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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,239

PostPosted: Sun 06 May, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Austrian M1861 saber, real or fake?         Reply with quote

I got this saber as a gift from my godfather and to me it looks like Austrian M1861 infantry officer saber, but I'm not sure if it really is and how old it might be. The blade is 75cm long and overall the saber is 89cm. The blade is stiff but will flex nicely when under pressure. The hilt is a bit loose and looks like copper plated with brass, could that be? The saber is light and is joy to handle. Whistles nicely through the air. Scabbard was once painted black. On the ricasso is half erased Solingen mark. The edge is blunt and also what i think was once sharpened back edge from the end of the fuller to the tip. The hilt looks like it's not peened but somehow screwed on? So, what do you guys think?





















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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Sun 06 May, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Luka

This looks like an Austrian 1861 infantry sword. There were older models of the same hilt type but the 1861 seem to stand out from the others a bit. Does the blade seem nickel plated to you? Bavaria used a similar sword, pretty much the same and that would make sense as the alliance of the two were close into the mid 1860s. It may have been BAvarian use.

A nice gift. I would not suspect it to be a reproduction. I do not know these to say how long they were fielded nut I suspect they were in use through the century, at least. The predecessor would be the 1855s before that 1837s but I have read of even more models in between those.

Cheers

GC
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,239

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It might be nickel plated but I don't know how to check that. Anyway, it seems it is an M1861 from a WW1 because of black painted scabbard and probably issued to a Hungarian honved (regional militia) or military policeman because of copper hilt with brass plating (info by Dave Kelly from SBG forum). Of course, it might be earlier than WW1 and just the scabbard was painted for service when WW1 started.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Luka

It looks like you are all set then. I would think not police, with a metal vs a leather scabbard (less bumping into the lady's fine furniture, etc). A plated blade will sometimes have dark black looking corrosion in patches such as you show. Of course, I am going by the pictures. It is these small spots, I am seeing, like the blade pictured below. I would not sharpen it, if it has been ground flat, simply because the geometry will never be what it once was. The scabbard may have been painted in more modern days. I would think that much paint losss would be indicative of that. If it had been done by the military, I don't think you would have a bright plated finish remaining, rather it would have been quite roughed before coating (if that was the case)..

Cheers

GC



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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka,
I read the SBG thread. If the blade is plated I would not sharpen it. I recommend searching Sword Forum for more info on the M1861, and pay close attention to posts by George Wheeler. He is a keen collector of police swords from around the world. If you are able, research the appropriate portepee and get a repro for your sword.

Jonathan
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Better yet, send George and or Ivan a pm/email.
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...-Swords...

Cheers

GC
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,239

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your answers people. Happy
I will have to think a bit more about sharpening, it seems these swords are not really valuable and I wouldn't sell mine because it's a gift so it has emotional value. But I would like to try some light cutting with it. Johnatan, what is the thing with plating and sharpening?
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 6:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When you sharpen the sword you will obviously be removing the plating from the edge. Over time the plating that remains will be more suceptible to flaking off. It may be ok with proper care. If you do sharpen the sword and cut with it, be sure to clean it carefully at the juncture of bare steel and plated steel. Please share your results if you do sharpen it and cut! Happy

Jonathan

PS--Here are two examples of swords where the plating has deteriorated. The first image shows teh contrast between a plated area and one where the plating is gone, exposing a brown stabilized area of steel:



The second shows the contrast between plating and bare polished steel that has not oxidized:

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,239

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips, I will definitely post results if I cut with it. And I probably will, it's sooo nice to swing this thing...
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,239

PostPosted: Sat 12 May, 2012 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a little update... The saber weighs 620 grams, the hilt is just brass, nothing else beneath it, and the edge may never have been sharp it seems...
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