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Thread: Early Ames And Other's Militia NCO Patterns

  1. #51
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    A few more of this hilt and scabbard.

    Also the most apocalyptic of the helmet heads

    We can see on one side of the urn that something is missing, That very well mean the entire late urn routine is fraternal but I don't know other that what Gallowglass id mentioning in his thoughts on these urns with the foliate/leaf routine.
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 12-28-2011 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Well that is interesting. Was this one from the auction two weeks ago? There is another one up now that is similar/the same. Looks like Ames fittings to me, considering the continuing collaboration between them.. Steven's example he is listing as possibly a German ethnic militia troop/group but my thoughts were/are that it might be poor men's engineer swords (See Peterson 127,128 and the later possible uses of the form). Militia engineers?

    Consider me generally baffled in general about this one but I am watching the new listing. As we see two, we know now there must be more It has been awhile since more of the real short ones have turned up as well. I was figuring the current listing must have been a turn around but it looks like it is otherwise.

    There was another spadroon bladed Ames type chunky hilt with a 26" musician length blade instead of the 32" bladed one I picked up before. Yet another seen recently with a leather and twisted wire with the old heavy guard look.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; dis-assembled!!!! Oh NOooooo!
    This is one of the two recently listed on Feebay. The price I paid is considerably under the other sword's 'Buy it now'.
    In the pre ACW period Militia units were private groups that could be considered a form of lodge or corporation. When it came to their regalia, it was ordered out of a catalog. The leadership or assigned committee could pick and choose what ever it wanted. They would usually follow some tradition, but they could get creative. I do not have a good pre ACW Horstmann reference and have yet to see any reference for NCO swords of this period, so for now, we can only go with what we know.
    We are the first to seriously examine this ignored area of sword collecting. The pre ACW officers swords get all the attention, because the are pretty and were kept. The rather drab, humdrum NCO swords were neglected and discarded.
    I think I am the first person that has had the nerve to disassemble some of these swords. It is rather easy and I can reassemble them with little, if any, trace. Before I took one apart, did we know the quillions may be hollow? We did not know for sure who made the components, assembled or retailed.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    So now then Tim. Having seen your's surface and with my mentioning that where there are two, there must be more. Here is another sibling that I had plonked into a file back when (old drive to the new one? I don't ken when but awhile ago)? I don't think it is your's or the one currently in flux, so it means another indeed. I have just the two shots of this one as back then I was just saving top knots (as I often do with eagle pommel variations files as handles and blades are often the same dealio). Properties show it was on the old drive before the stroke.

    One more quite different but possibly associated urn. These we have shown so far may indeed go back to the engineer regulation as outlined in Peterson. We know now though that a lot of Peterson's examples are not as indicated.
    We must always be gratefull to Harold Peterson for getting us started. The scholarship on The American Sword has expanded exponentially since 1954.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Peterson is as well at odds with listing Brothers&Co. With the old man dying in 1859 We still see Horstmann&Sons turning up during the war years. Then you have the New York stamp on this as well.

    Shouldn't the time line you mention from Bezdek be Horstmann&Sons or Horstmann Sons&Co.?

    Me puzzled?????
    Well the sword is marked Horstmann Bros & Co., New York and on page 274 Bezdek notes: Horstmann Brothers & Co., 8 Maiden Lane, 1850-1851. Further down, Horstmann Brothers & Co., 27 Maiden Lane, 1871-1893. Page 276 William H. Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia, PA, 1843-1848 as an authorized agent for Ames Manufacturing Co. On and on. Everyone here should have a copy of Bezdek.

  5. #55
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    Well, I knew my eagle sabre with the screw top pommel was hollow inside because that one was apart. What is something I have seen from your own collection is that some of the "old standard" guard look got smaller, and as you mention hollow. Do you know this one with the leather and wire?

    I am also (in the back of my mind) wanting to be aware of what Bannerman was up to but I have never seen any of th catalogs aside from little snippets. Very few images. How many of the oddball stuff might have been leftover parts assembly?

    Cheers

    Hotspur; some of my eagle pommel passion parallels the helmet heads but with the eagles I have pretty much started over again and capping my thoughts well before the MExican War
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  6. #56
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    Glen is wound up today.

