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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Pattern 1898 Sword?


Piper42nd
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Swords were taken to France at the outset of the war and since this one has a GvR cipher it is relevant to this forum I believe. 

 

Anyway I bought this sword thinking it was a P1897 NCO sword.  After I got it I found the blade was too long.  Per LoC 8823 it should have a 32 9/16" blade.  Mine has a 33 1/4" blade.

 

LoC 9243 approves the P1898 NCO sword.  It says the blade was heavier and stiffer than the P1897 but doesn't mention longer.

 

I have attached a sketch with its dimensions.  The only marking is the Proved symbol.

 

So do I have a P1898 or something else?   Thanks. 

 

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Greetings from the hideout.

 

This is just an opinion and I am sure that greater minds will prove me wrong.

 

It has always been my belief that NCO's swords are issued rather than private purchase. 

Therefore if this is an original 1898 NCO's sword I would have expected it o be marked with ordinance and inspection stamps as well as

month and date numbers i.e.      4     99     and probably a makers name.  From the photographs this sword appears to have none of these. 

I have 8 original examples of this type of sword.  Victorian; Edwardian and George 5th all marked as I described.  

 

I will take a wild guess here which may well be incorrect, I wonder if it may have been produced in 1914 -16 for private purchase by the Volunteer

Training Corps.  These would not be governed by ordinance regulation. This would certainly explain the lack of markings and the diversion from exact

regulation pattern. 

 

As I say, just my opinion. 

                                                                   Old Robin Hood.

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Thanks for the information.  I neglected to mention that it came with a leather scabbard meant to be used with a Sam Browne belt.  It should have had a steel scabbard per the LoC. 

Judging from the condition of the hilt and scabbard someone used it quite a bit.  

So are you saying that because it's not stamped and it may be a little long (the LoC doesn't give a length) it's not a P1898 then?

 

Harvey 

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  • 4 months later...

Afraid what you have there is most certainly a fake. The lack of any other markings on the blade and the dimensions are marks against it. War Office crow's foot arrowheads, inspection marks, maker's stamps and more would be expected. The brass guard is weird. The worst offenders are actually the washer (horrible lump of a thing) and the grip. It should be cured dogfish skin shagreen, not horribly bulging and with a three-piece sandwich wire wrap. Finally the peen nut is the wrong shape.

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Would it be possible to post pictures of the correct guard, grip and peen nut.  I'm curious as to what makes the guard "weird".  I accept that it is not a '97 or '98 NCO sword.  Does it seem likely that someone in the military used it though based on the wear and its well worn Sam Browne type scabbard? 

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Greetings from the cave.

I would agree that the washer on this sword is pretty horrid but it may have been replaced at some time.

It is not of the highest quality but I have seen other swords like this which were genuine .

Could you post some pictures of the scabbard ?, this may help in forming an opinion.

 

        Old Robin Hood

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Here you go.

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Greetings from the cave.  

 

It cannot be denied that the field service scabbard is definitely genuine, as I believe is the sword.

I would be interested to know that if the horrible washer was removed would the blade still fit fully into

the scabbard? 

The sword may not be of the highest quality but I certainly believe that it is of WW1 vintage and the pommel nut

certainly looks right to me.  

I said in my first reply that I thought that it could be a private purchase weapon for use by an officer or

senior NCO in the Volunteer Training Corps as they were less strict about following regulation pattern.  

 This is just my opinion as I said before.  I would certainly be content to have this weapon in my collection.

 

                                                    Old Robin Hood

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The sword fits in the scabbard with the washer removed without problem. 

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Greetings from the cave.

 

The sword certainly fits well in the scabbard without the horrid washer .( even if it is in the wrong way round )

It is strange having a brass hit but is obviously genuine as I have said before .

It may not be strictly regulation but is well worth a place in any WW1 collection . 

I am most surprised that there have been no other suggestions on what it may be. 

 

                                                       Old Robin Hood

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This photo shows the side of the scabbard that goes against the leg.  The small turned down edge of the hilt would presumably also go against the leg.  For that reason it seems like I have the sword in the scabbard correctly don't I? 

 

Harvey 

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I don't think the hilt is brass.  I think the indoor lighting makes it appear that way.  Here's a photo taken outside. 

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Greetings Harvey,

 

Firstly, the outdoor picture of the sword hilt is excellent, it is now obvious that it is not brass.

Now, concerning the scabbard, the easiest way to illustrate how the sword should fit is to show

you one of mine in the sword frog.

It can be seen that the retaining strap comes over the top of the frog and attaches to the frog stud.  

The seam on the scabbard is always to the rear edge.

Hope this helps.

 I still find your sword very interesting.

                         Old Robin Hood       

 

 

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I obviously didn't understand how the scabbard attached to the frog.  I'm wondering if the hilt is what they call "gilt metal".  I've seen that phrase in the LoC's and the Equipment Regs.

 

Thank you for all your help and for your opinion that I didn't completely waste my money when I bought the sword.  It's not what it was sold as but at least it's the ww1 era.

 

Harvey 

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