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Thread: Unmarked P1796 L.C. Sabre

  1. #1

    Unmarked P1796 L.C. Sabre

    Hi,
    I have a non maker and non acceptance stamp P1796 L.C. sabre. It has file marks on the blade and scabbard presumably in order to match blade to scabbard. It also has two punch marks on the scabbard throat. There is some minor damage to the blade in the place where one might expect but obviously whether use or abuse is impossible to determine. I think the above would possibly point to Yeomanry use. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
    Regards,
    Norman.

    P.S. The pillbox hat is mid 19thC Ayrshire Yeomanry.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England.
    Posts
    363
    I would check if this is an early pattern Blucher sabre.

  3. #3
    Hi David,
    Definitely a P1796 see, https://collections.royalarmouries.o...tive-551.html#

    Regards,
    Norman.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    964
    Nicks are usually either accidents or people fooling around with the swords, or using them for theatrical purposes. I recently acquired a collection, and every single piece had nicks, some were transformed into saws, even those that were never sharpened. I believe that a previous owner simply had fun with friends with probably too many drinks involved.

    A better sign of use, IMHO, are repairs. I have a few swords which I believe had some sort of "battle damage" repaired. You can clearly see that certain parts of the blade were reground to make the nicks disappear. The reason is very simple, nicks are dangerous to the integrity of your sword. The weak areas where your sword could break if it received a lot of stress there, so you want to make them disappear as soon as possible, especially on trooper sabres. I have heard a few stories of officers choosing to keep a specific nick or two as a reminder of a battle, but those were very much exceptions.

    I believe the marks are probably some sort of rack or unit number to make sure the sabre and scabbard were kept together.

    BTW, I own a AYC marked 1796, no scabbard though.

  5. #5
    Hi Max,
    Thanks for your comments. Nicks on blades produced by blade to blade contact can obviously be caused on the field and in the 'garage' with no real way of determining which one. The conundrum of use or abuse will never be satisfactorily resolved but I would agree that the latter is more likely in most cases.
    My Regards,
    Norman.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    13
    G'day Norman,
    I agree, the lack of acceptance stamp plus the fact it was marked to distinguish it from other similar swords does suggest it may have been used in a yeomanry regiment.
    Cheers,
    Bryce

  7. #7
    Hi Bryce,
    Thanks for your insight on this.
    My Regards,
    Norman.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Gothenburg
    Posts
    56
    Nicks..
    First thing we did with our swords as soon as there were no officers present was...
    Swedish army early 1980:s

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,600
    The nicks on this blade are very minor. In the past I have stoned out nicks on blades using soft stones which do not leave heavy scratches and they quickly shape to the contour of the blade. Once done you would not know nicks once existed. Reminds me of an old story from Kingston Ontario where an instructor thought it wise to sign out some 1853p and 1890p sword for some sword exercise (play). This lot was heavily nicked and I've seen a few examples of these very ones over the years.
    The sword has a nice clean blade and scabbard. The two round punch marks are probably just that as they are far too small for identification markings.
    This pattern of sword is still quite popular and continues to gain in value.

  10. #10
    Hi Will,
    Thanks for your ideas. The hilt and scabbard weren't that clean when I got this, see photo, the blade was in great condition as some nice person had wiped it down with some light grease prior to its last sheathing. Nicks don't bother me too much unless bad and these ones are really not much at all.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    175
    Hello Norman,

    If I may, present a theory regarding the file marks III/\ that appear on the blade spine. Just food-for-thought as they say:

    The intentional file marks on the back spine of your blade near the hilt (and the matching ones on the scabbard)...Could it be that these file marks have a purpose and correlate directly with the dimensional width of the blade to be fabricated for the completed sword? For instance, could the symbolic file marks such as: II , III , III/ , III/\ coincide with dimensional widths of like maybe 1", 1 1/2", 1 3/4", 2" respectively? and if the blade is marked as such, the scabbard fabricator subsequently would know how wide to make the blade throat opening for the blade that it is intended to sheath...and then he would mark the scabbard with the same symbolic file marks.

