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Thread: Lilley & Co US S&F with German Blade....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Birmingham Alabama
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    Lilley & Co US S&F with German Blade....

    Fellows: I found this last Sunday at the tobacconists shop in Hoover Alabama, he sell old knives and such. He wanted almost nothing for this item, so I bought it.

    Lilley & Co, Cleveland Ohio and the Knights' Helmet trade mark, I have forgotten if that is Kirschbaum or Weyersburg, but it is before they merged in 1883...Old age I guess!!

    I will need to replace the detent, as it is long gone, but Tom Nardi has sent me a replacement. The hilt is loose, so it can be installed without too much trouble.

    The drag is bent, and I will have to use a torch and care to straighten it, or leave it bent..hard to decide.

    The fittings are really fancy for a plain blade with the usual US etch..No name or dedication anywhere.

    What date do the experts think this might be, I have been told that M C Lilley moved to Cincinnati OH in 1870...

    Dale
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Annandale, VA
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    A very nice late-century M1860/72 presentation-grade sword. I have a very similar Lilley presentation grade M1860/72 but with a somewhat more conventional knuckle bow and counterguards. I don't believe I have ever seen this particular treatment of the knuckle bow design on your sword before.

    Name:  M1860 1872 S&F Lilley 16.jpg
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    The reverse ricasso on my sword is stamped with the WKC walking bear/critter and the words "MADE IN GERMANY". This would date my sword to post-1890 when country-of-origin markings were first required by US law. I suspect your sword is of similar vintage. Do not put too much trust in the Kirschbaum knight's head indicating pre-1883 merger manufacturer. For some reason WKC chose to use the old walking bear and Kirschbaum knight's head mark on a lot of the blades it exported to the US around the turn of the century, mainly to Lilley but I have seen the knight's head on some Horstmann late 19th century blades as well. I have no idea why WKC chose to use these marks rather than its normal company name/logo or what the different marks might mean. Maybe some of our folks have further info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    West Yorkshire, England.
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    If you have taken over a well known brand, it makes commercial sense to stick with the logo' rather than engage in a new sales campaign.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
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    A very interesting question Richard but I don't know the answer. Here are some marked both ways compliments of Old Swords.com
    https://oldswords.com/maker-notes.php?cID=5027
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    886
    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    If you have taken over a well known brand, it makes commercial sense to stick with the logo' rather than engage in a new sales campaign.
    I suppose that is the reason the merged company adopted the king's head of Weyersberg and the knight's head of Kirschbaum stamped side-by-side as its logo. The king's head standing alone was never used by the merged company, but for some reason some years after the merger they did start using the lone knight's head again. From the examples in Eric's post I see they used in for not only blades sent to the US, but also to some other countries. Did they also use it domestically for blades made for the German market?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Birmingham Alabama
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    WK&C went to just a Knights' Helm after 1918..I have seen many Weimar era swords with only that trade mark.

    Dale

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