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Jeffrey Greene




Location: Richland, Georgia USA
Joined: 18 Oct 2004

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Need Help Identifying a Naval Training Cutlass         Reply with quote

Hello to everyone! I recently purchased an old sword from a yard sale and was hoping someone might tell me a bit about it what exactly it might be, where it comes from, its age, who made it, and what it might be worth. The lady I bought it from told me that she thought it was some kind of military training cutlass. I have searched online and have found a couple more examples of this sword that are identical to mine. It seems from the info I have gleaned from these websites that it is indeed an American military training cutlass, but I still do not know its exact age or maker, or much other information concerning it. Here is a link to one of the websites that show this sword. These pics are not my sword, but mine is identical to this in every way. Can anyone help me out? Thanks so much!
http://www.therionarms.com/sold/ttoy423.html
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Dmitry Z~G





Joined: 22 Jun 2008

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a gymnasium training cutlass ca.1890-1920. There are quite a few of them floating around. Some dealers capitalize on their likeness to the boarding cutlass hilts, and sell them as naval training cutlasses. Army and navy property was invariably marked in some way or another. I don't doubt that some of these were purchased by the army/navy, but without the appropriate markings, this is just a gymnasium strength-developing gadget.
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Hal Siegel
Industry Professional



Location: Austin, Texas
Joined: 30 Aug 2003

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dmitry - interesting. Can you specify a reference detailing these swords as "gymnasium strength-developing gadgets"?
Hal Siegel - TherionArms
http://www.therionarms.com
http://www.facebook.com/TherionArms
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Dmitry Z~G





Joined: 22 Jun 2008

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 4:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must have the J.H. LAU & Co. of NY gym equipment catalog somewhere. They were dealers in athletic gear in the late 1800s-first half of the 1900s. Also, the Horstmann Co. sold these.
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Jeffrey Greene




Location: Richland, Georgia USA
Joined: 18 Oct 2004

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Dmitry! I would love to know more about the sword if you can stir up any more information. Personally, it doesn't matter to me whether it is military or a civilian training weapon of some kind, I just bought it because I like it. I am a stage actor and had just broken the blade on the one I was using, so when I found this one sitting in a barrel at a yard sale, I thought it would make a suitable replacement for my broken one, as I could see that it was some type of mock combat sword. I have actually used it in stage combat, and it outperforms any blade that the other actors put up against it. It may not be particularly handsome, but even with its age, it is in excellent condition and quite capable of still performing the task it was created for all those years ago. I had no clue what it really was when I bought it, and I had originally intended to disassemble the grip and hilt and have a prettier one made for it, but I could tell that it was old, and decided to do some research on it before I modified it. I do not want to damage a piece of history that might be valuable. So I started looking around on the internet and found the one on Hal's site, and a couple more, but I still could not identify the sword precisely, or determine what it might be worth. Personally, I don't care if it is worth only $10 or $500, I love the sword anyway. I just wanted to get some kind of idea about its history and value, you know? Here are a few pics that I took this morning of my sword. By the way, that is not rust on the sword in the photos, it is just the lamp light shining on it. There is no rust whatsoever on the sword anywhere.







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Dmitry Z~G





Joined: 22 Jun 2008

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey, I had one some years back, and sold it for $80 or so, which is what they fetch on ebay, give or take $10. I don't think modifying it to you liking would diminish any historical value [or lack of].
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Jeffrey Greene




Location: Richland, Georgia USA
Joined: 18 Oct 2004

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for your help, Dmitry. So I might safely modify this sword into something nicer without fear of destroying something historically significant? Who made these things? Were they for schools?
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Dmitry Z~G





Joined: 22 Jun 2008

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Schools, colleges, gymnasiums, fencing clubs, etc.
I am not endorsing grinding down on anything for the caution of someone suing my ass in this country of ours, but if it were mine, and I wanted to make it into a lamb chop skewer, I would have. Use your best judgment.
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