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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > small sabre Reply to topic
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Iain Norman





Joined: 14 Jul 2005

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: small sabre         Reply with quote

I just picked this up at the post office yesterday. A small antique sabre of some kind. Usually my antique forays are limited to ethnographic Asian or African stuff. But this one twigged my fancy (and was easy on the wallet Razz). However I am wondering anyone can help me pin down a bit more, just what I've got. I bought the sword with the idea of turning it into a project blade, however I generally try to find out what I'm working on first.



The hilt and guard were obvious modern additions. The guard a big chunk of brass which had been soldered to the tang, the wood hilt looked like it came off a steak knife. (from now on I'm just going to link pics to ease load time on the thread)
hilt and guard
These ugly fittings came off pronto. Unfortunately holes had been drilled in the tang because of this, but I realized this when I bought it, so no big deal if somewhat annoying. It appears the tang was also shortened as the end has a fairly fresh cut, though I can't imagine it ever had much more length to begin with.

The only marking I could find was on the tang.
tang marking
Clearly it said "GERMANY" before the hole was drilled in the tang. I was half hoping (in a joking sort of way) for a running wolf, but oh well.

There are some strange things about the blade, however, first the stats.

Overall length: 29 1/2 in.

Blade length: 26 in.

Tang length: 3 1/2 in.

Ricasso length: 1 3/8 in.

Blade width at ricasso: 7/8 in.

Distal taper: 1/4 in. spin thickness at ricasso, tapering to 1/16 in. at tip

Edge thickness (cutting edge): 1/32 in.

The sword (as you may have figured from that last figure) is blunt. Not only blunt but it appears to never have been sharpened as the edge is fairly square (though still decently think 1/32 of an inch). The size is also smaller than most sabres I believe. The seller had no estimates as to time period. The blade displays nice distal taper, good flex, and a decent "dust and oil" type of patina. The fuller is well defined, and the overall workmanship seems to be of good quality.
patina

Mostly I'm interesting in what time period this might be from, the patina seems to indicate a far bit of age, and I've never heard of blunt, tourist type pieces coming out of Germany (well, not with good steel, and a thick, solid tang anyways). I'd hate to speculate in ignorance, but that only thing I can think of is that it might have been made for a child and thus left blunt for sparing practice, but that of course assumes some age, which I am also not to sure about since I'm not familiar with the "GERMANY" mark and what time frame that might fit into.

All thoughts and comments appreciated.

Rest of my pics:
spine (it's just the angle that makes the blade look a little crooked)

ricasso

fuller

big overall shot

attempt at an 'artsy' shot
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Wolfgang Armbruster





Joined: 03 Apr 2005

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe that thing is fake.

If it's not fake then it was most likely produced/forged after 1945. I doubt anyone in Germany would have put a "Germany" stamp on his products before that time Wink
However, I could be wrong after all.
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Alexander Ren




Location: Florida
Joined: 18 Apr 2005

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice sword.

I went to your last four links but the pictures did not come up. Would it be possible for you to post them here?
Thanks... Alex

"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."
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Iain Norman





Joined: 14 Jul 2005

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wolfgang,

That was my thought initially as well, as far as I know Germans don't usually use "Germany", or do they? However the patina and general 'look' is consistent with other pieces I've seen and handled that were anywere from 100-200 years old. However I'm not expert. Even if it is modern (last 50 years) I don't have a problem with it, its a good blade, and the seller made no claims as to authenticity or age.

Alexander,

My free image host seems to have bummed out on me, working on that now...

EDIT: Apparently my hosting service is update a script and will have things back online in 15 min or so. *fingers crossed*
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Wolfgang Armbruster





Joined: 03 Apr 2005

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2006 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iain Norman wrote:

That was my thought initially as well, as far as I know Germans don't usually use "Germany", or do they?


After 1945 products made for export were usually labelled with "Made in W. Germany". They removed the "West" after 1989.
Nowadays you often see "Made in the EU".

Hah, just found out that they started to label their products "made in Germany" as early as 1887. (Trademark law from 1887)

So your piece could be quite old. Happy
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Iain Norman





Joined: 14 Jul 2005

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jan, 2006 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well that's certainly useful to know! On closer examination the edge has a few knicks and burs that seem consistent in age with the rest of the surface of the piece, so I think someone was definately using it for sparring at somepoint in its life.

(oh, and all pics should be working this morning)
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Douglas A.





Joined: 07 Sep 2004

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jan, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: Marking of Germany         Reply with quote

The marking of the country of origin generally started as a result of the US Customs Law, called the McKinley Tariff in 1891 (actually 1892). The stamp "Made in Germany" or simply "Germany" would be used up until WWII, and again after the reunification of Germany. Imports had to be marked, and most European Countries standardized to meet this requirement. Not for export items did not require stamping. My guess is that the blade was made prior to 1940, and likely prior to WWI, as an export cavalry blade, but that is my gut feeling based upon the substantial appearance of the blade, and the archaic but incorrect importance placed upon cavalry prior to the great war.
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