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Late 19th Century blade


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While not "old" by our far-reaching standards, I'm seeking information on a blade that's been in my family for over 100 years, which I've just come into possession of. My Great-Grandfather Clive Price participated in the Spanish American War, and brought home this blade, which my father has always called "the machete". I have conducted an extensive internet search, and found no such blades in use by the Army during that time, none of the old photos suggests such a thing was ever issued to US troops, and there seems to be no makers hallmark or stamp... just a stamp on the scabbard throat that appears to read "o.100.C"

 

The blade is almost certainly post-bessemer steel, and it shows some rusty spots as well as some places where Grandpa took a grinder to it like so many of his other tools. Both are now dead, and my father brought this to me to try and conserve, and maybe learn a bit more about it.

 

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Brass S-guard and collar, there are also brass pins and a plate near the butt of the handle (missing on one side, I'll have to make a replacement)

 

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The staining of the wood is from electrical tape holding together some bits that have cracked and are about to fall off - I'll secure them with CA glue and do a mild cleaning/refinishing of the wood handle.

 

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Blade tip:

 

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Mild sweep to the blade...

 

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Scabbard details, showing brass throat and chape, and stitched leather

 

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And hints of a shallow touchmark, which I polished around with 900 grit stone to try and raise a little detail, but I can't make anything out, save that little round mark which may just be corrosion...

 

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If anyone has a notion of where this thing might have come from, or has links to pictures of similar pieces, I'd love to hear about it. No other "machete" I've seen looks quite like this, as they all lack such a formal guard, but all "swords" of the day are long officer's swords and sabre's.

 

My conservation plan is to attack the rust spots with paper and stones to try and root out any corrosion, then give the thing a whole once-over with fine stones to bring up the shine without attacking all the pitting and character of the piece, then seal it up with ren wax. I'll strip down the handle, and re-oil the wood for a uniform look, and stabilize the cracks with glue, and set the pins firmly again... I want the age to shine through while protecting it against further degradation. I don't plan on over-polishing the brass bits, but I'll likely clean them up a little.

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I've seen a picture of something similar, but it was from Argentina. I'll have to do some more digging, but that style of "formal" machete was not uncommon in the Spanish-influenced world of the late 19th century. I've also seen something close from the Phillipines.

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From the depths of ignorance ,,, could that be a cut down sword or saber of some sort ?

 

Kenny

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From the depths of ignorance ,,, could that be a cut down sword or saber of some sort ?

 

Kenny

 

I severely doubt it. What Alan found was close, but no (cuban) cigar. The hilt, at least, to the Argentino short sword looks very similar, but mine is not stamped, and the rest of the piece doesn't fit.

 

Now I'm curious and frustrated. Anyone else have a clue?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Christopher,

 

I might have some direction to look at... I own a rather similar blade which is classified as a "Faschinenmesser", they were issued in the 1800´s for building fortifications from wood and the like on the battlefield.

 

 

General Images of "Faschinenmesser":

http://images.google.de/images?hl=de&um=1&q=faschinenmesser&ndsp=20&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

 

I have one like this:

http://www.waffensammler-kuratorium.de/afm1849/afm1849da.html

 

 

Regards,

 

Christoph.

 

 

edit: I have some piccies in an old book of mine that match your sword a bit better than mine but I won´t be able to show them before next week... I´m currently on a business trip^^

 

 

edit 2: http://www.waffenhandelimspessart.de/0262f8985911f1604/index.html

here´s a link to two "Faschinenmesser", that are a lot closer to yours...

Edited by Christoph Alpermann
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