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06-13-2014, 05:01 AM   #1
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Can anyone identify this sword?

Hi there,
I acquired this sword via a second-hand sale some years ago,
and recently I found it in the garage, covered in dust. Just wondering if anyone can identify it.
All I know is, it came to Australia from Indonesia, so I don't know if it's a made-for-tourists version, or a real-deal blood letter. The blade appears to be carbon steel, and old, with a few cracks showing. Handle is brass on the swirly bits, with timber handle. Scabbard is timber with a very thin, perhaps silver sheath.






Any help appreciated.
Regards

06-13-2014, 07:49 AM   #2
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Dutch klewang-marechaussee? Or very similar. There is something not right about the shape of the blade.... Hhmmm.
06-13-2014, 07:55 AM   #3
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Some sort of cavalry saber I think. Does it have any stamps or marks on the blade where it meets the hilt? Need better pics of overall shape and the blade...
06-13-2014, 09:12 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sam-joseph Quote
Hi there,
I acquired this sword via a second-hand sale some years ago,
and recently I found it in the garage, covered in dust. Just wondering if anyone can identify it.
All I know is, it came to Australia from Indonesia, so I don't know if it's a made-for-tourists version, or a real-deal blood letter. The blade appears to be carbon steel, and old, with a few cracks showing. Handle is brass on the swirly bits, with timber handle. Scabbard is timber with a very thin, perhaps silver sheath.
Any help appreciated.
Regards
It looks a lot like the "Pattern 1821/1822 Light Cavalry Trooper's Sabre" (British) on the following web page:

British Swords and Sabres (Army, Royal Navy, and Scottish Swords)

And this one:

http://pooleysword.com/en/Royal_Artillery_Officers%27_Sword

Also, this one:
http://www.crisp-and-sons.com/ns_artillery.htm

And some of the 1820s cavalry swords on this page:
http://www.antique-swords.eu/british-cavalry-sabres.html


Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 06-13-2014 at 09:31 AM.
06-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #5
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Isn't asking for sword info on a camera forum like asking camera info on a sword forum?
06-13-2014, 05:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Isn't asking for sword info on a camera forum like asking camera info on a sword forum?
It's a *Pentax* forum. That means even some of the gals know our swords.


That said, I need to see more detail. It looks like it's styled after a military hanger, but offhand, I'm thinking it's a tourist piece. Better quality brasswork should not have been the hard part on a sword intended for use. (it looks like someone tried to clean it with a power tool, revealing a general lack of finish beneath) I can't really see the blade, but there shouldn't be finish on the wood of the hilt for a more-ultilitarian blade: it should have once had some kind of ray or skateskin for grip. Also a silver wash on a flimsy scabbard ought to be a sign it's an imitation showpiece rather than something meant for field use. Which would likely be steel. I can't say these things were never made so or used in Indonesia, but I wouldn't expect much. Any markings or features under that rust, particularly right around where the blade meets scabbard?

(if you want to take more photos, just get right in on some sections like an inch or two across. I want to see the base of the blade, probably the tip and the back, and anywhere you see an edge or indentation ending or changing. ) (Also, on sabres, like right on the back of the blade where your thumb would be if the guard weren't in the way, that's where militaries would often put inventory stamps. Your thumbnail might find them even if rusted over. Bet there isn't one, though. )

Oh, also those cracks in the blade. Those basically shouldn't be happening if the sword was ever meant to be used as hard as a door hinge. I can't see your blade but it's very likely something partially knocked out on early-ish machine tools. Why remains an open question but I think it's just for looks.

Which isn't to be *overly* cynical: *My* sabre looked like a piece of junk at the flea market, (Unmistakeably real military junk, but pretty junky nonetheless. They originally came with silver guards which I presume had been cannibalized long ago, but this meant I needed have no compunctions about taking all the rust off and making 'er gleam again. Good steel. And the most recent of the inventory stamps would be from the Kaiser's army. 1915. (Darn, that's like a hundred years right there, now. Long way from way further back in Germany to bein' my trenchcoatable in Amherst, Massachusetts. ) Needless to say, no cracks.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 06-13-2014 at 06:17 PM.
06-14-2014, 02:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Isn't asking for sword info on a camera forum like asking camera info on a sword forum?
I see your point, but asking for sword info in the "General Talk" section is no more ridiculous than allowing non-Pentax cameras to enter a photo contest on a Pentax-based website. Maybe this forum is more broad-minded than both of us thought.
Anyway, many thanks to those that have responded with helpful replies. I'm thinking that this is an ornamental sword, given the lack of markings.
Here are some more photos.








Thanks again for your responses,

Regards
06-14-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sam-joseph Quote
I see your point, but asking for sword info in the "General Talk" section is no more ridiculous than allowing non-Pentax cameras to enter a photo contest on a Pentax-based website. Maybe this forum is more broad-minded than both of us thought.
Anyway, many thanks to those that have responded with helpful replies. I'm thinking that this is an ornamental sword, given the lack of markings.
Here are some more photos.

