Need help with model 1840 cavalry sabre

Nick105

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Dec 14, 2020
Hi everyone - this is my first post because I read many different threads about these swords. I was recently given two identical original civil war cavalry sabres and from what I can see they are model 1840. The one I have had stamps on the hilt area of the blade reading “ US AMES MFGC Chicopee mass with the inspector initials as well as 1864 on the opposite side. Now the other sword I have is identical but has no stamps on the lower hilt area of blade whatsoever - it DOES have one stamp on the bottom of the pommel with ADK ( Andrew king from what I can find, the inspector) and that seems to be the only marking on it ...in all of my research I cannot find anything about a stamp less Sabre ...I thought at first it may have worn off the blade but there does not seem to be any markings on the blade.

so I am curious if anyone can help? I will add photos tomorrow of both swords. I am trying to figure out the history, rarity and honestly value of these swords. I am a huge history buff but I will be honest with the fact I have no where to store them and would rather sell them to a collector who has a true interest in military memorabilia. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks everyone ! Let the help roll in! :smile:
 

Nick105

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Welcome. Photos would be helpful. If the Ames is dated 1864 it is a mpdle 1860… looking forward to seeing the photos
Will post first thing in the morning ! I forgot to take the pictures earlier and I will wake everyone in the house getting them out of the closet !!
Have you ever heard of a Sabre without stamps on the blade but having an inspector mark on the pommel?
 

Nick105

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Oh and I was also wondering what is a safe way to clean the sword and polish the brass/blade? The swords are in fantastic condition just have the usual 150 year grime ! Want to see them cleaned properly
 

Nick105

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Okay so here are the pictures !!! the first ones are of the sword with the markings on the blade itself. It has not been cleaned yet and will be grabbing natural cleaners today to remove the active rust.
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these next ones are of the unmarked sword. I also noticed that the sheath is different in that the spacing between the rings is closer together?
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Any and all help would be appreciated!! Please folks!!! Thanks :smile:
 

ucvrelics

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Okay so here are the pictures !!! the first ones are of the sword with the markings on the blade itself. It has not been cleaned yet and will be grabbing natural cleaners today to remove the active rust.
View attachment 384661View attachment 384662View attachment 384663View attachment 384664View attachment 384665View attachment 384666View attachment 384667View attachment 384668View attachment 384669

these next ones are of the unmarked sword. I also noticed that the sheath is different in that the spacing between the rings is closer together?
View attachment 384670View attachment 384671View attachment 384672View attachment 384673View attachment 384674View attachment 384675View attachment 384676View attachment 384677View attachment 384678
Any and all help would be appreciated!! Please folks!!! Thanks :smile:
What is the blade length on the un-marked sword plus look on the drag and see if has any markings. The ADK which is for A.D. King has me leaning a model 1840 Ames with the markings worn off.
 

Bonedaddy

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A nice 1860 Ames Saber. Be very careful as to what to get to clean it. You DON'T want to polish it; just remove the active rust and keep the rest of the patina. I have an 1860 Ames saber dated 1860 verified by Mr. Thillman as being one sent to Jeb Stuart's cavalry in Virginia before the war began and Lincoln placed an embargo on all arms going to the South. The blade on mine did not have any active rust but the scabbard did. All I did was wipe the blade and scabbard down with a quality gun oil and it removed most of the active rust from the scabbard. I am sure someone else with more knowledge than me will be along shortly with better ideas. Good looking saber.
 

Nick105

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What is the blade length on the un-marked sword plus look on the drag and see if has any markings. The ADK which is for A.D. King has me leaning a model 1840 Ames with the markings worn off.
From what I’ve read though was that import 1860s sometimes had no stamps on the blade and that the scabbard rings were closely spaced together. This seems to be the case here - have you heard that?
 

ucvrelics

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From what I’ve read though was that import 1860s sometimes had no stamps on the blade and that the scabbard rings were closely spaced together. This seems to be the case here - have you heard that?
There were no ADK marks on an import swords. What is the blade length?
 

Nick105

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What is the blade length on the un-marked sword plus look on the drag and see if has any markings. The ADK which is for A.D. King has me leaning a model 1840 Ames with the markings worn off.
35” measured with a metal measuring tape so give or take a hair
 

ucvrelics

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I believe they are both 1860 sabers as both have a rounded spine and a swell in the grip. The 1840's had flat spines and no swell in the grip. The markings must be worn away on the second.
Yep, with a 35 inch blade it is a model 1860 and I believe with the ADK its an Ames with the markings worn off. The first model 1860 that were made in 1858 had the scabbard rings close together as this one is.
 

Nick105

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The scabbard with the closer spaced rings is the an Ames M1906 saber. the M1906 was identical with the M1860 except the hilt was steel instead of brass and the scabbard had closer spaced rings. The two scabbards were frequently intermixed during the service life of the sabers.
I know the saber itself is not a 1906 but the scabbard may be. I have read they are frequently found with different scabbards. Does anyone know the value of these and the best route of sale? Like I said I am a history buff but not a memorabilia collector. Want to see these go to someone who collects but don’t want to give them away at the wrong price
 

James N.

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What is the blade length on the un-marked sword plus look on the drag and see if has any markings. The ADK which is for A.D. King has me leaning a model 1840 Ames with the markings worn off.
Both are M.1860's as evidenced from the obvious SWELL in the middle of the grip on both. (I'm sure that was merely overlooked by @ucvrelics !) @Nick105 for differences between the two models you might want to check out this thread I made a few years back:

Cavalry and Dragoon Sabers by the N. P. Ames Co. | Small Arms & Edged Weapons (civilwartalk.com)

Welcome to the forums!
 

Nick105

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Both are M.1860's as evidenced from the obvious SWELL in the middle of the grip on both. (I'm sure that was merely overlooked by @ucvrelics !) @Nick105 for differences between the two models you might want to check out this thread I made a few years back:

Cavalry and Dragoon Sabers by the N. P. Ames Co. | Small Arms & Edged Weapons (civilwartalk.com)

Welcome to the forums!
Thanks James! I appreciate the feedback! Do you happen to know the estimated value of these two ?
 

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