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Thread: 1885 cav - Markings Mad!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    1885 cav - Markings Mad!

    Hi all,

    So, your new sword arrives, you unbox it and hope to find a few juicey markings to get your teeth into.

    On my newest arrival I was slightly overwhelmed to find 21 distinct groupings of stamps on the sword alone. There is even one on the true edge of the blade!!

    It's an 1885 British cavalry sabre, one of the 18,500 Solingen made swords ordered from Weyersberg Kirschbaum.

    It's the newest sword I own at 130 but one thing I notice about it by which if differs from its predecessors is that it has more than a hint of that modern standardised military kit feeling about it.

    However in typical sword collecting fashion the stats described for this sword in Robson's do not quite match this example.

    The blade is 34 1/4" it's slightly shorter by 1/4" as is the scabbard.

    At 2lb 4oz, it's 1oz too light even with the +/- 1oz advertised.

    The grip length is too short by 3/8" at 5" total.

    So perhaps not so standardised after all.

    I've figured out some of the markings but would appreciate any corrections or assistance with the others.

    On the scabbard is Y above Y.D. 97. Could this be (yeomanry) Yorkshire Dragoons?

    '91 and '94 - issue and reissue dates?
    YC - yeomanry cavalry
    BR - Birmingham Repair (what do the numbers signify?)
    Crown/S/12 - Solingen inspection
    X - Bend test
    WD - War dept
    /36 - unknown
    44/E - unknown
    C - unknown
    E - unknown
    O (partial?) - unknown
    C . F B - unknown
    187 - unknown
    417 - unknown
    2 (or 26?) - unknown

    I'm a little disappointed that the only stamp I can't really make out seems to be where the regimental markings are usually found on the inner hilt.

    It looks to me that there is definitely a letter "H" present, anyone any ideas? I've taken a very wild leap of imagination with my guess as you'll see below.

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    Last edited by james.elstob; 06-24-2016 at 06:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    I fund that 600 grit or higher paper lightly rubbed over markings can bring them up to be legible. Removes staining that can mislead you.
    Differences in measurements could just be due to being a Solingen maker. An ounce under weight could be due to sharpening, multiple cleanings, dry leather grips and loss of leather on grips. Probably a combination of these.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Hi Will,

    I've weighed the sword and scabbard again. It's actually spot on. My scales are just bloody rubbish.

    Here is the mystery marking, cleaner but no clearer, at least not to me anyway. The horizontal line to the right appears to be part of some damage rather than part of the marking.


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    Last edited by james.elstob; 06-25-2016 at 07:27 AM.

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