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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 7:05 pm    Post subject: US Navy model 1852 sword - black grip regulations         Reply with quote

I noticed that while the wast majority of US Naval swords model 1852 have white grips (whether wood, stingray skin or plastic) there are a few that are black. Does it signify anything? I mean, did the regulations strictly specify the color of the grip or not?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome aboard.

All m1852 officer swords were white grips. Do you have an example of what you see as an 1852 with a black grip? There are a number of other swords that are quite similar that did use dark grips.

Cheers

GC
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

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PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like this one:

http://www.horsesoldier.com/products/edged-weapons/3767

Which similar swords that use black grips did you mean?
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

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PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Or either of these:

http://discussions.mnhs.org/collections/2015/...h-25-1865/

http://www.rockislandauction.com/viewitem/aid/52/lid/1058

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Naval-Office...B006Z2KS90
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, I'll have to crack a book Wink I have Peter Tuite's book on the swords, so he must mention any regulation. I imagine it is with change after the American Civil War.

As far as the Cold Steel offering, I wouldn't use them as asource for history. Let me pull the book.

Cheers

GC
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, plain as day. March 8, 1852

Sword and Scabbard
For all officers-shall be a cut and thrust blade, not less than twenty-six nor more than twenty-nine inches long, half basket hilt, grip white. Scabbards of black leather, mounting of yellow gilt, and as per pattern.


Repeated again in a following chapter on the pattern swords.

Going further in the book briefly doesn't really mention darker grips but some sharkskin is darker than white ray and some other coverings (silver on some). A leather grip would likely have been a replacement or non-regulation import. Some sharkskin quite dark, more black than gray. Some presentation swords show such variations and certainly the German made swords with darker sharkskin.


Still, the regulation kind of speaks for itself. The ACW still a period when regulations were more of an expectation than an absolute.

Cheers

GC
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen, thank you for clarification. Could you please explain a few more things:

1. Have there been any significant changes in the regulations of the M 1852 US Navy sword in the last 160+ years? If so, what they were and when did they take place? In other words, do the US Navy sword made today (the reason I included Cold Steel link) and the one made 100-150 years ago follow exactly the same pattern or not?

2. When did the sword regulations became an absolute rather than an expectation? I mean, when it became unacceptable for a Navy officer to show up with a black grip sword?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,831

PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K Greg wrote:
Glen, thank you for clarification. Could you please explain a few more things:

1. Have there been any significant changes in the regulations of the M 1852 US Navy sword in the last 160+ years? If so, what they were and when did they take place? In other words, do the US Navy sword made today (the reason I included Cold Steel link) and the one made 100-150 years ago follow exactly the same pattern or not?

2. When did the sword regulations became an absolute rather than an expectation? I mean, when it became unacceptable for a Navy officer to show up with a black grip sword?



There had been no real changes in the regulations and changes other than blade width and the wear of them. The blades got narrower after 1872 and narrower again by the 1820s-1830s. The requirement to wear them during duty was dispensed with during the early 20th century and worn only for dress and parade. From a bit wider than an inch, to a bit less than an inch wide, to finally a very straight sword barely wider than 1/2".

The "black" grip on the Cold Steel sword is simply wrong and typical of Cold Steel's lack of attention. Edit to say, I know they have white grip offerings and I imagine left hand offerings (which are completely ahistorical). It is probably the same plastic they use on several of them swords (rapier, dagger, backsword, etc). If you are thinking in terms of using the Cold Steel item as a dress sword in uniform, I imagine it will be in poor taste if not forbidden. The Cold Steel swords are not official regulation swords (despite any claims). I believe I already mentioned that Cold Steel is not to be viewed as any source for historical information.


Cheers

GC

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support...01_84.aspx

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support.../6401.aspx
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 8:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you again for clarification. I do understand all the issues associated with the Cold Steel and their products. But after seeing a few late 19th - early 20th Century swords with black grips (links provided earlier) I thought they (Cold Steel) were following some pattern/regulation I was not aware of. Or that black grip was reserved for some branch/service within USN. Or something else.

Do you know, when did the sword regulations became an absolute rather than an expectation? I mean, when did it become unacceptable for a Navy officer to show up with a black grip sword? Late 19th Century? Early 20th? The reason I ask is that I currently research one interesting M 1852 Navy sword, whose owner painted the grip white on top of original black skin/leather. I am trying to figure out what could have made him do it.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2016 10:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What you are seeing as black are really dark gray and as mentioned, a factor of the hide and dirt. Exceptions of the stark white after the mid 1900s would have been true anomalies or perhaps a presentation..

I'm not trying to suggest one way or another on a third party sword without seeing it. If the grip is original to the sword, leave it alone. If the grip is black leather, show a picture of it, otherwise you are seeing an older sword with either fish skin or shark, which might look black but is not really.


FWIW, I had painted a white Italian grip black because I wanted to, not to appease any regulation.


Cheers

GC
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

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PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 5:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you think this handle was repainted? It belongs to a sword made (most likely) in 1905 or shortly after.


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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
What you are seeing as black are really dark gray and as mentioned, a factor of the hide and dirt. Exceptions of the stark white after the mid 1900s would have been true anomalies or perhaps a presentation.


Do you mean that by, say, WWI black grips were still acceptable? By "black" I mean something like the grip on the picture 2.88 from page 66 Tuite's book.

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
If the grip is original to the sword, leave it alone.


