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Thread: Spanish American War Era Dress Sword?

  1. #1
    Veteran mad hungarian's Avatar
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    Spanish American War Era Dress Sword?

    My brother has been photographing a Cuban artist's estate for a catalogue and cannot find any information on this sword. As evidenced in the photos the sword is very rusty. He believes it is a ceremonial or deress sword. If anyone can provide some info on this sword it would be greatly appreciated.

    MH
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    Senior Veteran bladeworks123's Avatar
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    Looked through everything I have, the closest match is a spanish cavalry sabre from the early 1800's. The odd part is that it has no quillon on the opposite side of the guard. That would make me think also that it might have been a dress or ceremonial piece. The other thing I noticed is that the grip appears to be made of either bone or ivory. That was fairly typical of naval swords. But the blade definitely makes it a sabre, either infantry or cavalry type weapon. The pommel and the scabbard are very similar to what the US used during the war of 1812, only that does not look like an eagle. I will call a couple of collector friends and see what they say.
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    Veteran mad hungarian's Avatar
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    Thank you bladeworks123. I think my brother has hit a brickwall as far as finding info on this piece is concerned.

    MH

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    Senior Veteran SteelCore's Avatar
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    The top guard...

    seems almos cut/removed.

    That thing needs some TLC, fer sher. This could be a presentation grade sabre...no munitions grade would have that blade decoration.

  5. #5
    Senior Veteran bladeworks123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCore View Post
    seems almos cut/removed.

    That thing needs some TLC, fer sher. This could be a presentation grade sabre...no munitions grade would have that blade decoration.
    That's part of what has me stumped, as well as a couple of others I talked to today. The top quillon would be real helpful. Whether or not it was turned forward or back, flat or ball tipped. I'm like you, it may have been cut off or broken. Some cavalry troops drastically shortened the quillons to prevent them from becoming an entanglement in tack etc. while on horseback. The style, the D shaped guard, Eagle (or Buzzard head) pommel and the sheath shield on the front are identical to American cavalry/infantry sabres used in the War of 1812. The "bird" just isn't right. Could be a poor craftsman, or maybe it really is a condor, which could make it either Spanish or French. There is also the chance it could be Puerto Rican given where it was located. I learned today that swords and sabres are to Puerto Rican weapons what Rhodesian camoflage is to Rhodesian firearms. Not too much standardization and pretty much up to the enterpretation of the craftsman.
    We'll keep looking though....
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  6. #6
    Senior Veteran bladeworks123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad hungarian View Post
    My brother has been photographing a Cuban artist's estate for a catalogue and cannot find any information on this sword. As evidenced in the photos the sword is very rusty. He believes it is a ceremonial or deress sword. If anyone can provide some info on this sword it would be greatly appreciated.

    MH

    Yep, US Infantry Officers Sabre, circa 1812-1820....Final Answer.
    Most likely that is what it is, with the upper quillon broken off or removed. There were many different variations and qualities, Made by bladesmiths in Germany, France, England and United States. Wherever they could have them made. Will try to post some pics that I've located. None of which are identical, but very very similar.
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  7. #7
    Veteran mad hungarian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the effort in researching the sword. it is appreciated. Glad to have been able to start discussion on this piece.

    MH

  8. #8
    Senior Veteran SteelCore's Avatar
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    Agreed....

    I did a little searching, and even the handle meterial/pommel matches those specimens.

    The ricasso may be stamped with the maker...the one I saw was made in France.

    Look cloesly on the 4th pic...you can see some stapm of some sort near the spine. Taking a rubbing of that may tell the maker and the date.

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    Senior Veteran bladeworks123's Avatar
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    This pic may not be too good, but here is one that is fairly similar. It at least shows the pretty distinct style of the stirrup shaped guard and what the quillon should have looked like.
    Last edited by bladeworks123; 08-11-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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