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Old 16th September 2018, 05:26 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,497
Default A Revolutionary War cuttoe

Here's an old one from my collection that I never posted. It is a Revolutionary War era American saber in the style of a cuttoe/hunting sword. She is an austere example, but also elegant in her plainness. Classic put-together sword made during a time period where desperation fueled many American arms to be simple, crude and often 'clunky'. (see George Neumann's 'Swords & Blades of the American Revolution' for said examples). Many of the colonial swords from this period truly bordered on folk art!

This cuttoe has a curved, deeply fullered European import blade with etched panopoly of arms/vine designs, etc. The yellow bone grip decorated with simple line work, the ovoid pommel classic for swords of this era with the tang peened at the end.

The simplist element of this sword, the small wood block guard, is also the most endearing. Made from a wedge of cherry wood (an extremely popular wood used in American grips), the guard is further secured by a few primitive tacks. This weapon would have been popular for an officer or miltia leader and while it has no direct connection to a naval origin, I can't bring myself to part with it. I'm told it came from upper state New York.
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Last edited by M ELEY : 16th September 2018 at 05:46 AM. Reason: better title
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Old 18th September 2018, 02:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nipmuc USA
Posts: 347

Nice composite.

I would put the reeded bone grip a decade or so later though. Some 1790-1800 grips on these stirrup urn hilts.

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Old 18th September 2018, 02:36 PM   #3
colin henshaw
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,207

Great piece Mark. Looks almost like a West African sword !
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Old 18th September 2018, 07:11 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,497

Hello Colin,

Yes, it does look strange without the guard and in general profile. I even saw a Chinese influence at first, but in reviewing the components and what the actual sword is (a cuttoe), it became apparent that it was one of those odd American type swords seen during the Revolution and early Federalist swords...
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