Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 22nd October 2015, 03:13 PM   #1
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default Victorian Era Infantry Officer’s Sword?

This sword seems to resemble a Victorian Era Infantry Officer’s Sword, but it doesn't match any of the examples I've seen. The blade is not marked and it has no decoration. I don't believe the scabbard is original to the sword.
Attached Images
      
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2015, 09:30 PM   #2
Ken Maddock
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 104
Default

Hi
Looks like a British 1854 pattern infantry officers sword to me
Blades on these varied from light, walking out blades to fighting blades
What do you think it looks like
Not sure on scabbard though

Regards
Ken
Ken Maddock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2015, 09:41 PM   #3
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maddock
Hi
Looks like a British 1854 pattern infantry officers sword to me
Blades on these varied from light, walking out blades to fighting blades
What do you think it looks like
Not sure on scabbard though

Regards
Ken



Thanks Ken,
The guard doesn't exactly match the British 1854 pattern that I've found online. It looks to be something close to a 1822 pattern or 1854 pattern but not an exact match. I don't feel qualified to give an opinion on the blade, but it seems just as sharp as my Civil War Era, Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2015, 06:59 AM   #4
RobertGuy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 135
Default

I would say it is an 1854 but the hilt looks to have been banged about a bit and seems missing a couple of the finer embellishments. The very plain blade leads me to think it may be a sergeant's sword rather than the usual officers's pattern. I would agree that the scabbard is not original.
RobertGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2015, 09:50 AM   #5
Ken Maddock
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 104
Default

hi
I have had a few of these and be v careful if trying to un bend the brass
it is so brittle and very difficult to straighten
and if brazing it melts at a lower temp than normal brass brazing rods
is there a proof slug in the blade
regards
Ken
Ken Maddock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2015, 07:22 PM   #6
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGuy
I would say it is an 1854 but the hilt looks to have been banged about a bit and seems missing a couple of the finer embellishments. The very plain blade leads me to think it may be a sergeant's sword rather than the usual officers's pattern. I would agree that the scabbard is not original.



Thanks RoberGuy!

Most of the pattern 1854s that I have found online have an additional embellishment in the guard, but I've just found one who's guard matches this one. I'll look into the "sergeant's sword" angle.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd October 2015, 07:23 PM   #7
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maddock
hi
I have had a few of these and be v careful if trying to un bend the brass
it is so brittle and very difficult to straighten
and if brazing it melts at a lower temp than normal brass brazing rods
is there a proof slug in the blade
regards
Ken



Thanks Ken Maddock!

When it comes to antiques, I feel better not trying to "unbend" anything. There are no markings on the blade.

Last edited by dana_w : 24th October 2015 at 03:08 PM.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th October 2015, 06:53 AM   #8
RobertGuy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 135
Default

Dana
Looking for examples of this hilt style I noticed that it actually conforms to a rifle officer's sword hilt but without the stringed bugle emblem and not made of steel! Robson's Swords of the British Army states that there were slight hilt variations and this may just be one makers take on the regulation hilt. I also noted that the Royal Army Medical Corps carried the same pattern and the 1892 version is exactly the same hilt as yours. (Robson 1st edition, plate 172).

I was looking more closely at your photo and the blade tip looks almost like it has a 'yelman' (flattened back with central ridge) and yet it does not seem to have a pipe back blade. Is it just my failing eyesight?
RobertGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th October 2015, 03:15 PM   #9
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGuy
Dana
Looking for examples of this hilt style I noticed that it actually conforms to a rifle officer's sword hilt but without the stringed bugle emblem and not made of steel! Robson's Swords of the British Army states that there were slight hilt variations and this may just be one makers take on the regulation hilt. I also noted that the Royal Army Medical Corps carried the same pattern and the 1892 version is exactly the same hilt as yours. (Robson 1st edition, plate 172).

