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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject: Sabers, rapiers and briquet to ID         Reply with quote

Hello guys,

So here's the situation. Our little museum has a small collection of swords (used to be many more but god knows where they ended up). Being a very old historical society, its members (many military men) contributed to its collections. While going through the inventory, I found them, and saw their entries were incomplete at best and full or glaring errors at worse (like I needed any reason to go take a look..). But turns out I couldn't find as much as I thought on these. So here are a couple of pictures, tell me if that rings a bell:

1-This sword has an old ID tag saying: 1798 Virginia american cavalry saber. So of course I thought about the 1798 Nathan Starr. I haven't been able to find many pictures of that model, but those I've got here don't look much like it. It does look late 18th century though. It doesn't have any visible marking, it has a double edged tip and a double fuller.

http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2766.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2768.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2766.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2769.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2767.jpg

2-A very peculiar and long hussar saber. It has some markings as you might see. Two hussars are pictured on it, both are in different positions. The words "Vivat Hussar" on top of them, and a kind of coat of arms below. No makers mark again. A double edged tip, single fullered blade, and a very strange cord wrapped handle that looks like a modification.

http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2770.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2771.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...8384705017http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...ter=images
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...r%3Dimages
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...r%3Dimages
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...r%3Dimages
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...r%3Dimages


3-A lone blade, very long. Looks to me like either a sidesword or a rapier. There is a small fuller on the forte, ending with an engraved anchor on both sides. The ricasso also has a small cross stamped on each sides, probably a smith's mark. The blade is rather hefty, much more so than the previous two.

http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/bd-dl/artefact...MG2800.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2796.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2797.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...ter=images

4- And finally we have two identical briquet sabres. These I'm pretty sure they are late 19th century, (because of the nail in the handle) type IX. There are no markings visible (perhaps under all that corrosion and grime though). If anyone has any other precision to give please do.
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...MG2792.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...791.jpg%26
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Empe...790.jpg%26

Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,835

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Max,

I saw this on SFI and have been picking at it a bit but I have a terrible time with loading Photobucket pages and some other hosts because I am on dial up. Posting links to direct urls of the images is a lot easier to follow. Here is a link to the entire album for others to follow, if that is easier. One you posted of that batch is a duplicate

http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Emperio/

http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Emperio/CIMG2766.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Emperio/CIMG2767.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Emperio/CIMG2768.jpg
http://s234.photobucket.com/albums/ee160/Emperio/CIMG2769.jpg

This first one is (I believe) not American at all but was very possibly made by Wooley of Birmingham England. Of that general time line but possibly a bit earlier. I have a nearly identical example in a book that is marked to 1793 on the blade spine. While the contract of 1798 resembles not just Starr's efforts but even more like the Rose family of Philadelphia (and actually a good number of others in America) I have no doubt the person tagging the sword likely had a reference such as Peterson's old bible on American swords. The grips on those rarely exhibit as many turns/grooves and I did hit some of the regular suspects in books I have. The Wooley pictured in the Mowbray/Flayderman's Medicus Collection title jumps right out as a near exact example. The simple counterguard as well is not unlike other Wooley and similar Birmingham work. The steel/iron hilts do show up on American made swords but the other factors of fit really go back to the British examples. Take a good hard look at the spine of the blade on that one. You don't mention blade length on that one and I have not looked at your entire gallery yet but it looks shorter than the 1798 American cavalry contract swords as well. Birmingham and the American cutlery trade was booming at that time and assemblies of parts on both sides of the pond hard to pin down exactly, unless the marks and traits point to specific shops.

Take a look at the hilt on a spadroon I have in hand and the similarity of both the grip turnings and other fittings (except the butt cap), along with the simple counterguard. Mine has a design within that but the plain guards are not unusual. Also some other hilts I showed in another thread. Note the sabre blade on that one. The fuller is distinctive and running close to the point as often seen on these British blades of that period.

So, that is my thought on the first one and I'll take a look at some of the others but updating the SFI thread may be worth your while as well. Don't give up, as it can take some time for many to wander through different halls and buildings to see the threads. Neat stuff and fun to look into.

Another site that it would be worth registering for is www.oldswords.com/

Cheers

GC



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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,835

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vivat Hussar picks up not just your inquiries but also a very good page shared by some roaming forumites. The entire hilt on that seems to have been done after the fact and neither grip or guard representative of the blade itself. I would stay in the second half of the 18th century for that blade but prior to the first empire (imo)

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/organ...saber.html Marc Marbot will likely see that in time on SFI.

Cheers

GC
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Don Stanko




Location: ohio
Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 478 books

Posts: 233

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blade #3 appears to be a rapier blade. Judging by the thickness of the ricasso, I would say it could be as early as 1590 or as late as the mid 17th century. The makers mark has been used by many smiths through the century, so I would not use it as a reliable indicator.
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Ozsváth Árpád-István




Location: Romania
Joined: 27 Apr 2008

Posts: 131

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I find a sword in the attic I know where to look to ID the piece. Now with a sword found in the US or Canada there's a big problem. The majority are immigrants and some brought with them grandpa's sword. In fact these swords could come from any corner of the world so it's very difficult to identify them.
The exact type is hidden in the details, so keep on searching. Swords from the same period were very similiar in many countries, a small detail can make a difference between a French or a Russian sword.

Now for the briquet swords... This type was used in many european countries like France, Austria, Russia and even Italy with no or very little difference between them. Any maker or unit markings can help. Your swords have an unusual quillon - this could be a clue to the solution.
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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2010 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys!

The rapier has another mark on the ricasso, its some type of a snake like coil. I can't make out much of the details but I'll try to take a picture.

The hussar sabre visibly has a new handle, but that handle has seen action (some cut marks and slight deformation).

The briquets are most probably from France. One of the members of the Society brought back many artifacts from the major battlefields of the Franco-Prussian war, we have a Prussian 1871 quillback bayonet so most probably these swords were in the same lot. The trumpet quillon is a characteristic of the An IX model, that was repeated in the Second Empire with a nail in the handle. The same exact model is pictured here at the bottom: http://auxarmesanciennes.free.fr/sabres/Sabre...Ia1854.htm

Interestingly the museum was once the home of Gen. Montgomery's sword, which was taken when he died during the siege of Quebec in 1775, but was sold to one of his descendants, to the dismay many: http://www.morrin.org/transactions/docsfromcl...34/34.html

And there were many others, but like I said I don't know what happened to them, and I don't know why the ones we still have were kept around.

Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
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