G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

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G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Bryce » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:15 am

G'day Guys,

I bought this basket hilt a few years ago thinking it may have been Napoleonic. The hilt is well made and very similar to the 1828 pattern, but custom made for a left handed officer. It is made out of a non-magnetic metal that appears to be silver plated brass or "Sheffield plate". The cross guard is steel. The grip is ray skin wrapped with silver wire. In contrast to the well made hilt, the blade looks a little "clumsy". It has the dimensions of a spear-pointed 1796 heavy cavalry sword, except the last 6 inches is slightly beefier than normal. There is also a very slight waver along the edge. The blade is unmarked except for a G stamp at the ricasso and the tang button looks altered.
This was the only sword I have ever bought that I wanted to send right back, but I hung on to it instead.

Do you think it is some thing that has just been put together or is it a period marriage?

Cheers,

Bryce
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Basket6.jpg
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Will Mathieson » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:41 pm

I've read the "G" can represent the German marking for good cast steel. Read elsewhere it may be a marking for Gill but from what I've seen with other similarily marked swords it's most likely good cast steel.
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:59 pm

G'day Will,

I have read that as well. The only swords that I have seen that had a G stamp and were also signed, were by Osborn. The unsigned ones also have the look of Osborn's. I wonder if the G was for Gunby? I am certain it wasn't Gill.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Will Mathieson » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:26 am

I wish I had copied the photos of swords marked with the "G" . As I recall a couple were German made. The French did use basket hilts to some extent.
I don't know enough about the earlier ones.
You say the blade is thicker towards the point. I think the blade type can help date the sword to Napoleonic.
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Richard » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:08 pm

Here's another example of that G stamp - I am convinced (without reason!) that it is the mark of a Solingen maker but I cannot find any reference in any book to confirm.
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:38 pm

G'day Richard,

Here is a G-stamped 1796 infantry officer's spadroon by Osborn that I own.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:33 am

Hi Bryce
Thanks for posting your Osborn sword with the G stamp. I am now changing my mind about it being the mark of a Solingen maker. Osborn made his own blades so maybe this is some sort of manufacturing/inspection stamp ...
Are there any more examples like this out there?
Richard
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:12 pm

G'day Richard,

After I bought this sword I took a particular interest in G stamped blades. Unfortunately I didn't keep any photos of the examples I came across, apart from the one I own pictured above. From memory, the only blades with a G stamp, that also had a maker mark were by Osborn, apart from one 1803 Grenadier Officer sword that was by Osborn and Gunby. In addition, the unmarked G stamped swords, which mostly seem to be 1796 heavy cavalry officer undress swords, also had the look of Osborn about them. Most have a single G stamp, but some have a double G stamp.

Has anyone come across a marked example that wasn't by Osborn?

Gordon,

The basket hilt elements are braised onto the steel cross guard. there is also one place where the basket hilt bars appear to be braised together. You wouldn't see this if it was solid silver would you?

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:42 pm

G'day Guys,

Came across some photos I kept of a 1796 heavy cavalry officer undress sword marked to Osborn with the GG stamp. You can't see the GG stamp as it is hidden by the leather washer, but the seller included it in the description. There is also another one in the sold section on " The Sword Pattern" site.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Richard » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:10 pm

Hi Bryce

Thanks for posting other examples of Osborn swords stamped G or GG on ricasso. This prompted me to check two of my own Osborn swords - 1796 LC officers swords of Loyal Birmingham Light Horse Vols and sword of Col. Herries (plates 21.2 and 21.8 in book). Lo and behold there they are - G stamp on ricasso of both blades (but each hidden by langet which is why I had never noticed them before). I think you've cracked it - a Henry Osborn manufacturing/inspection stamp.

Richard

2 separate subjects now on-going in this thread!
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:28 pm

G'day Richard,

I suspected that there were many more G stamped light cavalry blades out there, but the stamps were hidden by the langets. I have two light cavalry Osborn's, but can't see a G stamp. They could be there, but it is very difficult to see them under the langets. How were you able to see them?

