which cypher or country is this?

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which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:04 pm

Hi chaps, I have a sword with this cypher, but I don't recognise it - do any of you know it please?
Matt
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Dmitry » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:27 am

I think I might have an idea. Do you have a photo of the whole sword?
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:51 am

Yes:
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Richard » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:08 am

This is a complete guess, but if it is a cypher and not an inspection mark - and if the II is meant to signify the second monarch of that name - then Isabella II of Spain? (reigning 1833-68). But it looks like a British P1821 LC trooper sword? Did we send any of these to Spain? Are there any more marks on it? eg maker's name?
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:59 pm

No other marks! Yes 1821, with wire on the leather grip.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Will Mathieson » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:50 pm

I remember seeing some 1821 variants with fish skin grips that were South American, Brazil? They also had two letters stamped on the guard finnial.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:11 pm

This has a leather grip, but with wire. There are no further markings on the sword, but the scabbard, which fits perfectly, has the following :
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:15 pm

Incidentally it has been service sharpened.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Will Mathieson » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:26 pm

Maybe these swords were part of strengthening Spain fores during or after military rule? From Wiki: Another uprising in Barcelona in 1842 against his free trade policies prompted him to bombard the city, serving only to loosen hisc tenuous grip on power. On 20 May 1843, Salustiano Olózaga delivered his famous "Dios salve al país, Dios salve a la reina!" (God save the country, God save the queen!) speech that led to a strong moderate-liberal coalition that opposed Espartero. This coalition sponsored a third and final uprising led by generals Ramón Narváez and Francisco Serrano, who finally overthrew Espartero in 1843, after which the deposed regent fled to England.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:04 am

We did sell this pattern to Spain - I found one that sold in auction:
(Lot 179) - http://auctions.durrants.com/auction-li ... =4&aid=139

However, I have found versions of Isabella II's monogram and it looks completely different to me, usually incorporating a Y and sometimes an M.
The one on my sword looks more like Leopold II of Belgium's! Still looking through various monograms though - some of the Scandinavian ones look similar, but I haven't found any that match yet.

Does anyone know what the EC/EO signifies on the scabbard? And is the 1842 the manufacture date? Obviously I can't be certain that the scabbard matches the sword, but it is the correct type and fits perfectly, with the same metal condition.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Richard » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:27 am

Matt Easton wrote:We did sell this pattern to Spain - I found one that sold in auction:
(Lot 179) - http://auctions.durrants.com/auction-li ... =4&aid=139

However, I have found versions of Isabella II's monogram and it looks completely different to me, usually incorporating a Y and sometimes an M.
The one on my sword looks more like Leopold II of Belgium's! Still looking through various monograms though - some of the Scandinavian ones look similar, but I haven't found any that match yet.

Does anyone know what the EC/EO signifies on the scabbard? And is the 1842 the manufacture date? Obviously I can't be certain that the scabbard matches the sword, but it is the correct type and fits perfectly, with the same metal condition.


Matt

Maybe Durrants were guessing just like me?

The inspection stamp on the scabbard does look like crown over EO - the 'E' must be Enfield surely but not sure about the 'O'. And, yes, I would assume that scabbard was manufactured in 1842

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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:23 pm

Thanks Richard.
I looked into the possibility of these being for Ferdinand II of Portugal, but the 1821s I've found with certain Portugese provenance all have Portugese stamps and numbers on - also they have shagreen grips rather than leather as here and have German makers' marks on the blades.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Juan J. Perez » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:50 pm

Gentlemen, this British pattern never saw service in Spain, as far as I know... in fact very similar swords were made in Toledo (without the ears on the grip), but for the Portuguese army. Not all of them are marked, but those that are, bear the mark 'AE', 'Arsenal do Exercito', in Portuguese, along with the maker mark (usually, a private cutler by the name of 'Ballesteros', in Toledo).

Apart from that, this is not the monogram of Isabel II, for sure.

Best luck to find other destinations for this sword!
JJ
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:35 am

Thanks Juan - this helps narrow the options.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Will Mathieson » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:49 pm

This bayonet has the same crown over EO, if it's an O
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:52 pm

Someone has kindly pointed out to me Ebay item 291395852816 which has the same cypher. That sword is also marked to the 1st DVLH, which is the Devonshire Volunteer Light Horse, I believe. So what on earth is that cypher, if it's on a British yeomanry sword? :?

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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Richard » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:04 pm

I am wondering - and once again this is entirely speculation - if this might not be a cypher at all but a very early Enfield inspector's mark. The Enfield factory was built in about 1818 (from memory) on the instructions of the Board of Ordnance but its output was quite small until the Crimean War. What the symbols under the Crown might represent, I have no idea. Maybe worth a quick check with the Enfield Museum?
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:59 pm

Interesting ideas Richard. It seems awfully big not to be a cypher and the crown doesn't look very British to me. And what could the 'II' under the crown represent?? All very odd - but at least I now know that there are others out there. On seeing the DVLH example my first thought was that maybe the DVLH sold off its swords and then whichever country/state the cypher relates to bought them. Still, isn't it odd that a yeomanry regiment should have wire wrap on its troopers' swords?
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:13 pm

And yet another example, also with grip wire, British inspection marks and the same cypher-like blade marking:
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showth ... tern-Sabre
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Richard » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:38 pm

Matt Easton wrote:Interesting ideas Richard. It seems awfully big not to be a cypher and the crown doesn't look very British to me. And what could the 'II' under the crown represent?? All very odd - but at least I now know that there are others out there. On seeing the DVLH example my first thought was that maybe the DVLH sold off its swords and then whichever country/state the cypher relates to bought them. Still, isn't it odd that a yeomanry regiment should have wire wrap on its troopers' swords?


Matt

Yes, I agree about the size. But if for some reason you were engraving an inspection stamp rather than stamping (although I don't know why you'd do that) then it would have to be that size. Take away the script cypher and you're left with exactly what looks like an inspection stamp of crown over 11 ..... particularly the crown.

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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:53 pm

Hmm, yes that's true. Though if it is that, I wonder what the V, or JL or whatever it is, is.
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Richard » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:54 am

Matt

The script characters look quite amateurish in execution and it is certainly not instantly recognisable as to what they are supposed to be. Maybe - and once again this is all very tenuous - they are the initials of the inspector (if the mark is an inspection mark)? On closer inspection and thought, I just can't see it as a royal cypher.

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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Matt Easton » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:52 pm

Frankly I'm happy if it isn't a foreign cypher, as that means it's British. :)
Any thoughts on the wire wrap to the grip?
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Richard » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Matt Easton wrote:Frankly I'm happy if it isn't a foreign cypher, as that means it's British. :)
Any thoughts on the wire wrap to the grip?


'Fraid not ....
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Re: which cypher or country is this?

Postby Will Mathieson » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:52 pm

I have seen several 1821's with wire on the grip, and several were Sargants with a crown/4 on the blade. Wire is a simple thing to add without altering a sword so it seems some were ordered or made this way by private firms. Possibly it was Enfield who did not use wire and that's where we get the idea they were not wire wrapped. It appears other makers were free to deviate.
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