I was looking more closely at your photo and the blade tip looks almost like it has a 'yelman' (flattened back with central ridge) and yet it does not seem to have a pipe back blade. Is it just my failing eyesight?


Thanks for the great info RobertGuy.

I've post some closeups of the tip for you these are enlargements from a small area of the original photos. I played with the brightness and lighting a little bit.
Attached Images
  
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th October 2015, 10:04 PM   #10
RobertGuy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 135
Default

Thanks for the extra photos. The point does have a yelman so this should be a pipe back blade. (rounded spine). If that is the case the pipe back blade was discontinued in 1845 but the normal officer's hilt had a fold down inner portion until 1854. A real conundrum. My money is now on it being a Royal Army Medical Corps sword but...
RobertGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th October 2015, 08:06 PM   #11
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGuy
Thanks for the extra photos. The point does have a yelman so this should be a pipe back blade. (rounded spine). If that is the case the pipe back blade was discontinued in 1845 but the normal officer's hilt had a fold down inner portion until 1854. A real conundrum. My money is now on it being a Royal Army Medical Corps sword but...



Thanks RobertGuy. It is a "real conundrum".
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 04:48 AM   #12
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,454
Default

This really is an anomaly, and interesting as to the average collector this would likely be assumed simply an 1822 infantry officers sword. As you have all well illustrated, there is complexity beyond such simplicity even in regulation swords.
I have not had my trusty Robson (1975) out for a long time, and it was good to go through it again.
From what I can gather, most assessments here seem pretty well placed, and it does seem this hilt aligns most readily with the post 1854 guard without folding section.

What is most curious is that in 1845, a new blade form was introduced by Wilkinson for these swords (broadly classified M1822 and gothic hilt, as per Ffoulkes). The blade on Danas example is the earlier 'pipe back' (often called quill back). Hilts fitted with these new Wilkinson blades also had a tang button.
This sword has the earlier style blade, yet the hilt is more to the 1854 solid guard form also without tang button.
To carry further, the Royal cypher remains 'open', that is without the rose, thistle and shamrock embellishments of the 1850s (Robson, p.119).

In my thinking, it seems likely this example may fall into the period of early 1850s, in perhaps a transitional sense. The unmarked blade of 'pipe back form seems likely German made (these type blades were used on their swords well through the 19th c) and often 'blanks' sold to British outfitters.

The hilt, as noted, may have been of prototype before official changes to guard early 1850s.

The scabbard, as noted, possibly not original.....by 1855 these carry ring steel scabbards replaced the leather and brass frog carry type.

I do not think this is Medical officers (1892) as these of course had the 'dumb bell' cross section blade, unless this was one with a German blade of the period (which seems unlikely), also these hilts had the tang button and I think without 'steps'.
It is of course possible that it might have been in the Medical officers use given the unusual circumstances in the elements here, and in that early 1850s period with a German blade.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 08:36 AM   #13
RobertGuy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 135
Default

Jim
I agree that the 1892 Medical Officer's sword would have had the dumb bell blade form. What set me thinking was the actual hilt style which is more akin to a rifles sword but without the stringed bugle. I was wondering if Medical Officers used that pattern hilt but in gilt brass back in 1822? The Medical Corps as such wasn't formed until 1898 but regimental surgeons and medical staff officers carried infantry pattern swords. Sadly I don't recall ever having seen an attributed Medial Officer's sword from that early .I note from Robson that all ranks in the Army Hospital Corps carried swords with sergeants carrying one with a polished brass infantry hilt and a 29 1/2'' blade.

