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Rick Reuter





Joined: 12 Oct 2004

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 11:35 am    Post subject: Tiffany Saber         Reply with quote

Hi all. I'm new here so here goes nothing:

Okay, so a guy at work knows I like swords, armour and the like and asked if I wanted an old saber of his grandfathers. Of course I say "HELL YA". So he brought it in to me yesterday and it says its made by Tiffany and Co, New York on the blade. Anybody here know anything about these sabers and this maker? Is it worth anything? I've looked around on line to no avail. I'll try and get some pictures of it soon. Thanks for any help. Rick
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Nate C.




Location: Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 13 Jun 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 301

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 12:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

Here are a few links I found using Google (the all knowing search engine Cool):

http://www.butterfields.com/areas/arms/7480a/...a-1332.htm
http://www.butterfields.com/areas/arms/7480a/...a-1349.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/wa/swordcollector/marks/page1.html

here is a link to the search I used:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=tiffany+company+saber

Good Luck! Big Grin

Nate C.

Sapere Aude
"If you are going to kill the man, at least give him a decent salute." - A. Blansitt

If they ever come up with a Swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, then Jumping Off Something. --Jack Handy
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Halfway decent condition with Tiffany and Civil War equals pretty good cash on the Civil War collectors market . Tiffany made a wide range of high end army gear purchased for the most part by commisioned officers .
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Rick Reuter





Joined: 12 Oct 2004

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow. This would be it. Right down to the blade makers stamp.
http://www.antiqnet.com/search/item_detail.jsp?id=154500
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tiffany 1840 in good shape is worth a bit . Does the fella you got it from know anything about the history/provenance ie.who used it ,service record ect. That kind of stuff bumps up the value for CW collectors .
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Rick Reuter





Joined: 12 Oct 2004

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not that I'm aware.
The only differance that I can see is that mine has wire wrapping all around the handle. Did the leather just come off or would they have made it that way? I guess I mean, wood wrapped with twisted wire then leather and then another more spaced wire wrap? Thanks for the help. Rick
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Chris Holzman





Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2004 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rick Reuter wrote:
Not that I'm aware.
The only differance that I can see is that mine has wire wrapping all around the handle. Did the leather just come off or would they have made it that way? I guess I mean, wood wrapped with twisted wire then leather and then another more spaced wire wrap? Thanks for the help. Rick


Hi Rick,

Tiffany, then as now, was a very upscale department store, and all levels of custom work and modification were possible, as I understand it. If someone wanted all wire, they certainly could have gotten it.

On a typical grip, you would have wood which would be carved out with spaces for the wire to fit into, and to pull the leather down into as well. the leather would go on over the wood, and be secured by the wire.

I have seen custom pieces where ray or shark skin was used. I've never seen one with only wire, but from Tiffany, its certainly possible. Officers had a great deal of discretion on what they carried. At a gunshow 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of handling a M1850 field and staff officers sword by Tiffany. Whoever owned it was a foppish dandy at heart. The Solingen blade was beautifully etched/gold washed with U.S. Army, and a unit identified, the hilt was gold plated brass, the grip, where you would normally find leather was thin silver sheet hammered over the wood, and then shaped, and bound with gold plated wire. in spite of this is was an absolutely lovely weapon, scary sharp, well balanced and probably no more than 1.5lbs despite all the bling-bling. it was accompanied by a equally pimped out scabbard. Asking price was about $15,000.00.

Yours seems to be a bit more of a useful piece though, and the Tiffany stuff is extremely cool. I someday want to own one, just so that I can say that I own one of the only cool things that Tiffany ever sold.
The Tiffany blades, as I understand it, tend to be mostly German imports. very cool stuff.

you lucked into a heck of a nice sword.

Chris Holzman
River City Fencing Club
Wichita, KS
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Jonathon Janusz





Joined: 20 Nov 2003

Posts: 467

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct, 2004 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rick,

I metioned to my mother recently your recent sword discovery and she (an antiques dealer of more years experience than I have on Earth) had this to add:

[paraphrase] if your sword is marked "Tiffany and Company New York" it is a later period piece (post Civil War) manufacture as Tiffany and Co. NY was established after the Civil War ended (year escapes me) - but not by much. Assuming all other indicators are present, the sword is most likely authentic but is not truly a "Civil War" piece. An item produced by Tiffany/Tiffany Studios (Lewis Comfort Tiffany by full name FYI) DURING the Civil War would commonly be marked either in etch or very tiny oil mark simply "LCT"; a mark (by my personal examination of an authentic piece and in my opinion) that is difficult at best to notice and recognize for what it is (kinda funny story - my mother spent the better part of an evening when I was younger trying in vain to remove such a "stained spot" from a lamp shade before recognizing the mark for what it was.)

If you would like any other specific information about Tiffany let me know and I'll see what I can do!

P.S. my mother ballparked an estimate just on the vague little information I provided on your piece in value comfortably in the thousands of dollars as a unique piece of Tiffany memorabillia alone. You scored big on this one, friend, and congratulations! I would recommend (from my experience and knowledge in such matters) not doing anything - including cleaning - to the piece before getting a formal authentication and appraisal done on it. Any patination present may be the only thing that can undeniably confirm the piece as genuine and is most likely critical in retaining its value. Keep it in a dry place, lightly oiled to prevent rust or deterioration, use as little and as gentle chemicals as possible, and none if you can get away with it (especially on anything organic like leather), and perhaps give it the "white glove" treatment as far as handling until research deems you do otherwise. You are now most likely the caretaker of a valuable antique. Enjoy!
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Rick Reuter





Joined: 12 Oct 2004

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2004 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for all the great info.! The blade is marked exactly like the one here:
http://www.antiqnet.com/search/images.jsp?id=154500
It is just like that one except the grip on mine is wire wrapped with no spaces and no leather. Where would one take it to get it authinticated? It's in great shape with little to no discoloration on the scabbard or saber. It is a little hard to pull out however. It looks to me that the scabbard might have gotten a little twisted or something. Again thanks for all the help. It's a pretty exciting find for sure! Rick
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