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Thread: Latest "Baltimore" cutlass being listed - Any thoughts?

  1. #1

    Latest "Baltimore" cutlass being listed - Any thoughts?

    Another "Baltimore" cutlass is being offered on our favorite auction site. I'm trying to figure out the overall "patina" to the blade as well as the font type of the two marks (US and the P) ... any thoughts? Mike
    "home is the sailor, home from the sea.
    And the hunter, home from the hill"

  2. #2
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    Hi Michael, I had hoped you might chime in on this one.

    Going by the guidelines of the last thread, I am thinking it might qualify due to the thgickness off the guard and the S in the US. However, the low starting price might be indicative of a reproduction. If I were interested, I would start with an exchange of discourse with the seller.

    Some of what I see him list is possibly questionable but it would appear to be someone that has seen a great deal of old stuff.. An eagle listed has been up a few times and one might wonder why. Other items have been unquestionably correct.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; there are other items I would pursue but this might be a good opportunity

  3. #3
    Hi Mike,

    Yes I saw this and compared the pictures to the last discussion thread on the subject. It looks authentic at first glance and is being handled by an experienced antique seller but I have serious doubts. The markings and font are similar to the reproduction version discussed before and the corrosion pitting does not look natural on the blade. Something also not right about the patina as you point out - looks almost painted on.

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    The taper of the grip seems more hour glass as well.

    Forced patina and wear or corrosion an old varnish?

  5. #5
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    Here we go—My opinion only. I have owned, several and seen and handled dozens of the 1814 “Baltimore” US cutlasses. This is a repro just as the last one was. Here’s some of the reasons why.
    1) From across the room you can see the grip is on upside down with the curve outward.
    2) Look closely at the pitting on the blade. Done by some type of corrosive salts. You will NEVER see natural pitting and Patina that looks like this
    3) The US stamp is wrong in spacing and has no serifs.
    4) The tang on the repos is raised much more than on an original which are more finely finished. Not like this one.
    5) The P looks good but is not quite the right die and has no serifs. Most original Ps were poorly stamped and are very worn or partially visible.
    6) The clipped point differs slightly in angle from the originals
    7) Price. There are MANY collectors that would like to have an Original “Baltimore” and would be in at 3K and up. Fortunately most are educated to these repros. and wont bid. But as we know sadly someone will probably pay too much.
    I have attached some pictures that can be compared to the (excellent BTW) ones in the listing in question.

    All that being said, they are a very good copy of the 1814 cutlass and are very close in feel and weight. I myself as I have said in the past, own one as a study piece and mine even has great Antique looking Black Asphaltum paint making it look even more authentic to an untrained collector. I have deeply stamped mine REPRO. So it will never be sold as authentic when it goes to the next collector.
    Cheers. PaulName:  balt corect.jpg
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    Last edited by Paul G.; 06-05-2015 at 12:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Hi Paul,

    Good to see it all listed so concisely - that will make a good checklist for future use.

    Thanks, David

  7. #7
    All excellent posts and all spot on. Re's Mike
    "home is the sailor, home from the sea.
    And the hunter, home from the hill"

  8. #8
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    yes, we all must try and combat this kind of misrepresentation by information when we can. Most of these sellers know exactly what the are selling. And 100% positive feedback always has to be taken with a grain of blade corroding salt as they say.
    Quote Originally Posted by David. L View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Good to see it all listed so concisely - that will make a good checklist for future use.

    Thanks, David
    Last edited by Paul G.; 06-06-2015 at 01:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul G. View Post
    yes, we all must try and combat this kind of misrepresentation by information when we can. Most of these sellers know exactly what the are selling. And 100% positive feedback always has to be taken with a grain of blade corroding salt as they say.
    I see our old friend is listed again on our favorite site. Would like to believe the seller is ignorant, but by now this is getting harder to accept. The only good thing is apparently the buyers are not being deceived since what seems to be the same fake keeps getting relisted.

    What do you think of the M1826 being listed by the same seller?

    Dick Schenk
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 10-18-2015 at 02:14 PM.

