Unknown Spanish? Sword
I'm new here. I'm trying to identify a sword that my dad owned. I have a newspaper article from 1932 where my dad then a college student was interviewed about his collection of historic objects. This was supposedly " a silver headed sword from the Battle of San Juan." I think the hilt is silver. I'm skeptical about the San Juan part. I think the blade marks put it in the right time period. I've looked at 1000's of photos but nothing seems to match this sword. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
Welcome to the forum, bmj :) .
I am certain that you will soon hear from our members about your nice Luckhaus & Gunther 'Cutacha'.
Although the connection with the battle of San Juan may be an illusive assumption, such is not implausible. That faint mark on the blade depicting the "Lamb of God" is a trade mark registered by Luckhaus & Gunther in 1895, while that famous battle took place in 1898. So only possible, but not granted, of course.
Meanwhile you will receive a PM (private nessage).
the std. spanish 1895 issue infantry/artillery sword, yataghan shape, made in toledo.
they also used a lot of machete style swords, like my straight pioneer knife/ faschenmesser also below. the yat is supposed to be a bring-back from the spamam war april to august 1898 (san juan hill was in july). the pioneer may also be as it came from a dealer in florida, USA.
the one in post no.1 may be an officer's private one, looks like it would be for a fairly high ranking one. officers got to carry whatever they wanted to.
Hold tight, Wayne ...
Which is the connection between the posted German made machete and your Toledo Yataghan; not the model, not the maker; perhaps the battle ? :o ;) .
the war. the machete/messer was sold from germany to spanish speaking american countries for their militaries. the person i bought it from in the states i gather he'd got it from someone with cuban connections and had assumed it may have been around for the period of the spanam war. it is shown here as an example of the military's tools/secondary weapons of the spanish in the period of the war.
I agree with Fernando, with the terminus post quem of 1895 for the registration of Luckhaus & Gunther of 1895 for this mark, the blade certainly was in use prior to the famed battle of 1898 in the Spanish-American war. While the 'war' lasted only months in 1898, the larger result was the occupation of not only Cuba, but the acquisition of Guam and the Philippines as well.
As Wayne has noted, blades from Germany had been imported from Germany in South and Central America for some time, as well as many fully assembled items, many utilitarian including 'machete's'.
As I have understood, from Juan Calvo's great 2006 work, "Machetes del Ejercito Ultramer en Cuba y Puerto Rico", this sword is probably among the group of such 'machete' type weapons known as GUANABACOA.
These were apparently called by this name for a village near Havana, which seems to have had some instrumental association with perhaps blades import and furbishing of weapons.
The grip of either ivory or bone (not sure which) is nicely gadrooned with brass banding in a classical style used in British and American swords for some time prior, and seems likely for an officer of probably a military unit.
The interesting opposed heads in the hilt seems also of classical form related to an important traditional myth of that nature, and while I have seen it before, I cannot find notes at present. It does seem to have had Spanish context of a larger classical theme.
Many of the Luckhaus & Gunther blades were numbered at the forte, which seems to have numerical sequence in contract or lot numbers in these times near turn of the century.
Hope this helps, looks like a nice quality piece well representative of this historic period, but as Fernando has said, not necessarily from that battle specifically, but certainly likely to have been in circulation there in the time.
I think this concurs with the article concerning your dad, and he sounds like a fascinating guy. I have always been fascinated by those who collected in these early times. This may well have been acquired from the famed purveyor of arms from these times, Francis Bannerman in New York.
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