    The theory above sort of draws from how the British 'lead cutter' sword blades were symbolically identified and correlate with the width of the blade....which could get massively wide. In fact, i wish I owned one of these interesting 'lead cutter' swords.

    And I must say, what a GREAT looking sword you have with a blade that is built for 'business.' I absolutely love swords with wide blades.
    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  12. #12
    Hi Derek,
    Interesting theory although I am certain that the more obvious sword and scabbard identity match is by far much more likely. If you like swords with wide blades you may like this Austrian piece of mine with a pattern welded blade. Thanks for your interest.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
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  13. #13
    Hi Norman,

    That is a really impressive sword!

    Gordon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    175
    Wholly WOW!!! my jaw just hit the floor viewing that sword of yours. Now that is a VERY interesting sword! I love that blade!!!! and damascus to boot too! Excellent piece and truly a keeper to stay in the collection.

    I never seen such a unique back-edge on a blade before and the width is amazing!! Was that a special purpose sword?...possibly Police sword or a Guard sword? it is absolutely menacing and most excellent!

    I know I can say, for myself at least, that you just showed all of us a most unique and appealing looking sword.

    Thanks for sharing.

    B.t.w. might you know any information about Romanian swords? i just posted a new thread regarding an officer saber that I am trying to learn more about.
    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  15. #15
    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for your comments. This sword would have belonged to a wealthy Austrian Officer in the mid 19thC. The Kilic/Pala orientalist style blade is of Austrian manufacture and was popular with aristocratic officers. Slimmer similar blades were popular with British and French officers at the beginning of the 19thC after the Egyptian campaign by Napoleon and the subsequent British incursion. I have only managed to find four other similar Austrian swords two of which I have uploaded as images and the other two as descriptions only.
    My Regards,
    Norman.

    TWO AUSTRIAN MODEL 1850 INFANTRY OFFICER S SABRE AND AN AUSTRIAN MODEL 1861 INFANTRY OFFICER S SABRE
    the first with earlier curved fuller blade inscribed Frince. (rubbed) on one side and with celestial motifs on the other regulation steel hilt fishskin-covered grip in a contemporary steel scabbard; the second with 18th century Turkish blade retaining traces of gold decoration (erased) regulation steel hilt fishskin-covered grip in a contemporary steel scabbard; and the third with earlier Hungarian broad fullered blade double-edged towards the point etched with the figure of Mary on one face and a Patriarchal cross on the other and with pious inscriptions including Maria Mater Dei Patronia Hungaria Sub tuum Pace sicium confugio [sic] regulation hilt fishskin-covered grip in a contemporary steel scabbard with two loops for suspension
    the first: 73.5 cm; 29 in blade
    (3)

    Provenance
    The Armoury of Archduke Eugen Fortress Hohenwerfen Salzburg Austria sold Anderson Galleries New York 1st - 5th March 1927 part of lot 487
    JWHA Inv. Nos. 269 270 161





    AN AUSTRIAN MODEL 1845 CAVALRY OFFICER S SWORD
    with minor variations with curved kilig style blade formed with a reinforced back-edged etched with trophies a sun-in-splendour scrolls of foliage and celestial motifs on each face and retaining traces of early gilding regulation steel hilt pierced with two slots at the top engraved FI probably for Ferdinand I (reigned 1835-48) wire-bound fishskin-covered grip in its steel scabbard
    83.5 cm; 32 7/8 in blade

    Provenance
    The Armoury of Archduke Eugen Fortress Hohenwerfen Salzburg Austria sold Anderson Galleries New York 1st - 5th March 1927 part of lot 487
    JWHA Inv. No. 272
    Norman McCormick is offline
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    Last edited by Norman McCormick; 01-03-2021 at 06:49 AM.

  16. #16
    Hi,
    Having trawled through my sword images I finally found the photos of the other swords that had descriptions only. Unfortunately they are only part images and don't show the entire sword. I think it was no3 in the first description that was similar to mine which is the first one in the photo of the three swords although the one with the earlier Turkish blade will probably have a Kilic/Pala type profile.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
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    Last edited by Norman McCormick; 01-03-2021 at 08:52 AM.

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