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    I would be very sceptical of the 1826. The blade has been cleaned but the guard left alone. Wood appears to be burnt away? With more questions than answers best to avoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schenk View Post
    I see our old friend is listed again on our favorite site. Would like to believe the seller is ignorant, but by now this is getting harder to accept. The only good thing is apparently the buyers are not being deceived since what seems to be the same fake keeps getting relisted.

    What do you think of the M1826 being listed by the same seller?

    Dick Schenk
    This seller has been told more than once what he has listed. No Credibility at least with me. Re: The 1826 Starr. Need to study the markings closer but I don't like the blade (among other things). I would not bid on it myself.

  12. #12
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    With sellers and collectors you have to take your lumps if you misread a sword etc. and got stiffed. Best to sell it with an honest accurate description even if you lose $$$.
    To pass on a sword that is a copy or put together as authentic is just plain wrong. I'm sure using Ebay they will find unsuspecting buyers who will pay the price.
    I once messaged an Ebay seller in regards to a copy and he blocked me from bidding on his site. These types will not go away, only knowledge and a keen eye will avoid these pitfalls.

  13. #13
    the VERY low price achieved by that M1826 attests to the fact that once a dealer/seller get a bad reputation for selling fakes, then their entire collection will be devalued whether or not the remaining pieces are real or not. I personally believe that the M1826 he had being offered was in good condition with authentic Starr markings and it should have easily gone for $1200-$1500. without having the scabbard. And it didn't even come close to breaking at least a $1000.

    So this is a good example of where bad reputation trumps a good piece and realized value.
    "home is the sailor, home from the sea.
    And the hunter, home from the hill"

  14. #14
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    I believe another House of swords repro is being featured in a major auction house's 30-31 October 2019 sa le. It is hard to tell for certain because clear shots of the markings are not provided, but the "US" appears sans serif and the grip seems mounted upside down as the House of Swords repros. What think?

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  15. #15
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    Thanks Richard for pointing this out. The Hilt picture on the auction website shows three signs of a repro HoS cutlass, the reversed grip the button like tang and the deep artificial aged blade pitting.

  16. #16
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    These Joe Walters House of Swords reproductions just live on and on.

    Thanks for pointing this one out.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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    I reported the issue to the auction house and they responded this was indeed a House of Swords repro. I believe they suspected as much from the beginning because they set the opening bid at $500 and the presale estimate at $1000-2000. If this were an original, its value would be considerably more. In any event, they said they would revise the listing but have not yet done so.

  18. #18
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    Well, but $500 for a repro of the 70's is still a good bite!

    What is more, if they already admit it is a repro, they have to state it clearly in the description. Otherwise they are fooling their costumers on purpose.
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schenk View Post
    I reported the issue to the auction house and they responded this was indeed a House of Swords repro. I believe they suspected as much from the beginning because they set the opening bid at $500 and the presale estimate at $1000-2000. If this were an original, its value would be considerably more. In any event, they said they would revise the listing but have not yet done so.
    I'm rather disappointed with this auction house. Despite admitting this is a HoS repro and stating they would update the item description to reflect the fact, they have not yet done so. The auction is on 30 Oct. It seems to me if they sell this sword under these circumstances it is an outright case of knowing fraud. Is there any mechanism/place to report such unethical and probably illegal acrivities?

  20. #20
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    I would believe typically the highest bidder would assume the repro to be authentic and not question it. This is why some auction houses can mis identify items plus the fact they usually have a solid disclaimer which boils down to buyer beware, they do not consider themselves experts etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schenk View Post
    I'm rather disappointed with this auction house. Despite admitting this is a HoS repro and stating they would update the item description to reflect the fact, they have not yet done so. The auction is on 30 Oct. It seems to me if they sell this sword under these circumstances it is an outright case of knowing fraud. Is there any mechanism/place to report such unethical and probably illegal acrivities?
    Well, my faith is somewhat restored. I just heard from the specialist with whom I was corresponding. He apologized for the slow action on this matter, but noted he has just returned from two weeks recovery from surgery. Bottom line is the item has been pulled from the auction.

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