Can you narrow down a date to your G stamped swords?

On the subject of the basket hilt, I will have to polish up a section of the basket to confirm what it is made of. I hadn't noticed what looks like flaking of the plating as pointed out by Gordon. I am not sure why I hadn't polished a section of the basket before. I think it is because I had banished this sword to the naughty corner.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Richard » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:12 am

Hi Bryce

Well it wasn't easy, you have to angle the blade such that the light goes under the langet. I have tried to take photos - see below - I think you can just about see the single G stamping. The Loyal Birmingham Light Horse Vols sword has an etched blade and includes the date 1798 on one side of the blade and Osborne's Warranted on the other side. The Herries sword I estimate around the same time, i.e. 1798. This has a B&G blade with Osborn's Warranted on the back edge.

I think this is an important discovery, well done you. The sword with the G stamp that I originally posted (above) is a (so-called) 1814 Household Cavalry Officer's sword. Most, if not all, examples I have seen have no maker's name in evidence but now I think I can safely attribute that one to Osborn.

Richard
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Richard » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:33 am

Bryce, with your permission I am going to attempt to split this thread between discussion of the G stamp and discussion of the metal bars on Bryce's sword. No disrespect to the latter topic but the former is important enough to have as a 'sticky'. I have never done this before, wish me luck!
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:11 am

G'day Richard,

I agree it should be a separate thread.

I guess we all need to pull out our Gill sabres and make sure they don't have any pesky G stamps either.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Unusual Basket Hilt

Postby Bryce » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:30 am

G'day Guys,

I had a quick check of my sabre collection.

I have two Osborn marked sabres. One is the R White sabre circa 1796, the other one is etched with american motifs circa 1800-1805. Both have G stamps.
My Osborn and Gunby 1803 grenadier sword does not have a G stamp.
I have three Gill marked officer sabres, Circa 1797, 1798 and 1799. No G stamps.

So far we have 100% of Osborn marked swords with a G stamp.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Richard » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:11 pm

Bryce

As a point of interest, I have a 1796 LC trooper's sword made by Osborn but this does NOT have the 'G' stamp. I would think this is because the blade was inspected by a Board of Ordnance inspector whereas officers' blades would have only been subject to an internal inspection (i.e. within Osborn's company).

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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Bryce » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:20 am

Thanks Richard,

Does anyone else have some Osborn swords they can check for G stamps?

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Richard » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:41 pm

Here’s another I just came across on the Internet - stamp only though, mo maker’s name
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Bryce » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:04 am

Come on guys. Pull out those Osborns and see if they have a G stamp.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Richard » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:13 am

Bryce
I'll be going to the Bristol Fair on Sunday and then the London Fair in April so I'll have a good look at dealers' stock.
Richard
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Jerry Cottrell » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:48 pm

Hi all

I have two Osborn swords:

P1796 Heavy Cavalry Officers Undress sword, with a clear GG under the leather washer - see photo.

P1796 Light Cavalry Officers with a single G visible under the langet - too difficult to obtain a good photo. Could be GG if a second G is concealed under the hilt mounting.

Jerry
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Bryce » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:33 pm

G'day Jerry,
Thanks for that. The tally so far then is still 100% of Osborn marked swords have either a G or GG stamped blade. It looks like only heavy cavalry swords have a GG stamp for some reason. Does anyone have an Osborn light cavalry with a GG stamp?
Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby sword335 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:54 pm

I'm sure I've seen GG stamps on 1803 Infantry swords - erroneously believed by some to stand for Grenadier Guards ! Don't remember who the makers were unfortunately.

Chris.
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Bryce » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:29 am

Chris you are right. MDL had an Osborn and Gunby 1803 with the GG stamp.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: G or GG stamp on blade ricasso

Postby Bryce » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:46 am

Here is another 1803 from MDL. This one marked Osborn with a single G stamp. At present it seems that all Osborn marked swords have a G or GG stamp as do some, but not all Osborn and Gunby swords.
Cheers,
Bryce
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