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Old 1st February 2022, 03:27 PM   #31
Will M
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This mameluke has a fighting blade, not a dress blade for politicians. Generals and high political position 1831p swords usually have slender blades for dress. One must consider the aspects era of the blade, hilt, scabbard and in my opinion this sword does not fit into civilian use such as Lord Lieutenants, it would be a great stretch to fit this sword into that category. We must use the particular attributes of this sword to come to a conclusion rather than distant probabilities. This sword like many can only say so much, if only they could talk?
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Old 1st February 2022, 03:57 PM   #32
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I think main question here is... Is it really belong to Indian Lancers. As for Austrian Turkic style sabers yes i ve seen and inspected some of them either. The problem about them they dont have true aspects of Ottoman swords they look a like but even writings are kind of made up on them ( inscriptions ) and even people who can read sometimes cant read them at all cuz it doesnt make sense also ornanets and floral patterns are way too off as well as Proportions of blade is way too off either. Jack's blade has perfect proportions of Ottoman form smooth lines true style ornaments and writings all point out Ottoman work rather than Indian or any other but there is also possibilities everytime in life and one of them are being Safavid work. Some Safavid masters were nice kilic makers too most of us see their works on Shamshir and might think about this way only but no they had kilic blades too and they were nice and good at it as well ( i am not talking about 19th century or 18th century revival works those are kind of different topic ). And these kilic blades were totally same featured with Ottoman blades also used by Ottomans too. And many many Safavid masters worked in Ottoman Empire as a kilic maker. ( i have lists of all smiths from 15th to 19th century because they were all needed to recorded in governement due to they produce weapon) Thats why i have no doubts this blade is not Tulwar blade at all it is purely as form Ottoman or Safavid made Ottoman kilic. Portions smooth lines ornaments patterns of wootz blade and many other suits to this perfectly.
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Old 1st February 2022, 04:31 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Well noted, and I am honestly surprised that I managed to overlook a most important factor in Indian tulwar blades, which is the blunt edge of the blade at the root near hilt known as the "Indian ricasso" (Rawson, 1968).

I cannot tell by photos if JT's sword (OP) has this feature or not, but this would be a most telling factor. As noted, an Ottoman blade would not use this feature.

While it remains possible an Ottoman blade could have become situated in Indian context, just as cases of shamshir blades in the same manner as favored by Mughal principalities, it would be more an anomaly.

Note the excellent example shown by Norman in the previous post of this type of 'Turkic' style blade where the 'Indian ricsasso' is clearly seen.

Hi Jim,
For me it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a repurposed Indian blade would have this feature ground out. As far as I can remember a lot of the Mamluke style blades in question have a more or less full tang which would entail a complete reprofile of the tang and ricasso area of an Indian manufactured blade, which would not be difficult, and in the process the loss of the ricasso feature. In fact if I were to repurpose an Indian blade I would certainly reprofile the tang as as you are aware Indian blades tend to have very short tangs. Many items are reworked in their lifetime due to the vagaries of fashion and as we know sword styles are not immune to the fashion conscious. Whether Indian blades were repurposed and or reprofiled into the Mamluke sabre types in question I cannot say but I have seen blades that have been historically remounted to suit fashion or to conform to a current/changing regulation pattern.
My Regards,
Norman.

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Old 1st February 2022, 06:19 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M View Post
... 1831 swords usually have slender blades for dress. ...

Yup, Politicians would never need to actually use a sword, and a smart general stays behind the front lines in a battle (but should visit the troops there before & after). Generals who get killed are an instant disaster for their side. Like the death of CSA's General 'Stonewall' Jackson from friendly fire and the Union Major General John Sedgwick who visited the front during a battle, was told to keep his head down as the Confederates had snipers shooting at them. He said "Nonsense, They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist" and collapsed dead from a head shot. The CSA had a few Whitworth sniper rifles, and one may have accounted for the Yankee General, highest ranking officer killed in that war.
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Old 1st February 2022, 07:50 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
Yup, Politicians would never need to actually use a sword, and a smart general stays behind the front lines in a battle (but should visit the troops there before & after). Generals who get killed are an instant disaster for their side. Like the death of CSA's General 'Stonewall' Jackson from friendly fire and the Union Major General John Sedgwick who visited the front during a battle, was told to keep his head down as the Confederates had snipers shooting at them. He said "Nonsense, They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist" and collapsed dead from a head shot. The CSA had a few Whitworth sniper rifles, and one may have accounted for the Yankee General, highest ranking officer killed in that war.
Gentlemen, please. You are confusing modern-day sentiments with those of two centuries ago. In the time that Jim's sabre belongs to, General Officers and their staff were very much on the battlefield and had, on occasion the need to defend themselves with their swords. Napoleon and Wellington were very much present at Waterloo.

