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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: American early 19th cen. artillery/militia sword I.D         Reply with quote

I have a nice early 19th cen. american sabre. The hilt looks like a Nathan Starr sword except it is brass instead of steel. The blade is short and light, about 27 inches, but then again it has a good curve. Single fuller.There are what appears to be a cluster of about 12 to 16, simply depicted 6 pointed stars on one side and foilage on the other.. ( I havent any pics of my sword) Let me know if any one has seen or owns a similar sword. This computer sucks, I'll try and send pics of similar hilt and blade monday. But if my description wrings a bell let me know.Thanks
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sounds very nice. I would have to see it before I could tell you anything about (assuming I know anything about it in the first place!). Glen Cleeton will likely be able to offer some input once you have photos.

Jonathan
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: Pics of early 19th cen. American sword!         Reply with quote

Here are the pics of the sword in question!
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hopefully here are the pics. I'm such a luddite!!!! Any way let me know.


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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And two more, since I've finally got the hang of it!


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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen Cleeton might be able to post some enlightening information, he has a thing for early 19th century American swords. To me it looks like a standard artillery officer's sword c.1820-1840. It is a good-looking sword, thanks for posting pics!

Jonathan
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Glen Cleeton might be able to post some enlightening information, he has a thing for early 19th century American swords. To me it looks like a standard artillery officer's sword c.1820-1840. It is a good-looking sword, thanks for posting pics!

Jonathan


Ah, do you have any pics, sites or other examples? I have searched "Artillery officers sword" several times and found almost nothing. Maybe this is a non-contract sword. How does one get in touch with Glen Cleeton?
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Officer's swords would not be under any contract as the officer was responsible for outfitting himself with a sword. Glen is a member here and SFI. You could just send him a PM. I'll see if I can find any images. IIRC, there are similar examples pictured in Petersen's The American Sword.

Jonathan
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan has way too much faith in my abilities and knowledge but hereI am. I'd love to see the etching, i'm intrigued. The size seems to imply a sword of a foot officer but would most correctly seem to fit an NCO/platoon leader role, except for the etching. Let me check some notes and such, as Peterson may be leading me down a false path (or I'm seeing/reading what I want to see). I'm most curious about the form the etching takes. that wild guess would make me want to say an early Marine Corp sword, pre 1810 but it would fit a militia officer of the same period as easily. I wouldn't automatically tie it to artillery.

Let me check some information in another book and let me remember where I was seeing information about an 1790 ish contract but (again) the etching has me scratching my head. If the stars are just a cluster and no semblence of the Great Seal it could well be 18th century. etching vs engraving would seem to place it later though.

Check for marks on the spine of the blade carefully and also up under those langets. Even the blade side of the guard.

Cheers

GC


Last edited by Glen A Cleeton on Wed 05 Mar, 2008 2:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Glen and Jonathan!
Alas the etching is very faint , so I cant take a picture of it. As I said, on one side there is a collection of crude six pointed stars, perhaps about 16 of them. They are not in a shield either, but rising up about 4 to 6 inches from the forte.
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm, perhaps I used the term etching too freely. Perhaps it is engraved.........hmmmm...... And I do agree that the design of the stars does seem pre-Great Seal. More freestyle in their design.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A few more musings while i have Peterson open. Again, maybe not artillery at all. Pages 123 and 124 discuss general officer and staff officer regulations of 1813. Swords-Yellow mounted . Adjunct, Inspector and Quartermaster Genertal's Department.. Sabers for them straight for all others. The Marine Corp officer paragraph (pg165) of interest lists an 1804 regulation for yellow mounted sabers with gilt (mountsd?) scabbards. Let me drag myself over to the book pile and I'll look at some other pages. The staff officer sword Peterson illustrates is likely a British blade, as being marked warranted. for some reason this one strikes me as British made as well. I need to read the letters in Mowbray again but I don't recall more than general descriptions of the British swords delivered under cover during the War of 1812 and the bulk of those were pre-orders, as it were. I had Peterson at arms reach, so those are just some quick thoughts/digs.

I'd still ballpark it to the first decade or so (maybe earlier).

