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Thread: Hessian Cavalry Saber ca. 1910

  1. #1
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    Hessian Cavalry Saber ca. 1910

    Guys: I recently found this nice Hessian Cavalry saber. No maker is visible to me. Damast Stahl and Eisenhauer marked on the blade. I will make some more pix later of the pattern on it.
    The monogram on the hilt is that of Ernest Louis, the last Landgraf and Prince of Hesse. Ruled from 1892 to 1918. Came with the correct Hessian Officers' portepee. Hesse and Württemburg had similar colors, but Hesse had the zig zag lines to differentiate the two states.

    The only was to tell if this configuration is Hesse or Württemburg is the crest or cypher on the basket. Württemburg has the state crest on the hilt, exactly where the monogram is on this one, other wise they used the same saber.

    Dale
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  2. #2
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    Nice find Dale. It is great that it had the original Portepee.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  3. #3
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    More pix...

    Guys: Here are two shots of the blade pattern. I think this is "Artistic Damast" not the real thing. If you think otherwise, let me know.

    The Solingen makers had all kinds of "Damast" available, Artistic, Simulated, and Echt (Real), it is hard to say what this is as it is labeled as "DAMAST STAHL" not "ECHT DAMAST STAHL"
    There were rules and conventions in Germany regarding this at the time.

    Dale
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  4. #4
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    Absolute beautiful sword and nice find! Many thanks for sharing your photos and information. Greatly appreciate you always educating us on various styles and models of swords that exist out there.
    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  5. #5
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    Dale, regarding your last photos that show the watered steel 'look' damascus pattern. I have a question about a sword I currently own that it's large 1 1/14" wide blade has that almost exact similar randomized pattern look, however, the pattern on the sword blade of mine is much more subtle looking. One almost has to 'look for it', but it is certainly there and is a similar pattern to yours. The sword I own is a 'grosser' jawless lion head and the pipe back blade blade is huge in terms of width and length (35 inch long blade) and has the 'yelman tip'. As we all have seen, especially ones who collect imperial german swords (like myself), the german 'grosser' swords with large blades are the ones that typically are targeted to adorn damascus blades. The blade is made by P.D. Luneschloss (high quality maker, and I believe so much so that the well known Ames Sword Company, at one time or another, uplifted their swords with P.D. Luneschloss blades) as indicated on the back spine of the blade and one can tell it is of very high quality.

    My question is this, The blade on my sword does not have any engraving upon it (I assume this may be due to the officer who ordered it may not have wanted to spend the $ or maybe because this sword might have been intended to be worn into battle) It only has the P.D. Luneschloss maker on the spine and is certainly of true damascus (as far as my scrutinized observation of the blade reveals anyway.) So, in your professional and collecting experience, have you seen other swords made with true damascus blades, yet the maker did not even bother to engrave/etch onto the blade the 'etch damastahl' (or any of the equivalent german verbiage for damascus), informing the owner that that blade IS actually damascus? I can imagine to have the blade etched indicating as such would cost extra $$ that the owner might not deem as necessary, since they knew what they were buying from the military outfitter at the time of purchase.

    (I do realize there exists blades with etching to 'simulate' damascus (guessing for the purpose of a marketing gimmick) but as you well know, one can certainly tell the difference between a true damascus blade and an etched one. Especially if observed under a jewelers loop and/or another tool that allows magnification at an extreme level.)

    Thanks Dale and hope to hear back from you regarding the lack of damascus verbiage etching, on true damascus blades.
    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  6. #6
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    Photo of very subtle true damascus - grosser blade

    Dale,

    I forgot to upload a quick photo of the blade I was speaking of in my previous question.

    Thanks again.
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    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  7. #7
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    Entire sword

    Overall sword photo with the damascus blade:
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    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  8. #8
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    Derek: Now that I have the internet back running, we can discuss your saber. Without a detailed in person examination, I cannot say, but it looks real to me. Keep in mind that the makers often dipped the finished or semi finished blade in ferric chloride to bring out the pattern, after 100+ years, this is often worn completely off, or the blade is polished and the contrast is obscured or gone. The Ferric chloride would react with the iron and darken it, but only dulled the steel a bit, I have yet to see one that is not like yours or mine. The only exception is a couple of German blades that had a lacquer finish that was not removed, and the contrast was still quite visible..

    Dale

  9. #9
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    Dale,

    Thank you kindly for your response and knowledge. I agree with you, my blade does look identical to yours. I do like your damascus blade a lot better than mine because your 'watered pattern' is more pronounced which is more striking to the eye.

    Again, many kind thanks.

    Take care.
    Kind Regards,
    Derek McLane

  10. #10
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    Derek: I like the Artillery Saber you presented here, I wish I could find one like that. One thing that seems to me to be a custom in Solingen at the time these were made is; Artillery is jawless and cavalry has the jaw on the lions....Early Lion head Sabers were almost always jawless, then sometime around the war of 1870, it seems, they began to make these with the lower jaw, I have no idea why this is...Maybe they were imitating a lion pelt, or perhaps they decided to change fashion for idiopathic reasons, someone here might know more than I on this facet of hilt design.

    Dale

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