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Thread: HELP! Swords for sale locally!

  1. #1
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    HELP! Swords for sale locally!

    Good day all. Admittedly, I'm out of touch with current market values on swords. I'd put my collecting days far behind me and just keep my eyes peeled for anything with a Canadian connection. That said, there's a local estate sale with 4 antique blades for sale. I'd appreciate any input, poor pics notwithstanding, as to an idea of fair market value. I know there are fakes galore coming out of eastern Europe and Asia which is part of my caution. I don't know if fakes of these particular models are out there hence my reaching out to you lot. Forgive the pics, they're all I can get at present. Your thoughts and input would be most appreciated. Thank you.
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  2. #2
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    Looks like a couple of French swords and then an older early 1800's sword. Not enough showing to access them. I would try getting the last one pictured.

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    Hard to say from the photos and limited info supplied The first two appear to be French Mle 1845 or its many variants or look-alikes. The last is a variant of the Bavarian pattern 1788 cavalry saber, often called the Rumford saber after its designer Baron Benjamin Rumford. Many of these were made in Solingen and sold in various markets including Latin America. The blades often had the motto "No me saques sin razon" on one side and "No me embaines sin honor" on the reverse. These do not appear to be repros.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 05-25-2021 at 01:26 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thank you, Richard and Will! I'm getting these swords tomorrow and I'll have better pics to post once I get them into my hot little hands and have a chance to assess condition and do any preventative maintenance they may require. The seller has several more swords for sale, but (alas) my pension won't allow me to indulge myself any further.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawrenceN View Post
    Thank you, Richard and Will! I'm getting these swords tomorrow and I'll have better pics to post once I get them into my hot little hands and have a chance to assess condition and do any preventative maintenance they may require. The seller has several more swords for sale, but (alas) my pension won't allow me to indulge myself any further.
    As promised, here's better pics of the swords. The Chatellerault marked sword is in very good condition with everything nice and tight. There are no unit or makers marks on the other two, at least none that I've been able to find. The 1845 pattern has some wobble to guard, damage to the tip and throat area of the scabbard. The German sword shows signs of having been service sharpened and the engraving is very much worn away from years of cleaning and polishing, I assume (given it's age). On a good note, the brass and leather scabbard is still very nice, again given it's age. So, enjoy
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  6. #6
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    Lawrence they all look good. The loose hilt can be corrected with a small piece of leather inserted between the blade and guard. You can slip it in and it will not be noticed. It's also reversible.
    Interesting that the French cavalry sword is marked as a 1822-99 pattern. Dated 1906, I wonder what the French were doing and if the sword may have seen action?
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 05-26-2021 at 10:09 AM.

  7. #7
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    Regarding the 1822/99 sword, I just noticed the initials engraved on the top of the grip just ahead of the actual pommel. I'm assuming the owners initials rather than some martial marking.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawrenceN View Post
    Regarding the 1822/99 sword, I just noticed the initials engraved on the top of the grip just ahead of the actual pommel. I'm assuming the owners initials rather than some martial marking.
    Indeed, that's usually the owner's cypher. The 1822/99 is usually for artillery officers. Very nice one. Any mark on the guard plate?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max C. View Post
    Indeed, that's usually the owner's cypher. The 1822/99 is usually for artillery officers. Very nice one. Any mark on the guard plate?
    Artillery? I defer your much broader range of knowledge, but I'd assumed that a long blade like that was more geared toward cavalry. Other than the inspectors marks on the scabbard and quillion and the Chatellerault engraving on the spine, there are no unit marks or stamps that can point me toward a specific branch of the service. As I'd mentioned to others, research is equal parts frustration and fascination. The real "head-scratcher" is the curved shorter sword. Everything I've seen or discovered thus far says late 1700's but again, without some form of makers or unit marks to provide a jumping off point, it's a matter of reaching out to every source I can find to try to nail things down. I've reached out to Mark Cloke regarding that sword and he's on board with trying to get me some information on it. Given your long experience with blades, I'd appreciate any thoughts you'd care to pass on.