Thanks again for your responses,

Regards
Yeah, closer views make it look more like it's something intended to be decorative that had machine tools and possibly artificial aging applied: if you see where the tang eners the guard in your first shot, that's just too narrow for a fighting sword, even a low-rent one. The cracks look like someone was hammering on mild steel there, it's probably not even tempered. Especially if you observe the light colour of the rust. If it was intended for fighting it's a bodge-job (Can't fully rule that out: but in that case it's unlikely anyone would have attempted to pretty it up never mind possibly artificially age it, which I suspect as well) ....also as for any collector value someone's clearly been on that first, so feel free to pretty it up. I actually don't personally believe swords should be allowed to rust even if it did enhance the value, but doing it badly might upset future people. I doubt this is one to worry about that way. If I'm right that it's a mild steel blade any smith (Or welder) should be able to tell you that easily.

I allow for slight uncertainty only because you can't be entirely sure that just because something might be a piece of junk, doesn't *necessarily* mean it's not a *historical* piece of junk, but I think they tried to be fancy in all the ways that say 'wallhanger or swindle.' Just by the look of how the tang meets guard, if I wanted to actually fight with that, I'd cut it and grind down to what we used to fancily call a 'wak-tachi,' which would involve cutting off anything that might break and the rest involving pins and hockey tape to varying degrees of elegance.


Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 06-14-2014 at 08:49 PM.
06-15-2014, 02:30 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info Ratmagiclady. I see your point about the flimsy tang. This thing wouldn't get through one muscular neck I reckon.
I've chosen the responsible path, and given it to my 15 year old son. He loves it. We'll have to make up a good story for it when his mates see it.

Regards
06-15-2014, 07:04 AM   #10
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A poor imitation of a British artillery sword.
06-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sam-joseph Quote
Thanks for the info Ratmagiclady. I see your point about the flimsy tang. This thing wouldn't get through one muscular neck I reckon.
I've chosen the responsible path, and given it to my 15 year old son. He loves it. We'll have to make up a good story for it when his mates see it.

Regards
No worries. Actually, that'd be highly optimistic for such a sword, and not a preferred way to try and employ it: cutting would actually be a very secondary concern with a miltary sword of that type. (For this reason even a cheap one ought to be *heavier:* the prime concern being to break bones and not get the thing stuck in an opponent on the battlefield. (Especially if it were ever to be used mounted on a horse, but I think Ahab's right about what it's meant to be patterned after.) Especially in that era you wouldn't have to cut someone's head off if you could tag em in the collarbone etc: a very sharp edge might wedge in bone and leave you disarmed. (If I showed you my own sword, you could see how most of the blade doesn't have a knifelike edge: it's rounder. Convex like a lens element: The edge concentrates the impact, and what's behind the edge makes sure to make a bigger gap afterwards, so it doesn't turn and get stuck.

(Also caution your boy about that: just cause it may not have an edge doesn't mean it couldn't hurt someone if swung around too enthusiastically. (Kids usually just want to bang a swordlike thing against another swordlike thing anyway, but you know. It's still not Nerf. And fifteen's surely old enough to learn it properly. When I said that I had thought you said 11. )
06-16-2014, 06:20 PM   #12
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Can't help you Ratlady, but I did check the only sword I own...a dagger, really. My uncle was a bodyguard for George Patton during WWII and took this off an Italian officer that he shot with the pistol in the photo. The plating and scroll work was done by the same gunsmith that did Patton's famous silver revolvers.

The Italian dagger does not look similar to your sword, to me. Not sure what you've got...I'm not much on swords and stuff like that.

Regards!

BTW- The Italian officer had no further need for the dagger.
06-16-2014, 10:34 PM   #13
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Yes, that's a dagger, not a sword. If you would like to get in closer on the hilt materials and/or the blade, that could be looked at. In fascist Italy, those were basically symbolic of swords but usually in token.
06-17-2014, 08:55 AM   #14
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Don't know much about the dagger Ratlady, but it appears more ceremonial than practical. It is very sturdy and of good and durable quality, but doesn't have a sharp blade. I do recall my uncle saying the officer had on an immaculate uniform that was well tailored and spotless...except for a single bullet hole center of the chest. They had just entered an Italian headquarters and opened a door where the officer was sitting at a desk with a machine pistol pointed at the entering Americans....my uncle fired first and the Italian never got off a shot.
There were some photos of the scene, but someone else in the family must have those...I got the gun and the dagger. I will give them to my youngest son, a 22 year Army veteran.

Regards!
06-18-2014, 02:41 AM   #15
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Not that I know anything about swords, but the Indonesia connection intrigued me due to my own heritage. I came across this, the m1854 Dutch cavalry officer's sword. In the text it is mentioned that the adaptation made for the Dutch East-Indies Army (KNIL; I take it that's the one Multi-coated is talking about in the first reply of this thread) had a stronger curvature to the blade, which "at the end was completely flat and had no rib" (I'm just translating this directly, there's a fair chance I'm getting some kind of blade-specific jargon wrong). So, if it's a tourist piece, I guess there's a good chance it was modeled after one of those.

[014] m1854 cavalerie officierssabel
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