1840 Musicians Authentic?

RobertH

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Jan 25, 2019
I found this one for sale not too far from where I live. But I've got my doubts about it as to being the real deal. No markings on the blade, the blade is in too nice of shape (possibly sanded/buffed), and no inspection or rack marks on the brass. The blade doesn't appear to have been replaced, but I have not seen the sword up close yet. Not sure I want to make the drive yet to go see it. Any opinions as to authenticity? Thanks in advance.

And overall length is 36.5". Isn't that too long for an 1840 Musicians? The blade is 30.5".

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James N.

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I found this one for sale not too far from where I live. But I've got my doubts about it as to being the real deal. No markings on the blade, the blade is in too nice of shape (possibly sanded/buffed), and no inspection or rack marks on the brass. The blade doesn't appear to have been replaced, but I have not seen the sword up close yet. Not sure I want to make the drive yet to go see it. Any opinions as to authenticity? Thanks in advance.

And overall length is 36.5". Isn't that too long for an 1840 Musicians? The blade is 30.5".
M. 1840 Musician's swords came in three lengths since at this period some of them were literally drummer boys. Yours looks good as gold - right as rain and there should be no question about it. A large number of these seem to have survived in very good condition for their age, and the leather scabbard is a giveaway that this is authentic and not a repro. However, DO take off the silly tassel someone's put on it - musicians and NCO's didn't have anything on their swords.
 

RobertH

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Jan 25, 2019
M. 1840 Musician's swords came in three lengths since at this period some of them were literally drummer boys. Yours looks good as gold - right as rain and there should be no question about it. A large number of these seem to have survived in very good condition for their age, and the leather scabbard is a giveaway that this is authentic and not a repro. However, DO take off the silly tassel someone's put on it - musicians and NCO's didn't have anything on their swords.

Thanks, that makes sense on the length. I guess I'll go take a look at it. You can never have too many CW swords.
 

James N.

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Thanks, that makes sense on the length. I guess I'll go take a look at it. You can never have too many CW swords.
If you're really concerned about the condition of the blade, here's a shot of mine for comparison; I've kept it clean and polish it occasionally but it was essentially in this condition when I got it back in the 70's:

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ucvrelics

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Looks right as rain from the photos. If it is a Potter, when you get to see it look real close on the blade as the marking is typically weak and see if you see what is known as the Hare's Head logo.
Potter.jpg
 

bobinwmass

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Regarding the hares head maker mark, in his book on Cavalry and Artillery sabers, Thillmann identifies the marking to Friedrich Potter. But in his book on Army swords (a later work), when he discusses musician swords, he attributes the hare heads marking to F. Poeter. The hares head musician sword he depicts there has a blade of 28 3/16 inches. Perhaps Poeter also made longer blades. It appears other European makers did, as according to Thillman the musician sword by Friedrich Horster has a blade length of 34.5 inches, same as their NCO sword.
 

ucvrelics

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Regarding the hares head maker mark, in his book on Cavalry and Artillery sabers, Thillmann identifies the marking to Friedrich Potter. But in his book on Army swords (a later work), when he discusses musician swords, he attributes the hare heads marking to F. Poeter. The hares head musician sword he depicts there has a blade of 28 3/16 inches. Perhaps Poeter also made longer blades. It appears other European makers did, as according to Thillman the musician sword by Friedrich Horster has a blade length of 34.5 inches, same as their NCO sword.
We got to get you some new books :D
 

bobinwmass

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We got to get you some

We got to get you some new books :D
What newer books would you recommend? Thillmann's book was 2008, and in the section on 1850 foot officers swords he talks about new evidence, including a foot officer sword with both the hares head mark and the name F. Poeter stamped on it, that he says conclusively proves the maker is Ferdinand Poeter.
 

bobinwmass

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What newer books would you recommend? Thillmann's book was 2008, and in the section on 1850 foot officers swords he talks about new evidence, including a foot officer sword with both the hares head mark and the name F. Poeter stamped on it, that he says conclusively proves the maker is Ferdinand Poeter.
Is anyone aware of any sword reference books that are newer, more comprehensive, or accurate than Thillmann's that they would recommend? I do have a couple other sword books, but they are older and I find Thillmann's much more informative. I do not have two I've seen mentioned on this forum, "The Ames Sword Company 1829-1935" by Hamilton, and "American Swords & Makers: A Photographic Guide for Collectors " by Clegg Donald Furr. But both of those are earlier than Thillmann's also, 1983 and 1999 respectively. Are they better than Thillmann's books? What books do you think are the best ones to have?
 
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