    This the best one I own. I wonder what maybe marked on it? Should I?
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    Last edited by T. Graham; 12-29-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Well, I knew my eagle sabre with the screw top pommel was hollow inside because that one was apart. What is something I have seen from your own collection is that some of the "old standard" guard look got smaller, and as you mention hollow. Do you know this one with the leather and wire?

    I am also (in the back of my mind) wanting to be aware of what Bannerman was up to but I have never seen any of th catalogs aside from little snippets. Very few images. How many of the oddball stuff might have been leftover parts assembly?




    Cheers

    Hotspur; some of my eagle pommel passion parallels the helmet heads but with the eagles I have pretty much started over again and capping my thoughts well before the MExican War
    I think this is a post ACW assembly. I past on it. That is all I need, another NCO sword to take apart.
    Last edited by T. Graham; 12-29-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Well, I knew my eagle sabre with the screw top pommel was hollow inside because that one was apart. What is something I have seen from your own collection is that some of the "old standard" guard look got smaller, and as you mention hollow. Do you know this one with the leather and wire?

    I am also (in the back of my mind) wanting to be aware of what Bannerman was up to but I have never seen any of th catalogs aside from little snippets. Very few images. How many of the oddball stuff might have been leftover parts assembly?

    Cheers

    Hotspur; some of my eagle pommel passion parallels the helmet heads but with the eagles I have pretty much started over again and capping my thoughts well before the MExican War
    So far the only hollow quillions I have seen are on Horstmann National Shield swords. These were probably not cast by Ames. Look on the top or bottom of the quillions, you may see a solder joint. If so, it is hollow. The reason for a two piece cross guard is the it can be made larger and thicker. To sand cast it in one piece can result in shrink marks. On these cross guards you will see a decorative set back. This is not just a decorative effect, but it helps control shrinkage. When should I start the theory on sand casting?

    I look through my 1933 Bannermans and did not see any NCO swords that apply to this thread. But that does not mean he did not create some.
    Last edited by T. Graham; 12-30-2011 at 07:07 AM.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Graham View Post
    Well the sword is marked Horstmann Bros & Co., New York and on page 274 Bezdek notes: Horstmann Brothers & Co., 8 Maiden Lane, 1850-1851. Further down, Horstmann Brothers & Co., 27 Maiden Lane, 1871-1893. Page 276 William H. Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia, PA, 1843-1848 as an authorized agent for Ames Manufacturing Co. On and on. Everyone here should have a copy of Bezdek.
    My further curiosity about the years mentioned with the Maiden Lane activities would be where and what were the brothers up to during the twenty absent years from Bezdek's notes as you relate them. The data seems to be incomplete and possibly misleading.

    Peterson shows the brothers in partnership with Franklin at a different address in 1859, so that may fill in some blanks

    Does Bezdek show a blade stamp as you reference the Brothers in 1850-1851, or is it just a line from a directory?


    Cheers

    Hotspur; Ames invoices to all the Horstmann's would be interesting to see

  10. #60
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    For instance and just quickly looking outside of Bezdek's notes

    “THE RECRUIT, A COMPILATION OF EXERCISES AND MOVEMENTS OF INFANTRY, LIGHT-INFANTRY AND RIFLEMEN”. Capt. John T. Cairns. Hardcover 1853 Edward Walker, 114 Fulton St., And Sold By Horstmann Bros. & Allien, 8 Maiden Lane, New York.

    So there is the address later than the 50-51 period.

    It is why I am concerned at times when dates for swords are affixed by how any of the authors are listing dates from directories unless there are blade stamps that can be verified to being built in a specific timeline.

    Thoughts?

  11. #61
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    Then a Founding directory from 1917

    FOOT PROTECTORS Horstmann. Wm. H.. Co., 5th and Cherry, Phila.

    The complications in using directories to affix production numbers and specific days/years of assembly.

    Specific contracts, a little easier to relate to (when available).

  12. #62
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    Horstmann

    I just provide the RAW data. Others can delve into the details. To date an NCO sword as pre ACW, keeps me happy.