Dana
I need to ask, how long is the blade on your sword?
RobertGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 01:07 PM   #14
Richard G
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 246
Default

Specifically, my worry about the scabbard is that it seems longer than the sword in it's entirety.
Regards
Richard
Richard G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 01:42 PM   #15
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
Specifically, my worry about the scabbard is that it seems longer than the sword in it's entirety.
Regards
Richard


Some of this is caused by distortion in the photo. It was taken at an angle with a wide lens. I'd need to climb a ladder to take the shot with a 35mm lens straight down, and I didn't have a ladder. But you are right The blade is 29 inches long. The sword is 34 1/2 inches long. The scabbard is 36 inches long.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 01:46 PM   #16
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGuy
Jim
I agree that the 1892 Medical Officer's sword would have had the dumb bell blade form. What set me thinking was the actual hilt style which is more akin to a rifles sword but without the stringed bugle. I was wondering if Medical Officers used that pattern hilt but in gilt brass back in 1822? The Medical Corps as such wasn't formed until 1898 but regimental surgeons and medical staff officers carried infantry pattern swords. Sadly I don't recall ever having seen an attributed Medial Officer's sword from that early .I note from Robson that all ranks in the Army Hospital Corps carried swords with sergeants carrying one with a polished brass infantry hilt and a 29 1/2'' blade.

Dana
I need to ask, how long is the blade on your sword?



The blade is 29 inches long. The sword is 34 1/2 inches long. The scabbard is 36 inches long.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 01:49 PM   #17
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
This really is an anomaly, and interesting as to the average collector this would likely be assumed simply an 1822 infantry officers sword. As you have all well illustrated, there is complexity beyond such simplicity even in regulation swords.
I have not had my trusty Robson (1975) out for a long time, and it was good to go through it again.
From what I can gather, most assessments here seem pretty well placed, and it does seem this hilt aligns most readily with the post 1854 guard without folding section.

What is most curious is that in 1845, a new blade form was introduced by Wilkinson for these swords (broadly classified M1822 and gothic hilt, as per Ffoulkes). The blade on Danas example is the earlier 'pipe back' (often called quill back). Hilts fitted with these new Wilkinson blades also had a tang button.
This sword has the earlier style blade, yet the hilt is more to the 1854 solid guard form also without tang button.
To carry further, the Royal cypher remains 'open', that is without the rose, thistle and shamrock embellishments of the 1850s (Robson, p.119).

In my thinking, it seems likely this example may fall into the period of early 1850s, in perhaps a transitional sense. The unmarked blade of 'pipe back form seems likely German made (these type blades were used on their swords well through the 19th c) and often 'blanks' sold to British outfitters.

The hilt, as noted, may have been of prototype before official changes to guard early 1850s.

The scabbard, as noted, possibly not original.....by 1855 these carry ring steel scabbards replaced the leather and brass frog carry type.

I do not think this is Medical officers (1892) as these of course had the 'dumb bell' cross section blade, unless this was one with a German blade of the period (which seems unlikely), also these hilts had the tang button and I think without 'steps'.
It is of course possible that it might have been in the Medical officers use given the unusual circumstances in the elements here, and in that early 1850s period with a German blade.



Thanks Jim. You are always a wealth of useful information and insights.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 05:59 PM   #18
RobertGuy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 135
Default

The 29 inch blade could mean it's a medical sergeant's sword. These were in fact the same sword as carried by infantry drummers between 1822 and 1856 (Robson 1st ed. page 163)
RobertGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2015, 11:54 PM   #19
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
Thanks Jim. You are always a wealth of useful information and insights.



Absolutely my pleasure Dana, its fun research and a great example to work with. Your kind note very, very much appreciated
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2019, 10:52 PM   #20
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 491
Default

A bit more known about these now, it is in fact an infantry sergeants sword. The blade which is fullered but with a yelman or quill point is the dead give away. So to with the solid guard without a hinge. I have a George the VI example.
Attached Images
   
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2019, 11:25 PM   #21
dana_w
Member
 
dana_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southeast Florida, USA
Posts: 418
Default

Sweet, thanks for the info.
dana_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th July 2019, 04:49 PM   #22
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,454
Default

David, thank you so much for that update!!!!
It means a lot to have new evidence and information added to these older threads, and greatly enhances our stored data archived for future research.
Great example as well
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 11:02 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.