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Old 27th January 2009, 03:37 AM   #1
Robert
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Default Victorian Wall Decoration?

I was ask to post some pictures of this sword in another thread in the ethnographic forum but thought it would be better here. I have posted this once before but did not get any response so now that we have this forum I thought I'd try again. To begin with when I bought this it was covered in layer after layer of old aluminium or silver paint and under that alot of rust. The woman who owned this was in her 80s when I bought it had let her children use in in school plays and grand children carry it around on Halloween. The wooden grip was so dried out that I put a wood preservative on it (I hope this was not a mistake) to help keep it from getting any worse and cleaned off as much rust as I was comfortable with. Her story was that this was brought back from the Philippines after the Spanish American War with other edged weapons (including one with a long wavy blade as she described it) by her uncle but she had already sold the others when I bought this one. There is engraving on the ferrels and the pommel that look a lot like the engraving on the silver hilted Philippine dagger that I posted on the forum awhile back. The blade is what I would describe as hollow ground it 39-5/8 inches long, 3/8 inches thick at its thickest point and 1-13/16 inches wide at its widest point. The blade is not exactly what I would call sharp but not dull either. The hilt is 9-1/2 inches long and the sword weighs in at 3 lbs 5-1/2 ounces. I was told by someone that it could have been made by Ernst Schmidt. If anyone has any thoughts on this piece please post them as I have been trying to identify it for more than a couple of years with little luck. The blade is not as shiny as it looks in the pictures. Thank you for any help offered.

Robert
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Last edited by Robert Coleman : 27th January 2009 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 27th January 2009, 02:41 PM   #2
Atlantia
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Hi Robert,

What a fine piece!
I do love these mystery pieces and the detective work that happens when one is posted.
I looked at the pictures before I read your history as I wanted a clear first impression.

Looking at the pommel, the fine engraved wavy lines reminded me of late 18thC and 19thC items with simple mechanically added decoration. Rather an elaborate pommel, nice and big to hopefully bring the point of balance to the right place.
Big steel collar at the top of the handle? Thats a bit 'sudden' Handle seems rather on the long side, plain, wood has an age split, can't see any holes or evidence of previous wire binding?

Quillons/guard/counterguards! Hmmm, Rather elaborate and nice! Steel, difficult to work, business like and not overly fancy, but certainly attractive and stylish. Rather good, getting more interesting! Quite heavy and the 'guard' elements almost look like they are soldered to the quillons?

Blade.
Looks quite heavy, almost like it would be more at home in a basket hilt than swept.

By now I'm thinking its a fancy continental (Spanish) piece, Nice and heavy fair quality, possibly for work out in the colonies. Date... omg... I don't know. Late 18th to mid 19th?

Post 3 musketeers, pre El Zorro!
But I'm imagining a chap rather like Ricardo Montalban carrying it (from the Zorro film)
Then I read your story! So I think that fits.

How about some better pics of the blade and close ups of the hilt?


I'll be interested when the really knowledgeable members arrive to pin it down conclusively.


BTW, I love it!


Gene

Last edited by Atlantia : 27th January 2009 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 27th January 2009, 03:50 PM   #3
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I own a 18th C. swedish sword with a blade very similar to this one. Also, the center ridge and the ricasso suggest a good blade, perhaps rehilted for decoration purposes?
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Old 27th January 2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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Hello Gene, I'm glad you had a chance to take a look at this. I'll start with the wooden grip. If you look closely at the sixth picture down right above the steel collar you can just see where wire was once wound around the wood. When I originally removed the friction tape that had been wrapped around the grip (only to find the wood had also been given the paint treatment too) a few broken coils of rusty braided wire fell out from between the collar and wood. The wood has been roughly sanded before they painted it :eekrobably after the wire had started falling off. After stripping the paint off of the wood I put a preservative on it to try to keep it from further damage. The parts of the guard that look like knots do look to be soldered in place while the rest of the guard is one piece of worked steel. Where would the POB on a sword like this be? Right now it is 4-3/4 inches from the cross guard. If you would please tell me what parts of the blade you would like to have pictures of and I will post them as soon as it quits snowing. Thank you again for your interest.

Robert
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Old 27th January 2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman
Hello Gene, I'm glad you had a chance to take a look at this. I'll start with the wooden grip. If you look closely at the sixth picture down right above the steel collar you can just see where wire was once wound around the wood. When I originally removed the friction tape that had been wrapped around the grip (only to find the wood had also been given the paint treatment too) a few broken coils of rusty braided wire fell out from between the collar and wood. The wood has been roughly sanded before they painted it :eekrobably after the wire had started falling off. After stripping the paint off of the wood I put a preservative on it to try to keep it from further damage. The parts of the guard that look like knots do look to be soldered in place while the rest of the guard is one piece of worked steel. Where would the POB on a sword like this be? Right now it is 4-3/4 inches from the cross guard. If you would please tell me what parts of the blade you would like to have pictures of and I will post them as soon as it quits snowing. Thank you again for your interest.

Robert


Hi Robert,

4 3/4" off of the actual crossbar quillons? Or from the bottom of the curling bars attached to them?

Does the blade look like its shortered? The tip is unusual (from swords I've had) having the central ridge so pronounced right to the end.

Um, pictures of the blade....
Well any marks at all, either side, top and bottom?


Perhaps Manuel can post some pics of his if it looks similar for a comparison?

So, those bars.
A close up of a couple of the joins might be a good idea.
Have you had a good look to see if it is solder?
In fairness you don't really want solder on a hilt as lead is fairly soft.
But there does look like quite a lot of it! Couldn't be remains of some silvering or paint caught in the recesses that someone has put on it could it?

Gene
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Old 27th January 2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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Hi Gene, The POB is in front of the actual crossbar quillons. I don't think that the blade has been shortened BWDIK. I will post a picture of the tip of the blade but I will have to do it inside with a flash. As far as the solder goes I don't think it is lead solder (it is way to hard) but it could be the remains of some kind of silvering. Could this be some kind of silver solder, or was silver solder even used then? Like I said it is only where the knotted sections are. The main part of the curling bars and the actual crossbar quillons and the rest are all one piece. Could the knots have been added later as decoration? I too was hoping that Manuel would post some pictures and measurements of his sword for comparison. Thanks again and I will post pictures shortly.

Robert
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Old 27th January 2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman
Hi Gene, The POB is in front of the actual crossbar quillons. I don't think that the blade has been shortened BWDIK. I will post a picture of the tip of the blade but I will have to do it inside with a flash. As far as the solder goes I don't think it is lead solder (it is way to hard) but it could be the remains of some kind of silvering. Could this be some kind of silver solder, or was silver solder even used then? Like I said it is only where the knotted sections are. The main part of the curling bars and the actual crossbar quillons and the rest are all one piece. Could the knots have been added later as decoration? I too was hoping that Manuel would post some pictures and measurements of his sword for comparison. Thanks again and I will post pictures shortly.

Robert



Well, from what is visible in the pictures, there is considerable work in those bars, and the main ones seem to be 'forged' and shaped, so it might just be that the secondary elements were attached with some kind of silver coloured braze or hard solder as the maker thought that adequate for their level of stress.

Take a couple of close ups of the bars if your can too mate.
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