As for the American Civil war example, again not applicable in the time that we are discussing. Firearms technology had improved significantly in the intervening fourty years.
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Old 1st February 2022, 10:31 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the responses! Iíve been indisposed with the worst food poison episode Iíve ever had all day today. So, besides Dellarís book are there any other sources to draw upon here.

As was pointed out this sword has a fighting blade. Osman seems entirely sure that it is Ottoman in make. One thing I could do is see if I can discern whether the handle is African or Indian ivory.

I am also convinced the leather is an in period replacement. Originally velvet. The leather has constricted with age making the sword difficult to sheath and draw and tearing at the seam as well.

This Mameluke imo is of the early 19th century in style, falling into the 1822 regulation whether or not it is a lancers. Later Mamelukes have completely different characteristics, and all of those ďcivilianĒ Mamelukes posted were certainly dress swords and not fighting blades with characteristics akin to the 1831.

Good discussion!
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Old 2nd February 2022, 03:24 AM   #37
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G'day JT88,
Why are you convinced that the scabbard was originally covered in velvet and that the current leather is a replacement? The majority of these mamelukes had leather, rather than velvet covered scabbards.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 2nd February 2022, 04:50 AM   #38
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In India, during the Raj, it would not be surprising to see velveteen used for a scabbard with a tulwar blade mounted for a British officer in the manner of contemporary style on native tulwars of quality.

As has been discussed there are numbers of these blades which are most certainly in Ottoman style with this stepped blade end (termed a 'latch back' in Bezdek)which were a traditional form seen on early Mamluk sabers. These were the model for many Polish and Hungarian sabers of 17th into 18th century using this blade profile.

Ottoman blades of this style are beautifully made, and seem almost invariably to have cartouches and calligraphy profusely decorating them.
If this is indeed an Ottoman produced blade, it would seem that such decoration or cartouche in some degree would exist. I have not been aware of the Ottomans producing 'trade' blades void of such motif, and would appreciate knowing more on the contrary.

In the 17th century into 18th, there was a notable confluence of Islamic style in the arms of the Deccan ("Arts of the Muslim Knight" ,B. Mohammed, 2008) which included copies of this style of Ottoman blade. Deccani influences were profound influences on Mughal regions to the north.

While I noted earlier that Indian tulwar blades typically had the blade edge blunted near hilt in the 'Indian ricasso', but I dont believe Rawson (1968) meant that 'every' blade had this feature. As Norman noted, it would not be surprising that in remounting, the edge was sharpened to full length.

Here I would point out that British officers in India during the Raj were incredibly flamboyant, and the carte blanche that was typically enjoyed by officers in Great Britain and elsewhere was carried to new dimensions there.
To have a fashionable mameluke hilt mounted with a fearsome tulwar fighting blade would be remarkably appealing to the hubris of many officers.

It is not necessarily the case that this style hilt should be attributed to any particular category of officers despite the regulations recommending them to certain units. Officers swords were privately commissioned and purchased, as was the case of course for civilian swords.
While an officer, especially of cavalry in that elite status, might well adopt a 'fighting sword' of elaborate character....it would be entirely unseemly for a civilian sector official to take such a step.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 01:52 PM   #39
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Jim the blade does have traces of gold writing on it, pictured below. The second picture was surely a maker's signature, only a faint piece remains sadly.

Osman is 100% sure it is Ottoman, I trust him on that point he is an expert on Ottoman blades.

As for the velvet, every single mameluke with this style of fittings I can find has velvet on the scabbard.

See Dellar PG 112 fig 12.9/12.10
More examples of similar swords:
https://www.michaeldlong.com/product...l-dress-sword/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/487936940879693718/

There are many 9th lancer's that look almost the same, hard to differentiate if its the same sword being sold over and over again.
https://bid.antonycribb.com/m/lot-de...F29%3Fpage%3D9

Take note of the fittings on the previous swords and my sword, they're very similar. It's impossible to prove that it is for sure a Lancer's sword but much in the same of "stolen valor" in today's garb I doubt another officer would copy the lancer's style.

