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Old 20th February 2015, 06:36 PM   #1
Will M
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Default American Horsemans or British Dragoon sword?

I have been thinking this sword American revolution which it is for time period.
Neumanns book illustrates this sword hilt 1768-80.
Is it American or British as it dates before Britain standardized sword patterns.
The sword is well made, a 35 3/4" curved blade with clipped point. Has a good even taper and the width narrows from ricasso and swells to point.
WYATT is stamped on the blade ricasso and the mark A/57 is stamped on the guard and scabbard mouth. The mouth has a white buff leather strap.
Not an inexpensive sword for a trooper. Balance is good for a cutting sword at 5 3/4" from hilt.
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Old 21st February 2015, 04:17 AM   #2
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Very nice sword! Not an expert, just wanted to say that it's a real beaut. I would agree with the timeline based on the pattern, specifically the slot hilt feature. Clipped point swords were uncommon for the period. Can't seem to find any Wyatt in any of my references. Odd, because if it were a Brit manufacture, seems like it would be recognized. I guess what remains to be determined is just who this Wyatte was. Is it the maker? Retailor? Soldier or family name that carried the piece, etc. It could be American, but the fine lines and excellent manufacture makes me think Brit. Am Rev pieces were usually more primitive, 'clunky', and/or awkward, as they were either blacksmith-made or put-togethers from shipped blades. Also, the A with 57 mark. Regimental? Certainly not a rack number (not naval) or 'part number' (pre-Industrial). Have you done any seaches or research on British regiments with A/57, ca.1770-90? Just thinking out loud-

Oh, I see you've already posted the sword on Sword Forum. I concur with what they're all saying over there. Glenn is extremely knowledgible on swords of that period. You've got a great item there!
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Old 22nd February 2015, 03:20 PM   #3
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I am leaning towards it being a British sword. The markings are stamped not engraved and the blade is fullered. Americans didn't have the capability of fullering blades in this period and unlikely to have metal stamps to mark them.
Construction appears British and the quality is there. Mananskys British Basket Hilted Swords book page 194, IA2. has a very similar hilt.
Over 200 identical swords to the one illustrated is in the Royal Armouries collection, an example being IX.1848

Has anyone been there and seen these swords at the Royal Armouries? Mananskys book does not give any provenance/information and does not show or describe the blade. Other references I have do not have swords this old.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 11:54 PM   #4
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Well, I wouldn't say the colonials could not fuller blades or stamp names. There were certainly fewer fullered blades made in the Americas at that juncture. What I have been getting at is that if it was originally purchased in the colonies is that it was likely entirely produced in England and that the clipped point is a European/German trait.

I am hardly an authority on the matters but in working with early American swords have been entirely objective while trying to be as logical as possible. Look to logical fallacies. Particularly the fallacy of the undistributed middle.


Cheers

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Old 23rd February 2015, 02:05 AM   #5
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I would suggest looking at the catalogs from the Guthman sale held about six or eight years ago.

There was a number of great American blades, as well as British, to compare.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 02:20 AM   #6
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I was told Americans could not fuller blades until a certain period.
Glen I should check my references more carefully before making such sweeping statements.
I do see in Neumanns book the majority of swords English and German with fullered blades and also imported blades on American hilts.
There also is the odd American made fullered blade.

It's a bit frustrating to find a virtually identical sword guard in Mazanskys book, he doesn't picture the hilt very well or describe any blade at all.
Then he says there are over 200 of this type in the Royal Armouries.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 02:23 AM   #7
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Amazingly the pictures are still online for the Guthman sale

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/146...00&w0=list&m0=0

I see if the sword is connected to a maker than there is a good premium on it.

3 bar hilts seem to be quite rare in this period

Last edited by Will M : 23rd February 2015 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 04:58 AM   #8
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Yup, I have had the Guthman catalog bookmarked the months leading up to it. IIRC, it was a two day affair and bidding was vigorous.

The Heritage Auction pages are there forever as well.

Cheers

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Old 25th February 2015, 03:02 PM   #9
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I have heard from someone who has seen the 200+ swords in the Royal Armouries years ago and all have straight blades with a narrow and a wide fuller.
The sword does appear to be American made, to myself anyways.
The Wyatt in Philadelphia may well be the maker and there is the oldest mounted unit the First Troop of Philadelphia and others that were near by at the time the sword was made.
Not finding another example makes the sword rare but more difficult to place exactly.
Existing regiments tend not to have examples of their own troopers swords.
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Old 25th February 2015, 03:23 PM   #10
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Looking at the point the back edge is curved, bevelled/sharpened and 3" long.
I put the blade edge parallel from ricasso with the wood joint so the amount of curvature can be seen. Blade is straight for about 6" then starts its curvature.
The last 12" or so has the most curvature.Point tip to bottom is 3 1/4" from blade edge at ricasso.
Can also see that the blade swells towards the clipped point.
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Last edited by Will M : 25th February 2015 at 03:34 PM.
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