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Mike McCullough




Location: Maryland
Joined: 14 Jul 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jul, 2019 5:30 pm    Post subject: Possible sword pommel         Reply with quote

Found 7/14/2019 in Harford Co., Maryland. Oldest relics from same area date from late 18th to early 19th century. Close inspection shows remnants of gilding. Object is heavy so I consider it to be cast brass. Any help making id is appreciated.


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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,906

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jul, 2019 9:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome aboard.

It is not unusual but unfortunate that the rest of the sword hilt parts were not found with it. Yes a pommel and from a smallsword of some type.

You might enjoy browsing through this title.
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications/catalogue_of_european_court_swords_and_hunting_swords

There was a lot of overlap by country. There were a few ways to apply gold to the base metal. France was getting into cast and pierced steel before the Germans and English and this general shape lasted a very long time. My guesses as to origin and narrowing a date wouldn't be as accurate as some others.

Blade types varied but overall weights were a pound or less without a scabbard. Blades rust away in some ground quite quickly.

I think it's from the second quarter of the 18th century but I don't have a definitive answer.

Please add total height in inches or cm/mm. This may have been for a slightly heavier sword such as a spadroon.

Cheers
GC
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Mike McCullough




Location: Maryland
Joined: 14 Jul 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jul, 2019 7:00 am    Post subject: Thanks for your response         Reply with quote

Thank you Glen.
Very helpful information you offer.
Pommel length is 43mm.

I will do a wider search of the area to look for other parts.

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Mike McCullough




Location: Maryland
Joined: 14 Jul 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jul, 2019 3:25 pm    Post subject: Peterson reference         Reply with quote

Google search on “gilded brass pommel” yielded link to Harold L. Peterson’s book “The American Sword 1775 - 1945”
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,906

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jul, 2019 5:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, Peterson is often regarded as the old testament for American use swords but a primer such as the Bashford Dean catalogue and say, George Neumann's Swords and Blades of the American Revolution are better starts.
https://www.amazon.com/Swords-Blades-American-Revolution-Neumann/dp/1880655004

Those would be much more expansive flash card decks for finding a similar example. The overall genre of 18th century smallswords and hangers easily fill half a dozen research books with hundreds of variations of similar pommels.

The Peterson book and Neumann's belong on any shelf for someone looking at sword history in the US but they honestly only scratch the surface. The Peterson book is not where I would direct others, even though there is a silver hilt appendix with a couple of dozen random smallswords.

Cheers
GC
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