War

    Marc

    Good points on the post war issue, I think your right. I know I have a tendency to think things fit into the 1918-1938 period if I don't recognize them. I figure I got a pretty good handel on the post war stuff so if it seems to not fit I push it back. I will have to watch that.

    Craig

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    1,426

    Post Toledo marking for exportation

    Dear Marc,

    markings from the official Toledo Factory varied through the times, although what you have said for items desitned to the Spanish army is in general true. Considering items for exportation, things change a little, and you can differentiate between pre- and post- Spanish civil war items. Between 1860 (when production reached a point that allowed exportation) and 1936, marking consisted normally in the legend "Fca. (Fábrica) de Toledo", followed by the production date or, in early 20th century, crests composed with those words and crossed cannon. The word "Artillería" was avoided for exportation items, that consisted mostly in blades for officer's swords, to be hilted at their varied destinations, and complete cav. trooper swords for Portugal, Romania, Turkey and other countries.

    After 1939, several government weaponry factories were rearranged as a new-born company, "Industrias Santa Bárbara", one of its facilities being the old Toledo Factory. Since then, exportation items were no longer marked as "Fab. de Toledo", but instead of this a new logo, composed with a sword into a dented wheel, was used, although I don't know the exact date of introduction of it. For items destined for the Spanih army, a logo composed with the letters F, N, T (Toledo National Factory) under a crown was used, more in line with old traditions.

    Examples of this post-war "St. Barbara" exportations were those destined to Argentine, mainly naval cutlasses, in competition with Solingen firms like WKC.

    I have to say that most of this information comes from my own observation of actual examples, because there is very little published data about this matter.
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    213

    Re: Post War

    Originally posted by Craig Johnson
    Marc

    Good points on the post war issue, I think your right. I know I have a tendency to think things fit into the 1918-1938 period if I don't recognize them. I figure I got a pretty good handel on the post war stuff so if it seems to not fit I push it back. I will have to watch that.

    Craig

    You tell me... Saying anything about a wallhanger besides "it's a replica" and judging its quality is not that easy. And somehow futile, if you ask me, but that's only a very poersonal opinion. Replica swords were done in Toledo for a long time, you can still find some few (VERY few) cutlery shops in Toledo that can tell you stories of how grandpa' used to make swords in the 20's or the 30's, somehow "traditionally", the term being taken here in the broad sense. Business is very different, now, and one of the things I ended up seeing is that every particular market is a world by itself. The Internet has the ability to make the world seem small, but it's still pretty big outta there. I wouldn't have thought five years ago the Czech republic would sprout such quality makers, for example. But their presence speaks of a tradition that I just didn't stopped to think it not only was there, but in fact had to. Big world, indeed.
    I only claim to have a limited knowledge of the local repro market, and I got it purely by osmosis. Put a unstamped pakistani replica in front of me, and if it's not a really good piece I'll only be able to tell you: "replica", and that's it. Then, one have to proceed to evaluate it in terms of intrinsic quality, without the added value of its historical significance.... but I'm ranting.

    Juan José, thanks for the clarification about the export blades. Swift as always... I saw a couple of Spanish naval swords in a friend's home recently, both with the modern "Artillery" stamp, and folding guards. If her father (the owner) has any interest, I'll take pics and will call you to discuss them.
    Marc
    "Living and trying to learn"

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    32

    Thank you Marc, Craig, et al for your replies & sharing of knowledge

    In the end, I found the replies for more informative than in the beginning. Greatly appreciated everyone! Thanks!

    Live long and prosper!

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