I am not going to do anything with it. To my eye the handle of the sword appears to be repainted (white paint on top of black skin/leather). I am simply trying to figure out why (and, more importantly, when) this has been done.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Tuite's description of the sword mentioned lists it as gray and is of the period I described. I know of no exact date, nor further regulation stipulating absolutes. As you have the book and likely Rankin's as well, I have nothing to really offer past their books.

You might chat up the gentlemen at Sword Forum International and the US Militaria boards.

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/forumdisplay...word-Forum


http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index....d-weapons/

Tim Graham is a large scale collector of the middle era US naval swords and has a thread you might enjoy and add too
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...72-to-1942
(note: Tim mentions painted fish skin post #15)


Peter Tuite may be reachable as well. I met him very briefly at a Hartford Show some years ago. I have lost track of the website he had up for sale of items.

An analysis of the paint might date rougly when it was altered but not necessarily when, or why.

Cheers

GC


Last edited by Glen A Cleeton on Mon 23 May, 2016 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your help.

In your opinion does the grip of my sword (pictures attached earlier) look repainted or not?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K Greg wrote:
Thank you so much for your help.

In your opinion does the grip of my sword (pictures attached earlier) look repainted or not?


Yes, obviously painted.
Quote:
An analysis of the paint might date rougly when it was altered but not necessarily when, or why.


As Tim mentions painted grips (post 15 of the linked thread) and mentions the timeline of WWI, we are pretty much in the ballpark of timeline I mentioned but Tim may have further information.


Cheers

GC
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Yes, obviously painted.


I meant, does it look it was RE-painted? And, if so, was this done during manufacturing or later? To me it seems as if originally there has been some sort of "black-ish" material (i.e., dark shark skin) on the grip. And, at some point, the owner re-painted it in white.

In other words, does it look to you that the re-painting took place at the factory when the sword was made (Graham suggests it was done on cheaper Ames versions) or it has been done later by the owner?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not having the sword in hand, I am not eager to guess.

What (if any) makers or retailers marks are there.?
What is the width of the blade?
Can you display the blade etch?

I'd rather not guess at all, when you have offered little data on the sword itself and all I have been able to offer is suggestion. Tim, and others, are far more familiar with these, so that suggestion to post to that thread may be of use to you.

Cheers

GC
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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Not having the sword in hand, I am not eager to guess.

What (if any) makers or retailers marks are there.?
What is the width of the blade?
Can you display the blade etch?.


At the moment I do not have the sword in hand either (working on its purchase). So I can only comment on the maker's mark. The blade has letters "F.H." in a circle of dots. I assume it stands for american branch of the "F. Horsters" company.

The hallmark is very similar to the ones I attached but appears (by design) to be a bit more modern than those.

Glen A Cleeton wrote:

I'd rather not guess at all, when you have offered little data on the sword itself and all I have been able to offer is suggestion. Tim, and others, are far more familiar with these, so that suggestion to post to that thread may be of use to you.


Will do so. Thank you for the advice. To my eye it appears (regardless of the sword's type and age) as if some dark material shows up from underneath white paint. It's especially visible where the paint got rubbed off. Also the underneath material seems to have a certain texture/pattern (like some sort of dotted leather). I see it in a few places where the white paint became thin.

Do you see the same thing or it's just my imagination?



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K Greg





Joined: 21 May 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
As you have the book and likely Rankin's as well, I have nothing to really offer past their books.


I do not have Rankin's book but plan to buy it shortly. Thank you for the advice. Can you also suggest which of the following books would be a good general reference on US swords (not just Navy):

"American Presentation Swords" by Altmayer
"American Swords" by Wyllie
"The American Sword, 1775-1945" by Peterson
"American Swords and Sword Makers" (vol 1 and 2) by Bezdek
"Historic American Swords" by Crouch
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,831

PostPosted: Mon 23 May, 2016 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K Greg wrote:
Glen A Cleeton wrote:
As you have the book and likely Rankin's as well, I have nothing to really offer past their books.


I do not have Rankin's book but plan to buy it shortly. Thank you for the advice. Can you also suggest which of the following books would be a good general reference on US swords (not just Navy):

"American Presentation Swords" by Altmayer
"American Swords" by Wyllie
"The American Sword, 1775-1945" by Peterson
"American Swords and Sword Makers" (vol 1 and 2) by Bezdek
"Historic American Swords" by Crouch


The book list looks good. There are so many and interests vary as to periods. I collect and research earlier American swords before the ACW period, from the revolution up to the 1850s. The Peterson book a must have but dated. The Bezdek vol i considered essential and I own it but vol ii is considered an update. The other books are considred OK but I don't have them. Again, there is overlap of interests. I study the eagle pommel swords, mostly from the 1790s-1820,

Don Furr's book at the original retail is a good shelf book
http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_info.php?products_id=38957

A very good flash card deck type of book is the Medicus Collection book.
http://gunandswordcollector.com/Templates/boo...dicus.html

Boarders Away for a broader historical base
http://gunandswordcollector.com/Templates/boo...n_BA1.html

Neumann-Swords and Blades of the American Revolution-Another mainstay but dated
http://www.amazon.com/Swords-Blades-American-...880655004/


~~~~~~~~

As to the painted grip, my Horster sword is spelled out EF Horster, I don't know about the mark you mention. Yes I see the skin under the paint but there is no way for me to speculate when or why.

Cheers

GC
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