  10. #10
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    Artillery do carry very similar if not identical swords as cavalry. Other than static forts, artillery uses horses so the same swords come in useful.

  11. #11
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    If you look at the inscription on the back, you will see that right after 1906 it says: Off.er=d'art.rie, abridged for "artillery officer". As Will says, these guys would spend a lot of their time on horse, and by then the sabre would be carried on the saddle. Keep in mind also that these officers would not be the ones loading canons. But regardless, the artillery officers always carried the same sabre as the light cavalry from 1822 onwards. Interestingly, there never was a specific regulation model for mounted cavalry officers, but some decided to order fantaisie types along the line of the 1829 instead of the 1822.

    The 1822-99 is the last curved sabre pattern for officers. All other services were carrying straight 82s, 83s or 96s, but the artillery always had a thing for curved sabres and asked to keep the 1822. It's a slightly lighter version from what I understand, usually with a longer grip as well.
    Last edited by Max C.; 06-09-2021 at 10:23 AM.

  12. #12
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    Once again, Max and Will, I have to thank you. I'm pretty knowledgeable about firearms from many different countries and eras, but swords??? Very much a learning curve for me! I assume the markings on the scabbard and blade are inspector's marks? Does the "C" denote Chatellerault?
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    Last edited by LawrenceN; 06-10-2021 at 04:53 AM.

  13. #13
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    My pleasure! I'm the opposite, being a sword guy I know very little about guns.

    Those marks are called poinçons. They are inspector marks from Chatellerault. I think I see a circler V, which would be the director Lt. Col. Veyrines who took over in 1904. The Cs are controller marks, I think the circled C would be 1st class controller Clémenceau, and the squared one would be 2nd class Clémenceau (probably related, the factories often had dynasties of swordsmiths working for them). Chatellerault was really the top blade maker in France, and their blades usually sold for more. They would sometimes make their own hilts for officers, but usually they got sold to fourbisseurs or retailers who would fit their own hilts. I suspect yours is such a piece, but it doesn't seem to have a fourbisseur mark to identify it, unfortunately (it's usually on the blade or on the guard, sometimes around the quillon or guard plate, sometimes even underneath the washer.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schenk View Post
    Hard to say from the photos and limited info supplied The first two appear to be French Mle 1845 or its many variants or look-alikes. The last is a variant of the Bavarian pattern 1788 cavalry saber, often called the Rumford saber after its designer Baron Benjamin Rumford. Many of these were made in Solingen and sold in various markets including Latin America. The blades often had the motto "No me saques sin razon" on one side and "No me embaines sin honor" on the reverse. These do not appear to be repros.
    Well! Aren't I a dummy! I posted pics of the Rumford style sabre on Facebook and one gentleman made a very good observation that I hadn't considered. What if it's not military issue at all? Given that swords were still a common defensive/offensive weapon in the late 1700's, it's entirely possible that it may have been carried by a civilian like a sea captain, a family servant, maybe a night watch guard or private security, someone who traveled often on dangerous roads or areas for business, etc. That would account, at least in part, for the lack of martial markings. Still, it would be wonderful if anyone had one just like it and could give a definitive attribution.

  15. #15
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    Hi Lawrence - I think the big issue with this sword is that it is a "German states" type. As you may know, there were a lot of smaller kingdoms that constituted what is now Germany, ad all of them had their own patterns or lack of patterns, and these have been very poorly documented. This looks "Bavarianish" and definitely late 18th century in make, but without a clear marking, it's hard to pinpoint who used it and when. Was it a private purchase? Maybe. But it could also be just a non-regulation officer piece or a very obscure pattern from Bavaria or Wurtenberg. Sometimes it's just not possible to categorically answer those questions.

    The length looks infantry-like. How long is the blade?

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