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Thread: French revolutionary sabre: from which metal could this hilt wiring have been made?

  1. #1
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    French revolutionary sabre: from which metal could this hilt wiring have been made?

    I would expect a brass wiring on the hilt, but this wire has darkened. Could this be brass or is it iron. Any thoughts?

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  2. #2
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    Does a magnet stick to the wire? It has the look of iron. I have a sword with single strand copper but that is fairly evident. Many metals will darken, so without the sword in hand, it could be hard to be sure.

    Cheers
    GC

  3. #3
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    I believe the wire could be a later replacement.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    I believe the wire could be a later replacement.
    That could ofcourse be anothe possibility as it doesn't look like the brass used for the hilt and the scabbard. Why the use a darker metal?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Does a magnet stick to the wire? It has the look of iron. I have a sword with single strand copper but that is fairly evident. Many metals will darken, so without the sword in hand, it could be hard to be sure.
    I cannot get specific information about this.
    I fear that the past 2 months I have tortured the seller a bit too much with repeated questions for photos of the poinçons and other.

    As always the seller believes he has the quintessential sabe in hand as it comes from an "old collection in France".

  6. #6
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    With some grip covering loss the wire is too snug to the grip to be original and I believe it's wire added at a much later date. Typically the French used double stranded twisted wire.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    Typically the French used double stranded twisted wire.
    Not always, Will.
    E.g. on the Chasseur à Cheval 1790, both single and double strands (twined and parallel) are encounterd, but usually a brass wire.
    Although iron wire also exists, especially on Sabres de Dragon, but then I would expect also an iron hilt and scabbard pieces.
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    Last edited by DirkS; 01-12-2020 at 06:46 AM.

  8. #8
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    Grip wire on swords that were used and of great age tend to show a good deal of loss. Sometimes the wire under the pommel remains. The second photo demonstrates replaced wire.
    You have a cord wrapped wood core covered by leather and then single strand wire that is far too tight to the grip to be original in my opinion.
    I would not assume photos of other swords show original wire or grip covering. French swords that travelled Europe with Napoleon for years in the field suffer wear and loss and shrinkage from repeated rain/moisture etc.

  9. #9
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    Looks blue to me, silver ?
    Magnetic ? If so its iron or steel
    Most likely a replacement
    (Have seen swords with bicycle gear wire)

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