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Thread: M1861 Cutlass - Ral or Repro?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Annandale, VA
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    M1861 Cutlass - Ral or Repro?

    To continue with cutlass week, what do you all think about this cutlass?

    Name:  Jul 2018 Pos Repro 11.JPG
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    It sold earlier this week for a decent amount on our favorite site. To me it is highly suspect. Although it isn’t the infamous House of Swords repro we usually see, I still find it highly suspect and believe it is a repro, albeit a very good one. Other than the lack of a serial number, the thing I find most highly suspect is the acceptance/inspection markings on the obverse ricasso. Below to the left is a genuine marking, the one to the right is the marking on this blade. Aside from the cramping, note especially that the “R” in Danial Reynold’s initial lacks the characteristic curl we always see on the tail of the R, especially on 1862-dated cutlasses. The periods are also missing after the letters "D' and "R".

    Name:  Jul 2018 Pos Repro 13.JPG
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    Other things that don’t look quite right to me but are harder to put into words are the shape/height of the pommel dome and the texture of the grip wrap. If this is a repro, however, it is a very convincing one. What do you think - real or fake?
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 07-20-2018 at 08:45 AM.

  2. #2
    wow house of swords still in business after all the problems they had !!!!! over all there years

  3. #3
    I used to have an identical cutlass. I bought it as a teenager thinking it was real. I'm now certain that it was a replica. A very good one, and probably an old replica. A collector friend of mine suggested that it might be from the 1960s but I have no way of knowing. All stamps were identical to yours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
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    3,649
    It sure has that repro look to it, whatever that is, a collection of contours that do not match originals. The fuller is wonky, lettering/numbers are not right. Just the shape and size of certain parts do not appear as originals.
    If you know the particular patterns it's much easier to identify fakes. There are some very good swords made in Europe now that emulate high end French swords (and other countries swords) and are sold as copies.
    Unscrupulous resellers age these swords.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    boston usa
    Posts
    193
    House of swords repro. HoS is long Gone the owner deceased. Their old catalogs are a wealth of info on repros if you can find them. They also sold some nice authentic weapons. causing even more confusion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Boston, Virginia
    Posts
    150
    I certainly agree. The markings give it away. I had to tell a good friend of mine some years ago that he had a repro just like that one in his collection. Here is another specimen that is being offered as original. I would make a large bet that this one is a movie prop.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,319
    While I agree with that blade it has to be a reproduction that m1860 light cavalry type grip is smoking hot.
    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annandale, VA
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    921
    Here is another quality repro M1861 cutlass currently being offered as an original with a four-figure price. There are a lot of tells it's a fake in the proportions and markings, e.g. the pommel dome too high, wrong number of turns to wire wrap on grip, no serial number, etc. The most interesting, however is the inspection/acceptance mark on the obverse ricasso which reads "U.S.N./JL/1864". If this were a genuine example, the marking would be "U.S.N./D.R./1864". All the original cutlasses Ames produced for the Navy in 1864 were inspected by Danial Reynolds. There never was an inspector, either during the CW or during the post-war reinspections, who had the initials "JL". I wonder if whoever made this repro used this mark to show this was a repro? Anyone have any idea who made this one or when?

    Name:  1864 JL ebay 1.jpg
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