    Here is another RAW data from my collection. I will call it an Ames made for now. I wonder if my gastroenterologist has an endoscope that can get down into guard and see what is there? He seems to be able to stick it in my little openings. I have seen my esophagus from my stomach's point of view.
    It needs to be reshot. What is the trick to get the pictures in the order you want them?
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  13. #63
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    That's a great piece with the etch so bright. Going by Hamilton's history of Ames book, the etching matches up to his pages and the style of the etch absolutely the "50s but it could be later.

    That's the thing on dating them though and another aspect I have been studying and shown some of is the hand carved vs more machined grips. the progression between the symmetrically barreled and lined vs irregularities. I know a lot of folk regard them all as an 1850 nco militia pattern but the ones that I started with in the thread are 1830s.

    On Horstmann at Maiden Lane, it seems like a lot of folk were in the area, with Schuyler Hartley and Graham also on the strip. We also know from other buffs that the Horstmann Bros were at the first address (after their dad first listing there) because of all the uniform bits and goods during the war years.

    At any rate, it is nice to see a lot of variety, especially the etched ones. I think a lot of my current interest goes along with my budget right now but there are a double handful of four figure pieces that pique my interests as well. Those are types I can only hope to find at a bargain but that I spend a lot more time in looking for them.

    I'm not sure about how the system may arrange pictures by itself but the thumbs/pictures can be placed in order in the text area itself, two different ways. One is using the paperclip icon instead of the manage attachment link. The other by using the album option and inserting the pictures with img pic and smallpic routines/tags The pic tags just like img but smallpic tags can be used to redirect to a full size picture ie a large thumb that opens full size. More work than many will trouble with though. Using the paperclip drop down lets you place the thubs in the order you want to, if used in the text entry window.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; all that probably tough to describe without playing around with all the buttons

  14. #64
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    Was this one of your's Tim? I had culled the pictures back in the fall of 2009. It came to mind as labeled as a Horstmann and with an etch that includes an anchor (so I have it filed as naval).

    I suppose I should amend the thread title to reflect all the older militia nco swords. Add ing the other manufacturers and retailers variants has certainly helped my own eye in spotting some significant differences in the assemblies.

    This one must have been assembled in the Horstmann shops/factory but the castings really do look like the Ames work. A difference I am seeing on the older wide blades is the short ricasso on the Horstmann blades which is lacking on the old Ames.

    Anyway, another from my files and while I was actually looking for page screens regarding helmet evolution but distracted by the first empire, consulat period piece on ebay this week. A strange epee that one.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; this one was sandwiched in some old files between commissioned officer helmet pieces
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    In other news on these from my end was winning the no reserve on the other urn and the shorter spadroon bladed example. The urn from Crain appears to be the one I photo archived back in 2008. Apparently that one went to Gagliano, then bought back at some point. When the first recent urn went up and then another was being sold, I at first thought it to be just reselling. So anyway, the projection of three of them looks to be just two, to date.

    The shorter spadroon bladed example has an older grip carving than the longer spadroon I had picked up. I still need to take some decent pictures to try to show the evolution of the grip reeding. The older cross hatched not a problem to date but the transition on the Ames examples regarding profile shape, uniformity of the reeding and the materials themselves. The Horstmann grips easy to spot compared to the variations on the Ames groups.

    Jonathan Hopkins had sent me some Hartzler pages at one point during this thread and one bit of text there discusses the two helmet types of the centurion vs knight. The two types distinctively different but all generally regarded as knight helmets.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; pommel typologies, guard typologies, grip typologies and blade typologies could turn the militia nco subject into quite an essay

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Was this one of your's Tim? I had culled the pictures back in the fall of 2009. It came to mind as labeled as a Horstmann and with an etch that includes an anchor (so I have it filed as naval).

    I suppose I should amend the thread title to reflect all the older militia nco swords. Add ing the other manufacturers and retailers variants has certainly helped my own eye in spotting some significant differences in the assemblies.

    This one must have been assembled in the Horstmann shops/factory but the castings really do look like the Ames work. A difference I am seeing on the older wide blades is the short ricasso on the Horstmann blades which is lacking on the old Ames.