A non lancers mameluke with velvet
https://bid.antonycribb.com/m/lot-de...F29%3Fpage%3D9

As for leather I actually don't see many with leather, the vast majority are completely metal sheaths. The lancers generally seem to have velvet, but I still think the fittings point to likely a lancer's sword.

On the auction description Anthony Cribb points to a sword in Dellar pg 109 figure 12.2 as a similar sword. This one also has leather, an early make 1807-10 for an officer of the 22nd light dragoons. It is also entirely possible this is a pre 1822 regulation sword, hence the differences.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 03:01 PM   #40
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Richard once again all these people hold military ranks, as a matter of fact that specific pattern is reserved for generals. A "lord lieutenant" up until 1921 was in charge of an entire body of troops, either militia or local natives but military never the less.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 03:11 PM   #41
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Thanks very much JT, excellent references and well noted. I had missed your mention of the markings in the OP. I had no doubt of Osman's expertise which was well displayed in his entries, but took a devil's advocate approach based on what I know of India associated blades of this form.

It is interesting to see the profound influences this early Mamluk blade form had on European sabers such as Eastern Europe. The influence of Eastern European cavalry on other European armies, thus then to Great Britain by the transition of light dragoon regiments into the flamboyant hussars was of course profound. After the Napoleonic period, the further addition of lancers units followed suit.

So I am supposing that since this is an Ottoman blade, it could not have existed in India, and must have come from someplace else in the Ottoman Empire?
The reason I mentioned the notable duplication of these type blades in the Deccan was that that copying of the Ottoman style would suggest there must have been some presence of these in Mughal courts.

We know, as shown, that the period of 1790s was most innovative in England as LeMarchant sought to form regulation patterns for cavalry swords, which ultimately resulted in the M1796 light cavalry saber. If I recall from research, among the saber blades considered were those of the Indian tulwar.

It seems that apparently Solingen began producing blades of this 'Ottoman' style for British use for officers sabers prior to 1807.
These were used by cutlers, most notably Prosser, who mounted them on officers sabers in the expected variations in that period during the Napoleonic campaigns.

So getting back to this blade of your original post, the question remains, would this Ottoman blade have been mounted in India for a British cavalry officer? Which lancer units were in India.....obviously the 16th (Sikh wars, Aliwal), 5th, and the 21st (which were hussars at 1858 redesignated as lancers 1897).....the 17th in Lucknow. Did other cavalry officers adopt the mameluke hilt outside lancer regiments ?
With the elite hussar status and the administrative confusion of regimental amalgamations, it would be surprising if not.

Clearly this is not a civilian example, unless a diplomatic gift or presentation in which case, sometimes trophy or heirloom blades were used for their significance.

I am sure you have Robson (1975) and its revision (1996), but beyond that, the best resource for information of the kind you are seeking would be :Classic Arms & Militaria" magazine in England. The corpus of material on British sword patterns and history is pretty amazing, and reaching them for back issues, index or extracts would be best.

Last edited by Jim McDougall; 2nd February 2022 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 07:03 PM   #42
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Understood, I think Osman was saying those Indian mounted blades are in fact Ottoman blades on Indian handles, but he can speak more to that.

I'm sure you've read Rivkin A Study of the Eastern Sword incredible book on this subject. Eastern Europe imitated the saber of the East, and I know Le Marchant derived his sword from Austrian Hussar blades, which they themselves copied the Hungarians who copied the Ottomans.

I know that when the British occupied Egypt in the early 1800s they looted a ton of mameluke blades (as did the French) it could've been acquired in that timeframe and likely put together in Britain.

I think we can assume the popularity of mamelukes arising from the completion of the Egyptian campaign in 1801. The French were surely bringing them home, but English troops in the area must've as well. So there is quite a wide range of time this sword could've been produced, if you have an idea when the 1822 regulation pattern went out of style that would be the top end, but they were being made earlier than that by a decade.

I think it can be ruled out from being a civilian sword, this is a fighting blade.

I don't own Robson, need to order it, but a friend did send the relevant pages to me to read.

