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Brian - thankyou for that well written and concise background to the Canadian period - and as for that battlefield relic ! I don't recognise the sword pattern - would it be possible to have a close-up of the hilt? Like you, I am a believer in trying to put details with an object - we are not just a 'picture gallery' and everyones' contributions have certainly enlarged my knowledge of the period. Similarly, Michael's link adds a lot from the Fenian side. Let's hope more members will contribute.

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Hi Mervyn,

Here is a close up of the hilt.

The grip was leather and covered the standard wooden handle. The knuckle bow has been broken off and the quillion has been bent toward the blade, probably when the knuckle bow was broken. The blade has a fuller on bothsides of the balde. These are at times called "blood grooves" by the uninitiated. These have noting to do with blood or the ease at which the sword may be drawn from the body of an opponet. They are to strengthen the blade much as an "I" beam draws its strenght from its shape. It also lightens the blade somewhat due to the lessening of the metal used in manufacturing the blade. End of sermon. The end of the tang, which runs through the grip is simply penned over rather than having a removable button at the end for the pommel. The sword was not meant to be dissasembled and was a massed produced item and probably supplied in great qualtity. The specimen is a lot darker than the photos show.

Regards

Brian

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Hi Mervyn,

Here is a close up of the hilt.

The grip was leather and covered the standard wooden handle. The knuckle bow has been broken off and the quillion has been bent toward the blade, probably when the knuckle bow was broken. The blade has a fuller on bothsides of the balde. These are at times called "blood grooves" by the uninitiated. These have noting to do with blood or the ease at which the sword may be drawn from the body of an opponet. They are to strengthen the blade much as an "I" beam draws its strenght from its shape. It also lightens the blade somewhat due to the lessening of the metal used in manufacturing the blade. End of sermon. The end of the tang, which runs through the grip is simply penned over rather than having a removable button at the end for the pommel. The sword was not meant to be dissasembled and was a massed produced item and probably supplied in great qualtity. The specimen is a lot darker than the photos show.

Regards

Brian

Another view of the hilt showing the manufacturing was a mass production rather than a high quality item.

Brian

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I can't place it - looks vaguely like the issue to army waggon driver's - but the blade is too long. I think Jonathan - who knows his swords - should take a look.

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The sword could be of British or American manufacture as stated. I have seen these commonly listed as artillery sabers and dated anywhere between about 1800 and 1830. Dmitry, a keen collector of early American swords, would probably be able say a bit more about it or correct me. I will point-out this thread to him. :)

Jonathan

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The sword could be of British or American manufacture as stated. I have seen these commonly listed as artillery sabers and dated anywhere between about 1800 and 1830. Dmitry, a keen collector of early American swords, would probably be able say a bit more about it or correct me. I will point-out this thread to him. :)

Jonathan

Thanks Jonathan,

It is not much when it comes to collectable swords but I like it as I know where it came from and why it was lost in the first place. I've always wondered exactly what country it must have come from.

Regards

Brian

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The sword could be of British or American manufacture as stated. I have seen these commonly listed as artillery sabers and dated anywhere between about 1800 and 1830. Dmitry, a keen collector of early American swords, would probably be able say a bit more about it or correct me. I will point-out this thread to him. :)

Jonathan

Jonathan, I can't add much more to what you have already written.

This sword is similar to an American mounted artillery NCO saber from the first quarter of the 19th century.

Is anyone else but me bothered by the description of a paddy wagon door being made out of canvas?!

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Dmitry - your answer adds a lot to the previous answers. If the Fenians came out of the US, then this would be an accesible and reasonably priced weapon. With the provenance of where it was found - and now an identification of the weapon - Brian has a valuable item that could well be of museum interest. Brian, document all of this , to go with the sword.

British 'paddy waggons' - known in UK as 'Black Marias' ( and I'm not sure why - prob. goes back hundreds of years ) were horse drawn. Usually four horses if they were to carry many prisoners and two for the smaller ones. This would have been a smaller one - with two doors. Weight was obviously a consideration and canvas was used a lot - however, it may well have been stretched over a wooden panel and taken off this for framing. Sergeant Brett was inside the van, with the two prisoners. They would have been heavily shackled - the very least would have been leg irons and handcuffs. But, they could have had them in full assize chains. That was a set with leg irons, the chains running up to two arm chains with cuffs + two extra chains with 28lb. (13kilos) cannonballs welded on. Each County had it's own Assize Court and prisoners had to be sent to the County town - from long distances - for trial. The only way to escape was with outside help - as in this case.

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I have just googled 'Black Maria' and the name come from the US ! There is a a good site showing a picture of the larger type of van - still in use today in the concept of sep. internal cells. However, remember, that this panel is from another area and was on the door. The one illust. is the same cypher and Crown as mine - but, on the side of the waggon.

www.met.police.uk/history/black_marias.htm

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