    Anyway, another from my files and while I was actually looking for page screens regarding helmet evolution but distracted by the first empire, consulat period piece on ebay this week. A strange epee that one.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; this one was sandwiched in some old files between commissioned officer helmet pieces
    It is not one of mine, but I do covet it. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Horstmann used a two piece cast brass cross guard. I can not see this sword close enough to confirm it. As for the anchor etching; could this be naval militia?
    Last edited by T. Graham; 01-11-2012 at 09:56 AM.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Graham View Post
    It is not one of mine, but I do covet it. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Horstmann used a two piece cast brass cross guard. I can not see this sword close enough to confirm it. As for the anchor etching; could this be naval militia?
    I have also seen this anchor motif on Rhode Island sword blades so that might be another possibility.
    Last edited by George Wheeler; 01-11-2012 at 10:40 AM.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Wheeler View Post
    I have also seen this anchor motif on Rhode Island sword blades so that might be another possibility.

    Well, there's a smack my head Doh! moment for me

  19. #69
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    I spent some time with drives and files tonight and came across an Ames as shiny as a new penny. This centurion kind of top of the line for the old helmet but with the fancier guard. Marked to Ames and the etch very 1850s.

    This one culled from Gutterman's pages (iirc) back in the fall of 2009. Danged if I can find the overall picture that is hiding somewhere.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; kind of a tweener twixt the primo mamelukes and the plain Jane nco
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    And another

    Now I know what the etching on mine may have been like. If you find the full length photo, please post it.
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    Last edited by T. Graham; 01-12-2012 at 07:48 AM.

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    Ames Model 619 NCO

    These are shown in the 1882 Ames catalog. It is a well made, general purpose, short rapier type, sort of NCO sword, that gets no respect. Sure, it is post ACW, but it is a nice sword that fits in this category. It is useless as a weapon, but it is cute.
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Graham View Post
    Now I know what the etching on mine may have been like. If you find the full length photo, please post it.
    I'll keep an eye out for it but I probably miscued when I was first saving the images. I'll have to run a search and see if it comes up. I do have another six pictures of it in sections. The foliate etches and the blade with scabbard in sections.

    I'm sure this one or another like it will pop up in time. The Hamilton book has the etchings by timeline, which is where I know them from.

    I have a couple of more shots of the apocalyptic Marvin the Martian helmet as well.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I honestly didn't think I would be as involved with these back then but was reagarding mostly pommels and guards more than blades..
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    Last edited by Glen C.; 01-12-2012 at 09:10 AM.

  23. #73
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    More

    I will do a drive search for the missing overall shot but it may never have taken, or I replaced one with another in the course of saving them.

    In dealing with the Ebay harvesting now, if I am saving many of the Ebay hosted pictures, renaming them at the same time avoids a real jumble that ensues.
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  24. #74
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    Another type of pre ACW Horstmann NCO sword/saber

    I think this entire sword was imported by Horstmann. It is basically the same as a French M1822 NCO sword. I also speculate, that it maybe a precursor for the USMC NCO sword.

    I can post photos of the French M1822.

    I think we need a little controversy in this forum, so I will throw this out. Horstmann and M.C. Lilley created the USMC NCO sword to use up excess parts left over from the ACW and were still mounting these parts into the 1930's.
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    I may be wrong but my understanding on the Marine NCO sabres is they are post ACW and assimilating the swords twixt the two reigns of the mameluke. When commissioned marine officers were directed to put the mameluke down, the form intended was to be akin to the army foot officer sword. That doesn't dismiss later use of parts or entire swords to fill contracts for marine nco needs but my contention would be that most regard the current marine nco sword to have been given to the ncos when the mameluke was re-introduced and those swords of the form found in the foot officer's swords.

    If we are going to go beyond the cruciform militia swords for nco swords, we have many variants to yet consider. Attached here is an ACW era wood gripped Ames nco type. Certainly not regulation for the army but for whom then? This one circulated through the bay in July of the past year.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; the guardless 619 Ames makes some sense to me now as well and do see a few of them from time to time
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