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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 6:33 am    Post subject: 19th cent saber, identification help needed.         Reply with quote

My relatives have a 19th cent supposedly russian saber that I'd like to get more information about. I've tried to look through the internet, but haven't found anything that resembles it. As it is quite light and short, I'd recon it's not for cavalry use. I'd also like to get more info about how should I proceed to preserve it best. First, some stats:

Total length: 88cm
Blade length: 73,5cm
Width of blade at the base: 3,5cm
Thickness of blade at the base: 6mm
Length of point ridge: 38cm

Pob: 8,5cm
Weight: 1080g

I went through some basic longsword drills with it as I don't know any saber stuff, and I have to say it certainly handles sweet. Controlling the tip was quite easy and as a whole the weapon felt natural in the hand. Then for the pics.



 Attachment: 94.68 KB
Inscription2.jpg
The most informative marking is this on the back of the blade, but I can only make the year "1864v"

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Mark1.jpg
Blade marking at the base of the blade.

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Mark2.jpg
The same on the other side.

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Ricasso.jpg
Edge at the base of the blade.

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Blade.jpg
The blade.

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Back edge.jpg
The back edge.

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Tip ridge.jpg
The tip reinforcement is about 5mm thick. The back edge here isn't very sharp at the time, but could have been sharpened.

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Saber.jpg
The scabbard is in three pieces and has been tried to fix using some sort of fabric tape


Last edited by Risto Rautiainen on Sun 18 Jun, 2006 6:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's more pics.


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Hilt.jpg
The hilt has been painted afterwards.

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Hilt inside.jpg


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Sword in scabbard.jpg


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Sword in scabbard detail.jpg
The sword fits the scabbard mouth perfectly. Here you can see that a piece has broken off the hilt.

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Scabbard mouth.jpg
The sewings of the leather of the scabbard are partly torn.

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Chape.jpg
Chape seems to be made for the blade.
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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So do you know if this is a standard issue military blade and if it is, which military? How should I treat the blade especially the rusty spots? Just add Renessince wax? How about the hilt, should I remove the paint and if, then how? Should I remove the tape on the scabbard? How about renewing the sewing of the scabbard suspension? How should I treat the leather parts? What about the chape? Should I keep the blade in the scabbard of keep them separate? Here's the last pics.


 Attachment: 106.16 KB
Hilt1.jpg


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Sword in hand.jpg

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Risto,
It looks like you have a Russian Model 1856 Naval Cutlass. It saw use until 1900. The blackened hilt was standard, so I would not recommend tampering with the paint (as it is probably original). The "quill point" blade was standard for this model.

As far as preservation/restoration, I personally tend to be more cautious and leave my antiques as untouched as possible. There are some great article on www.swordforum.com regarding the care of antique swords. Just do a search for restoration and/or preservation, or look through the threads on the Antique and Military Sword section.

Hope this was helpful!

Jonathan

PS--There are a number of people who regularly contribute at the Antiques and Military Sword section that could advise you regarding the scabbard, and any other more specific questions you have about preservation/restoration.

Edit: Now that I have taken another look at the paint on the hilt, it does not look original (is it grey?) Also, here is a thread that discusses restoration: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s...estoration

and here is an article: http://swordforum.com/articles/ams/conservation.php

What the heck, here's one more: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s...estoration
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Dmitriy Sobolev




Location: Moscow, Russia
Joined: 20 Apr 2006

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marking on the blade reads as "Златоустъ" - the famous russian blade manufacture of Zlatoust. And the letter after the year is the written form of russian letter г for "год" - "year".

There are some photos of the piece. http://www.oldarms.ru/shpa.php?idg=1118
It has very characteristic leather scabbard, unlike most others bladed weapons of the period with steel scabbards.

In russian it is "Seaman's boarding pallash (broadsword? backsword?), pattern 1856". It seems strange for me too, because it has curved blade, and there were other russian naval weapons with curved blades, called sabers and half-sabers... But this one is "pallash".
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

About the paint--while it might not be original, it might have been something that was added during the service life of the sword. It's hard to know.
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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the fast replys! Haven't read the links yet, but will soon. The hilt is painted after the piece's service years.
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Dmitriy Sobolev




Location: Moscow, Russia
Joined: 20 Apr 2006

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2006 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, too - I never heard anything about weight and, of course, PoB of this sword before, so your stats was very useful.

(I have two very similar aluminium blunters, so now I'm very happy to know that their weights are realistic. Happy )
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Arne Focke
Industry Professional



Location: near Munich, Germany
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jun, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like there might be some active rust towards the tip of the blade, which should be treated.
Simply apply, very carefully, some petroleum with a soft brush. That should take care of the rust and leave the original surface of the blade intact.
To conserve the blade you might use balistol.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've finally finished conserving the sword. I removed the stitching on the sheath mouth to get it off the mouth piece. Then I waxed the leather and started working on the metal pieces of the sheath. It was hard to remove the rust without removing most of the original paint. Thats why some parts are still a bit reddish. I used nylon brushes and tooth brushes with CLP. Then I waxed the steel parts with renaissance wax. After that I sewed the sheath mouth together using waxed linen thread. I noticed that the leather around the steel sheath mouthpiece can't be original according to old sewing marks on the leather and this was confirmed by a photo I found of an original sheath.

Most of the work on the blade was done using a brass bristle and CLP. I had to use a brass pick to get the worst flakes of rust off the blade. There was a side effect to this as some of the brass got caught in the pitting and was quite hard to remove afterwards. For the hilt I used tooth brushes to keep the (not original) paint intact. Finally I treated the whole sword with Renaissance wax.

Then I made a display case for the sheath and the sword.

Well here's some before and after pics.



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Showcase2.jpg


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tip old n new.jpg


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Hilt old n new.jpg


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Scabbard mouth old n new.jpg


 Attachment: 131.98 KB
Chape old n new.jpg

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Risto,
You've done an excellent job conserving the sword and displaying it! Do you plan to leave the paint on the hilt?

Jonathan
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Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed 04 Jun, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
You've done an excellent job conserving the sword and displaying it! Do you plan to leave the paint on the hilt?


Thanks Jonatahan! I just followed the instructions on those links you provided, thanks for them! I'm going to leave the gray paint on as removing it would probably remove quite a lot of the original black underneath. This is also following one rule about antiques: they should be left as they are and only additional damage should be prevented.
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