Cheers

GC
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More reference to yellow mounted swords for the marines, circa the 1812 war.

Sergeants received heavy bladed, brass-hilted curved swords with brass 'D' guards and fluted wooden grip

On October 13, 1813, Quartermaster Bacon wrote to Lieutenant Gale in Philadelphia asking:

Is there any sheet Brass to be had in Phila either new in sheets; or wrought in to kelttes [kettles], new or old. If so please inform me & also of what price. We need it much for sword and scabbard mounting


The above from
http://www.1812marines.org/uniforms.htm

The reference to sword mounting during the war is interesting to me.

Abraham Nippes surfaces as somone making grips like this in the states but he was doing steel hilts in the one contract I know of. That from a David Radcliffe article about cavalry swords.
http://armscollectors.com/mgs/four_big_black_swords.htm

Rick Wagner knows this era well
http://www.qualitybladebooks.com/index.html
There used to be a great page of 1812 swords of his at Mike McWatter's site but is no longer hosted there.
http://www.angelfire.com/wa/swordcollector/

One more page is among the missing, I know I have it somewhere band it has a nice series of plates and notes for the period.

I don't know if any of the Richard Bezdek titles might be of help. Rankin and a Philadelphia reference didn't yield more.

Cheers

GC







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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Duplicate post.. i don't see a delete button.
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've actually got Mike McWatter working on trying to I.D. it. The only other thing I can think of about the sword, is the very small grip that is on it. All the 17th and 18th century swords that I've held have a small grip for the smaller hands of people in those times. That for me makes it a pointer for late 18th, early 19th century. Also the stars on the blade being in a style that is pre-great seal.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not that it couldn't be, but I would be surprised if it is 18th century. 1800-1810 maybe? I don't think that the grip size would indicate a date of manufacture. Good luck with the ID and date. Please share what you learn!

Jonathan
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I've actually got Mike McWatter working on trying to I.D


Aha!

While you have his eyes and ears (as it were) Ask him wassup with the dead links on his research page and if the inspector's by manufacturer page will ever go back up. That and the Rick Wagner article have been somewhat biblical to me.

I was getting ready to write an email and see if his mail was still good have been a bit bashful about it. the Rick Wagner 1812 article may still be on the OKCA pages somewhere but I've not looked hard enough maybe.

Someone else that may have some good insight is the proprietor of Arizona Swords. David LaSlavic
http://azswords.com/

Cheers

GC

On the great seal thought, it was really just that. As it was adopted in the 1780s, it most predates the sword by a decade or so but standardization on weaponry took several many decades. If it is line engraving and not an acid etch, chances are the art is even more abstract. By the 1820s-1830s, one sees much more uniformity as etching became more of a standard. Before that, eagles looking either direction, wings up, down Imperial Frenchwise, you name it. Fields of stars with odd counts, as you are seeing were very common in the first decade or so of the 19th century.


Last edited by Glen A Cleeton on Thu 06 Mar, 2008 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll ask him when he writes back. One other thing. Do you know of any examples of this kind of star pattern on non-american swords? On the off chance its not american.
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found the answer to part of the story. Counting the stars on the sword, which do represent the states in the union, I have come up with 18. The 18th state was louisiana which joined in1812. The 19th state was indiana in 1816. Hence, ipso-facto, alla-kazam, this sword is between 1812 and 1816! I have included a pic of another U.S.swordblade of the same period that has the exact same style stars on it, to post as an example. (The stars on my blade are too faded to show up on my camera.)


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inkothemgard!
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Mon 08 Dec, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an old sword that I and other people thought was a Early 19th cen militia sword. I thought it was U.S. Because of the field of stars on it. I tried counting the stars to see if I could place a date by the number of stars they represented. However I recently came across pics of the same sword saying it was early 19th cen. cavalry officers sword. Man was I suprised to find the same etchings!! Here are pics of my sword and better pics of the etchings on it that I copied from another site. (My digital camera isnt very good so I was glad to find these.) Let me know what you think or know about this sword.
Thanks.
Morgan



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inkothemgard!
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