Levy / Piquet Swords

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Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MEversbergII » 26 May 2016 20:39

Anyone know to what quality standard these things were built to? I know they're not intended for use in combat, but did they actually get tempered blades? Were they ever sharpened? What kind of quality do the hilt fixtures and the like have?

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MattS » 26 May 2016 23:21

I've played with a few, and own one.

The quality is great, they look and feel like swords, just ones which are a bit smaller and skinnier than their 'undress' brothers. As dressy items they tend to be a bit fancier than someone may take to battle with them, but overall they're not all that different.

They're not usually sharpened, but you could definitely thrust with them. Some have proof discs, but not all are proofed so you don't always get that.

This is my 1822 pattern infantry officer's levee sabre, from about 1825ish (I left the pictures big so do a 'view image' on them to see the whole thing):
20150321-234548-1822InfantrySabre.jpg
20150321-234548-1822InfantrySabre.jpg (225.3 KiB) Viewed 1177 times

20150321-235217-1822InfantrySabre.jpg
20150321-235217-1822InfantrySabre.jpg (216.13 KiB) Viewed 1177 times


Blade length: 31", plated pipeback with a little bit of etching
Blade height at base: just under 1"
Edge: sharpened
Point of balance: 3 3/4" from the guard
Guard: gilded folding Gothic hilt
Grip length: 4"
Pommel: steppe, with ivory inlay (to protect jacket from marking)
Maker/reseller: R Johnson of St James, London
Scabbard: leather with brass and frog suspension (rings came in about 1826 according to Robson)
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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MEversbergII » 27 May 2016 04:40

Very nice! I like them, overall. I think my smallsword experience is spreading out into other sword types :!:

How common are they on the market? It's not clear to me just how common it was to own one of these subtypes, so for all I know they could be very rare indeed. I have no clue. Where'd you come across yours? I'm finding myself wanting to jump into the antique sabre market at some point before too long (prices will eventually get absurd, just like with gunto...). A Levy/Piquet style blade might be a nice start.

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MattS » 27 May 2016 11:52

They're pretty common, and usually well priced (like everything it really depends). Wilkinson levee will cost you about £400 if it’s in good condition.

I bought mine from a local dealer. I saw the sword on his website and I was interested because I wanted a pipeback and also because of the little ivory insert. I am yet to see another sword with such a thing, the closest I have seen is one which had a steel insert for the same reason. I went to the shop and fell in love when I started swinging it about :D

I was actually looking at getting a Wilkinson 1845(54) Levee at the last arms fair I went to recently, but ended up buying a spadroon instead (sorry Matt :lol:). I should actually make a post about that, it’s actually a pretty competent sword and not like some of its peers.
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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MEversbergII » 27 May 2016 14:09

I actually really like spadroons, so I'd be interested in seeing them!

Hm, I've heard that some military swords in good condition do make it to gun shows here in the US. I recently discovered this: http://baltimoreshow.com/

Now that I can actually get around a bit (only recently got a car!), I'm going to need to start checking these out and hoarding cash.

I need to turn up a few online auction sites where swords feature. Unfortunately collectors tend to be secretive because it's extra competition. Very unfortunate!

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MattS » 27 May 2016 14:20

Have you tried somewhere like www.the-saleroom.com, they index a number of auctions. I don't know if they cover US ones but there are definitely UK and European ones, and you will find a lot of those will ship internationally.
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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MEversbergII » 27 May 2016 17:55

Ah, thanks for the reminder. A fair few hits for 1897s (another one I'm recently in love with) but nothing for levy/piquet swords. Will have to see what I can dredge up. Actual buying time is in the "future" somewhere, anyways.

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Levy / Piquet Swords

Postby MattS » 27 May 2016 18:12

Try levee and not levy instead, could try 'dress sword' too. I looked and there are three in UK auctions at the moment, for great prices (even with auction tax).
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