EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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.