1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

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1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:12 am

Hi folks,
I put together a little article, based on a few diverse 1796 pattern light cavalry sabres in my hands at the moment:
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/antique-s ... 796weight/

Regards,
Matt
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Bryce » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:26 pm

G'day Matt,

I routinely weigh all my swords as they come into my collection. The range of weights for 1796 light cavalry sabres in my collection is about the same as you have recorded. The two lightest full length 1796 light cavalry officer's sabres in my collection weigh 800g and are both etched examples. One by Gill and the other by Osborn. I imagine the metal removed by the etching process would make them that little bit lighter.

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Juan J. Perez » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:17 am

Thanks Matt, for sharing those interesting data.

As you know, weight is a critical factor to assess on a sword quality and use, but it is routinely absent in most important museum and collection catalogues, perhaps simply showing both the lack of interest in, and real knowledge of swords (and any weapon for that matter) of most curators (with some honored exemptions, I have to admit).

I also add weight and balance to the data collected for all my swords, and in comparison to other contemporary patterns, I've always found British 1796's quite light and maneuverable (even the often condemned sword for the Heavy Cavalry). Right, the point of balance is a bit far from the hilt, both for the light and the heavy swords, but perfectly suitable for mainly cutting swords as they are, having in mind that the total weight is well controlled.

When I think of a heavy sword I recall, for instance, the Spanish patterns of 1815, for light and heavy troopers, both of them well exceeding 1200 gr. Both are fitted with brass hilts in the French fashion (the heavy a direct copy of French An XIII), what adds to the total weight, and while effective in their own way (the sabre quite able to deliver devastating blows, the sword long and rigid, designed to pierce through most pieces of uniform), they require people of quite strong complexion to be properly wielded.

Nothing to do with Spanish swords of the 18th century, hilts normally made in iron, not so heavy and better balanced. I suppose that troopers of the time were more skilled and able to tell the difference.

Best,
Juan J.
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Richard » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:06 am

Matt
Interesting and weighing is not something I had ever done before - until now that is!
Richard
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Bryce » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:43 pm

According to my records, one of the lightest swords I own is a 1796 with Osborn and Gunby variant blade. The sword weighs around 700g with an 85cm blade. Can anyone else confirm this or have I made a mistake? I will have to reweigh it when I get a chance.


Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Richard » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:31 pm

I would check it again, Bryce. My O&G is 822g as the table above and as an officer’s sword I would expect it to be a little lighter than a troopers.
Incidentally, somewhat strange that my O&G and two pipebacks are exactly the same weight.
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Bryce » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:29 am

I reweighed the Osborn and Gunby variant sword and it is 830g, about the same as Richard's. Not sure where I got 700g from?

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Matt Easton » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:04 am

This is great, thanks Richard and Bryce! I am sharing this in a few places.
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Lee F. McGee » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:30 pm

Hello everyone,
I have an officers 1796 LC that only weighs 624 grams (courtesy of Easton Antique Arms). Measured twice, unless I need a new scale!
Lee
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Bryce » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:34 pm

G'day Lee,
Can you please post a photo of your sword? Just about the lightest sword in my collection is this small sabre in the style of Prosser. It has a slim, unfullered blade which is 79cm long and 33mm wide and weighs 670g. I have always thought of it as a light infantry officer's sword, but it is possible it belonged to a light cavalry officer.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Lee F. McGee » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:55 am

Bryce,
It’s pretty nondescript- no markings at all. Sorry for the poor quality photos. It’s 32 in long, or about 81 cm

B0C35E62-2298-4CC3-B328-415717AA4238.jpeg

CEDB535A-4E3F-4494-8E41-8346CCC5B19A.jpeg


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Re: 1796 sabres - How much do they weigh (article)

Postby Jonathan Waller » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:00 pm

Following Matts post on Facebook here are some details of a example that's been in dads Collection since the the early 80a. He acquired via his friend Derek Spalding who worked for Robin Dale's in London
Its in overall pretty good condition the baldw is very good and shows some signs of some grinding sharpening. The hilt is still tight and the original leather on the grip remains though in places work so you can see the coring under neath.
It bears few marks. DAWES BIRMm crown over 11 and two Bs on the back of the blade at 173mm and 314mm.
Length 865mm
Blade 735mm
Weight 1846gr
Sword 901 gr
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