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Thread: Again about the US saber 1902

  1. #1
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    Again about the US saber 1902

    Hello everyone.
    I have a question again about the 1902 US officers' saber.
    Unfortunately, the survey topic on such sabers (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...litary+schools) for some reason does not open on my computer and I can't watch it ...
    I recently acquired another example of a 1902 saber belonging to a certain captain Orville Duncan Oliphant (https://www.geni.com/people/Orville-...00111832965966).
    But the question is the following - there is no manufacturer's mark on the heel of the saber blade. Only on one side is the inscription "Germany". Why could this be?
    Thanks in advance for the answers in the topic.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
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    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 09-07-2021 at 06:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    I believe by law German made items need to be marked as such. However it does not help with a makers name. Holler made edged weapons until the 1970's, a possible candidate.

  3. #3
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    US law requires imported products to show the country of origin. A majority of M1902 sabers, or at least the blades, were imported from Germany.

    The name on the ricasso (I think that's what you're calling the heel) is usually that of a retailer, not the manufacturer. The sabers were imported, marked with the name of the retailer, and sold.

    It might be possible to learn which German made your saber blade if you can remove the furniture. The pictures do not show if the saber is held together with a screw or a peen. If it's a screw, then you can simply unscrew the pommel and the saber will come apart. The blade may be marked by the maker under the grip.

    Your soldier is something of an enigma. He apparently served in WWI, commanding Company I of the 53rd Pioneer Infantry, but does not appear in the Army Register, the USMA Register, nor the Reserve and National Guard Register. He departed for France on the SS Mongolia on 6 August 1918 and returned on the SS Caserta on 22 April 1919. He was born, lived, and died in Trenton, New Jersey.
    Last edited by Sean Scott; 09-10-2021 at 05:12 PM.

  4. #4
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    Shawn, thanks for the answer.
    Here is a photo of the end of the handle head - I don't know if it's a screw or a rivet ...
    Tell me, how can it be that the captain of the US Army, who fought in the First World War, is not listed in any army register?
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    Shawn, thanks for the answer.
    Here is a photo of the end of the handle head - I don't know if it's a screw or a rivet ...
    It's a peen. The end of the tang has been hammered flat to hold the pommel on. You would have to grind it off to disassemble the saber, not something I recommend, though it looks like it might have been done sometime in the past...


    Tell me, how can it be that the captain of the US Army, who fought in the First World War, is not listed in any army register?
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
    Good question, I don't have an answer. I probably just don't have the right register. The 53rd Pioneer Infantry was, before activation for WWI, the 47th Infantry Regiment, which was a New York National Guard unit. I have a gap in my registers for the New York National Guard between 1913 and 1922. Still, he should have showed up on the Regular Army Register for 1918 if he was on active service.

    You might have some luck requesting his service record from the US National Archives or from the State of New York.

  6. #6
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    I did find a copy of a letter he wrote seeking a government position after the war, which gives a short summary of his service:
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  7. #7
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    With the information from the letter, I found him in a 1913 register for the New Jersey National Guard. So, he was a New Jersey National Guard officer until called up for Federal service in WWI, then left the service after his return.
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  8. #8
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    Sean, thank you so much for your help.
    His letter also mentions which military campaigns in France he took part.
    Now I have more or less complete information about the owner of the saber, his service and participation in the First World War.
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 09-19-2021 at 03:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    No photo of the saber owner....
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 09-19-2021 at 03:26 AM.

  10. #10
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    There supposedly is a photo on Ancestry.com, but the owner has made it private so you'd need their permission to see it.

  11. #11
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    Understood thanks.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

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