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Thread: Identification of sword + blade inscription needed - US Civil War?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Silkeborg, Denmark
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    Identification of sword + blade inscription needed - US Civil War?

    Hi all,

    I have this sword, that i think might be an US Civil War sword - but i am not sure and need help identifying the sword.
    I also need help identifying the inscrition on the blade.

    Thanks.

    Regards
    Morten, Denmark
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    North West US
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    It is an m1850 infantry officer Field and Staff. The bottom inscription is US GAR, United States Grand Army of the Republic. The top looks like CART FOR but may be Gary, Ind. This style was certainly used in Civil War but was also used for a short time after.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kansas City Metro (USA)
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    A very interesting CW period sword (a Model 1850 Foot Officer sword without the US in the guard) with postwar provenance showing use by a veteran in the Grand Army of the Republic. GAR halls tended to apply gold or silver paint to these wartime relics. You might look closely in the nooks and crannies with a glass for paint remains.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  4. #4
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    Silkeborg, Denmark
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    Thanks Eric and George .. valuable information 👍🏻

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Annandale, VA
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    I'm not sure what to make of this sword. The sword itself looks like a French sword - note the very short ricasso. What is the material of the grip - looks like it might be horn which would be another potential indicator French origins. It does not appear to have had any etching on the blade, which would be a bit unusual for a M1850 Foot Officer sword. I agree with Eric that the lower inscription appears to be US GAR, but that would be an unusual formulation for the Grand Army of the Republic - I don't think I've heard of the group referred to as the United States Grand Army of the Republic. I haven't a clue about the top inscription.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Not too accustomed to read Gothic letters but it seems to me to read:
    CARL TOR
    OSCAR

    ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Just relooking the inscription I notice one character has been missed, i.e. there is an ampersand (&) before the first letter in the second line, so the inscription is (word) (word)/& (word). I'm not good with gothic letters, so I'm still not sure what those words are. Comparing the repeated letters with each other, I notice the first letter of the first line is the same as the third in the second. If Magnus is correct that it is a "C", as I think he is, then Eric must be wrong in interpreting the second line to be "US GAR". I also notice the fifth letter on the top line is identical to the first letter on the second line. Again, I suspect Magnus is correct that it is an "O". I believe Magnus is wrong, however, in identifying the last letter on the first line as an "R"; it is clearly different than the other two "R"s in the inscription. Based on this, I would guess the inscription is "CAR? ?O?/& OSCAR". Stretching my imagination further, I might read it as "CARL JOB $ OSCAR". Could that be the name of a retailer? or perhaps two or three friends who presented the sword?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kansas City Metro (USA)
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    Well, after looking again, and again, I tend to agree it is not "GAR" but what I cannot say. Now it is not only interesting but perplexing as well.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
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    12,073
    I replied to this elsewhere but I have to agree with it not being a GAR inscription. My further thoughts were it might be linked to Carl XV's of Sweden reign.

    Cheers
    GC

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Nipmuc USA
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    King Carl & Prince Oscar Oscar becomes king in 1888.

    fwiw, the gothic inscription a first hint it was not US. MS GAR would make zero sense and US GAR redundant.

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