Hello all,

I recently did something new for myself: I bought my first antique sword. I purchased this German Artillery Saber from none other than Bruce Brookhart (yes, the Bruce Brookhart who designed swords/knives/daggers for MRL), whom, I might mention, is presently selling some of his collection of pointy sharp things here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=26847

I wanted to show this baby off and ask a few questions about her:

Something that strikes me as a little odd about this saber is the tip. Pictures of other such artillery sabers online do not feature the clipped point, though a look at the patina on the end certainly seems to suggest that this was an original feature of this one. Does anyone know of others like this one?

In relation to the above question I found that the lower markings on the spine have been faded to the point where I cannot make out the symbol indicating what branch of military it was issued to. The picture below shows the markings on the crossguard which I believe to indicate that it was made for and used by the Imperial German 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Company, Weapon Issue 90. The thought occurs to me that perhaps the blade was a completely different style for another military branch and was later rehilted for the 11th Field Artillery Regiment, thus explaining the clipped point. Might that be possible?

A couple of other questions:

1. There appears to be black paint on the hilt. Online pictures appear to show sabers with and without this black paint. Was this common on hilts at the time? Did some like to leave the metal showing while others favored a lower maintenance approach?

2. The spine markings include 97, which means it was made in 1897, correct? I am uncertain what the hilt is made out of. There is a chip at the base and it does not look like wood to me, which puts me in mind of bakelite but since bakelite wasn't invented until 1907...

Note: I do not see "Waffenampt mark", which I understand indicates military usage after WW1. Trivia I guess...

Please nobody tell me this is a fake, like so many other supposedly antique swords we see here on these forums. ;) Ok, if it is, tell me. I'm a large, semi-muscular man, I can take it. (I believe the saying is "Cookie for the reference.")