The wootz sure does look good in those pictures! Need to update my guide, this sword was entirely different in its characteristics bringing the wootz out than the pala I posted earlier.
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Old 2nd February 2022, 09:06 PM   #43
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Jack wootz has its own characteristic and chemistry also forging methods also heat treat methods effect its character so much. So etching it is really tricky. As you know personally i have many kilics from every period in my possession and almost all had different way to etch
Last kilic i own you withnessed by yourself end 15th century Mamluk kilic made by Mastersmith Misri which is really rare piece and only few in the world and its patterns was really hard comer as well cuz all his blades are like this cuz it is the chemistry. Another 16th century Ottoman kilics i owned i needed to etch them almost all with different etchants 18th 19th century blades i owned i had to etch with totally different and shamshirs were different as well cuz masterssmiths who made them were all different. But surely your blade has really amazing wootz patterns even style of Pattern is different than Indian Tulwars. Indian iron ores are so clean ores and their patterns are more smaller which is good thing actually. Wootz is precious for us nowadays and we want to see patterns so much cuz makes piece more unique and valuable in a way especially if it is watered patterns and big patterns but back in History it wasnt like this people were mirror polishing their blades ( prevent rust cuz they dont have access to tools like we do nowadays ) even at some point seeing patterns were kind of shame and smaller the pattern more quality the steel was.
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Old 3rd February 2022, 12:28 AM   #44
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Here is another example with a Persian? wootz blade, silver gilt mounts and leather scabbard.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 3rd February 2022, 02:44 AM   #45
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Here is one marked to an officer of the 82nd regiment of foot.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 3rd February 2022, 01:24 PM   #46
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Two good examples Bryce, is the first one marked to anyone? It does appear maybe to be a shamshir but Osman would know for sure.

Did either of these have dates? The few examples of leather worked scabbards are claimed to be before the 1822 regulation. All of the swords I've seen after are metal/velvet scabbards.

As for the .. let's call them acanthus leaves, that's what Cribb called them on the scabbard, this design I have solely seen on Lancer's marked blades see Dellar Pg 111-112 fig 12.6-7 12.9-10.

The other assumption we can possibly make is a timeframe, the blades in Dellar post about 1837 become slimmer and I would assume more a dress blade/ceremonial role instead of fighting blade Dellar fig 12.11-16. The same type of transformation the USN officer sword underwent in 1872.

So, a piece of this puzzle I cannot find maybe you can help with is the 1822 dress regulation written in full. Dellar paraphrases it, saying "the 9th, 12th, and 16th Lancer units were prescribed a "mameluke hilted" sword with a plain metal scabbard fr dress wear and a velvet-covered scabbard for full dress."

This adds to the evidence this sword is likely pre-1822 regulation with the leather. Or the leather was replaced, the leather does show a lot of age, so I take back my previous comments saying it could pre-regulation.

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Old 3rd February 2022, 09:24 PM   #47
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The first one was hall marked but I can't remember what the date was. I think it was in the range 1810-20. The second is dateable by the maker to 1813-17. Just to further emphasize how difficult your task to pin your sword to a particular regiment is, here is a mameluke in my collection marked to a Grenadier officer in the 45th regiment of foot circa 1811/12. It has a steel scabbard, but who is to say it didn't also have a leather scabbard for dress wear? I have seen this same type of hilt on several examples marked to cavalry officers. You are right in that the style of the scabbard bands on your sword are similar to those found on several examples marked to Lancer regiments, but there are also plenty of examples of other swords marked to Lancer regiments, with different styles of scabbard bands and hilts. Also the examples of lancer marked swords with the same scabbard bands as yours that I have seen, also have the same design on the cross guard, which yours doesn't. I am not saying that your sword didn't belong to a Lancer officer, it certainly could have, but it could also have belonged to an officer of any number of other regiments.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 4th February 2022, 04:26 AM   #48
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Fair points. At this point I think we can only break it down into knowns, possibilities and unknowns:

Known: ivory handle, ottoman blade 16-17th century by characteristics

Possibility: made pre 1822 regulation due to leather scabbard, Lancers by designs on scabbard

Unknown: maker of blade, maker of sheath

I think the designs on the scabbard NOT being found on anything other Lancers swords is semi-evidence of Lancer ownership. The regulation about scabbard material also points to pre-1822.

Incredible sword, was hoping to find more sources but doesnít seem to be a ton on these anywhere. Dellars companion volume is in the mail.
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Old 4th February 2022, 02:41 PM   #49
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Bryce, I love that pipeback sword with the feathered tip!


I recall Prosser made similar wide pipebacks for officers in the very early 19c.
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Old 4th February 2022, 09:13 PM   #50
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I just found this image in my files. I don't know the source. It appears to have a Persian shamshir blade and the cross guard and scabbard bands associated with lancers.

