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Thread: Probably Not A P-1796; New Member, New Sword.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Westport Island, Maine (US)
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    Probably Not A P-1796; New Member, New Sword.

    Gentlemen, I want to introduce myself, and to say how grateful I am at having been allowed to register as a new member of this Forum. Not wanting to fly under false colors, I want to admit to a degree of trepidation. I am a collector of Antique British Ordnance and EICo weaponry, primarily Flintlocks and Percussion small arms. I have always been drawn to the swords and bayonets of this era, but have no great knowledge or expertise with them. Though I have acquired quite a few swords and bayonets, I see myself as more of an 'accumulator' than collector. As a member of The British Militaria Forum, I have been kindly aided by several members in sword and bayonet identification and sometimes, acquisition. Over time I discovered that several of my friends and fellow members are also members of this Antique and Military Sword Forum. I decided to try to join even though my actual expertise amongst you is minimal.

    I would like to begin my Sword Forum posting with a very new acquisition. It was advertised as a British P-1796 Sword. I have wanted one of these for several years. It is sadly typical of me that I can be impulsive. I tend to do research after the fact. This is actually something of a double edged sword (pun intended). On the one hand I have taken a number of hits, while on the other I have gotten some amazing things by being quick and decisive. Sometimes, the thing that I get turns out to be not what I thought it was, but even better. At this point I am really not sure what category of find this sword belongs in. After doing some research I remain perplexed (not to worry, perplexed is a natural state for me.). I don't think that it is a Pattern 1796 British Sword. It may not be British at all. I do believe that it is of the Period, in quite good shape and to me quite interesting and cool. This last part may very well be a rationalization.

    For some reason (Karma?), Many of the swords that I obtain are either missing their chapes or have been long ago painted gold. This sword falls into the latter category. I have done very minimal cleaning other than trying to put some leather preservative on the grip. Any advice as to what to clean, how to clean it or, alternatively what to leave alone will be welcomed. Please know that I tend to be terrible at posting photos. It took me weeks to figure out how to do it on The British Militaria Forum (and I'm a moderator for gosh sakes.). If there are photos to follow then my sacrifices to Mithris have been found worthy. If not please be patient, I am trying.

    Very Sincerely, Charlie Sorrentino
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    Welcome to the forum Charlie. Your sword is an officers British 1796p but lacks the British blade decoration. It is in excellent condition especially the blade gilt and blue.
    Most likely a British product made for export. The paint can be removed with paint stripper such as Circ 1860 stripper. I find a fine nylon brush for the grip and 0000 steel wool for the hilt and scabbard when using the paint stripper. A water rinse will neutralize and remove remaining stripper. Hilts and grips have become repeatedly wet in the past and does not hurt them. I would not handle the grip until fully dry though. There is lots of advice for cleaning found in permanent posts here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    17
    G'day Charlie,
    I have to disagree with Will on this one. Your sabre isn't a British 1796. It is a German sabre, probably made in Solingen around 1820's. If you look closely it may have a maker's mark similar to this one.
    Cheers,
    Bryce
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  4. #4
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    bryce you're correct, I let the British type scabbard drag trump the hilt that has a slight German look to it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    478
    Yes, Saxony (more likely) or Prussia (less likely) between 1820 and 1850.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2021
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    Westport Island, Maine (US)
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    Interesting. I am very grateful for the quick response.
    I guess that these two are brothers rather than cousins.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Without regiment markings both the Blucher and the 1796 light cavalry pattern were sold worldwide to many nations. Mexico bought both and many of the 1796 pattern in US, many Solingen made. With US motifs and with generic etch. Solingen made both 1796 pattern and the German model.
    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

  8. #8
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    Location
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    To reply in particular to Bryce about possible markings;
    I have been over the sword with the proverbial 'fine tooth comb'. I have found absolutely no markings, even under the langulets (sp?).
    Where on the example that Bryce shows with the Solingen marking, this sword has a flowery design. The actual gilded elements however look very similar.
    The gilded part that might on a sword intended for the American market contain a liberty cap or federal eagle, and on a British intended example a crown or service symbol, is a very generic panoply of arms, seemingly without specific referent to country or branch of service.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    No doubt Solingen made blade. Typical Solingen style etch and very generic sold and mounted on different hilt types. Possibly sold in bulk with or without hilts to any one any where.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
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    Yes, a typical Solingen blade. Is there any mark at all on the spine of the blade at the base?

    At some point labeling a sword must be a p1796 variant should be lost and simply agree these smaller swords, at best, inspired by the p1796.

    All them there katana look alike.

    I have a number of swords in image files that show obvious British furbishing traits with obviously Solingen blade traits that do not say Runkel on the spine. Likewise the typical floral sprigs and flowers on the spine of the blades wanes (imo) in the 1820s. While this latter is something I expect to see on these blades with these Solingen etches, there seem to be some don't have them and those blades perhaps exported without the guild/forge spine marks.

    The scabbard drag on this sword as well looks more of the German trait than the British generics. Compare to my Wolfe of NYC marked sword. Compare this sword scabbard drag/shoe shown above with the German exports to Widmann with the more squared off looking drags.

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    Certainly influenced by the p1796 swords but smaller and no flare/"hatchet" to the point profile.

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    Anyway, to me, the sword in the introduction to the thread doesn't look like a British produced sword.

    Cheers
    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-04-2021 at 12:00 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
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    Oh, Windex on the blade. No petro solvents but a mild and dilute ammonia and alcohol mix on the blue&gilt. A favored low abrasive on the rest. Nevr-Dull is cotton, white spirits, clay and ground quartz.

    Bronze and copper vs iron wool. Blue kitchen scrubbies. Green borders on scratching.

    Cheers
    GC

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