G'day Kronckew,
The 45th regiment mameluke is by Prosser. Here is a shot of two quillpoints in my collection. The bottom celtic hilt is also marked to Prosser, while the mameluke is unmarked.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 4th February 2022, 11:01 PM   #51
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Great Celtic hilt. I know someone who recently found one but won't part with it.
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Old 5th February 2022, 06:56 AM   #52
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Here is a Infantry Officer Mameluke 1815-1817 thats how long the furbisher was around for so its easy to date.
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Old 5th February 2022, 11:15 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
...

We know, as shown, that the period of 1790s was most innovative in England as LeMarchant sought to form regulation patterns for cavalry swords, which ultimately resulted in the M1796 light cavalry saber. If I recall from research, among the saber blades considered were those of the Indian tulwar.

...

And I've heard it came full circle later, when the 1796s were replaced and surplus ones given to the Indian Sepoys. When the English confronted them in the 1857 rebellion, the Brits complained that the Sepoy's swords cut very much better than their own swords. Turned out they were the re-hilted 1796 LC sabres, but the Indians actually sharpened them. The Brits had theirs dulled, if ever sharpened, by contact with the metal scabbards when sheathing and drawing. Brits kept their sabres deliberately dull when not at war to avoid accidentally injuring themselves, and the command to sharpen sabres told them they were about to be deployed at the sharp end ().
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Old 5th February 2022, 12:12 PM   #54
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And I've heard it came full circle later, when the 1796s were replaced and surplus ones given to the Indian Sepoys. When the English confronted them in the 1857 rebellion, the Brits complained that the Sepoy's swords cut very much better than their own swords. Turned out they were the re-hilted 1796 LC sabres, but the Indians actually sharpened them. The Brits had theirs dulled, if ever sharpened, by contact with the metal scabbards when sheathing and drawing. Brits kept their sabres deliberately dull when not at war to avoid accidentally injuring themselves, and the command to sharpen sabres told them they were about to be deployed at the sharp end ().
Yup, in detail in Swordsmen of the British Empire great book. I have a Rijksmuseum Gill 1796 on the way currently. Along with a Dawes officers, an 1811, and an Austrian hussar, I think I'm spent on the model now

I love these mamelukes though, I'd like to go for some more eventually, especially one with French Egypt campaign provenance.
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Old 5th February 2022, 09:13 PM   #55
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G'day Calien,
I am very interested in early British pipe-backs. What more can you tell us about your sword? Who made it and who owned it?
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 6th February 2022, 07:13 PM   #56
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G'day Calien,
I am very interested in early British pipe-backs. What more can you tell us about your sword? Who made it and who owned it?
Cheers,
Bryce
oh yeah sure, it was made by T Symmons out of London he was a sword cutler but was only active from 1815-1816. The sword belonged to a Hubert Tiballier, the son of Francois Huber de Tiballiert a French Colonel who was put in charge of taking Haiti back after the slave revolt, he failed and was on route to France to face trial (and probably the guillotine) when the ship was intercepted by the British and he was taken back to London where he professed his undying loyalty to the Bourbons(LOL). Two of his sons ended up joining the war against Napoleon one with the French Hunters on foot and the one that owned this saber with the 60th and then the 35th. The 35th was actually at waterloo (although it didnt see combat) but Hubert was not on the rolls so maybe he joined the 35th after.
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Old 6th February 2022, 11:38 PM   #57
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Thanks Calien,
Where did you find the information about Symmons? I have had a bit of a look for him, and have found a merchant and a brass founder, but neither at this address?
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Bryce
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Old 7th February 2022, 12:09 AM   #58
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I got a lot of info from a friend on Facebook, he runs Natural Acuity and has a ton of resources for British makers.
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Old 7th February 2022, 12:21 AM   #59
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Steve Langhamís database is an invaluable resource and can be found here:

https://naturalacuity.com/SwordSearc...d-02f606c626ed

If you click on the i button it brings you to the sources Steve has for his entry One observation though, Steve only lists dates he has a period source for, so in this instance, if T Symmons was using blades supplied by J J Runkel then he must have been operating before 1808 when Runkel ceased importing from Solingen.
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Old 7th February 2022, 02:56 AM   #60
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Thanks guys,
He isn't in the 1814 London PO Directory or the 1816 PO Directory. It suggests he may only have been in business between October 1814 and October 1815. I wonder where the comment about Runkel blades came from?
Is there anything distinguishing in the blade decoration or is it just generic?
Cheers,
Bryce
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