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The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2016 18:01
by Yeknodathon
What a day, traveled to an antiques fair in Fareham (not Farnham, slight panic as mis-purchasing train tickets caused a geographic crisis of confidence) and handled a bunch of different sabres. After watching a lot of Mr Admin's YouTube videos I could identify some.. star was the 1796 light cav sabre. Oh, my... this was just creamy to handle (obviously no moulinettes in a confined space).. and er.. GBP2,000?! Er, no, best wait for a trooper's sabre.

And 1796 heavy cav sword.. and a French (infantry?) sabre, pretty reasonably priced with etching and wire on the grips but wasn't sure what it was and neither did the dealer.

And then the one I got, a 1890 cavalry pattern, in good nick (to my eyes) with mostly un-dinged scabbard. Nice grips with wear on the guard where the blade meets but only minor marks or pitting on the blade. It has some markings to research. The first one I have gained, so pleased with it and a decent price!

Plastic bag over the top, back on the train - not challenged once. Walked it through a shopping mall and past the five cops showing off their police car - no bother. And did a bit of shopping in M&S food isles with a cavalry sabre... nope, no issue.

Love it!

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2016 12:05
by MattS
Pictures or it didn't happen :D

I've carried a lot of swords about on various trains and tubes, most people don't notice anything. It also comes down to attitude, if you don't look suspicious the police will ignore you too. I have recently upgraded my carrying to a sword bag from Leon Paul (I put a thread about it in the reviews section), which is nice and discrete and it also holds a few swords if you're a few at once.

As you're in the south east, you might want to check out the London Antique Fair (, there's usually a good range there - especially if you're new to collecting. There's usually two per year, and the next fair is in October I think.

How big was the Fareham show, I've not been to that one?

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2016 16:53
by Yeknodathon
MattS wrote:Pictures or it didn't happen :D

Ha! We'll have to see about that!

Thanks for the London link, looks interesting.

GHQ Militaria Fairs - just a dozen or so stalls with a few examples of swords here and there dotted amongst some deactivated firearms and the ubiquitous fascination for anything Third Reich. There was a 1788 (?) cavalry backsword (?) in relic (?) condition that was pretty nice to see.. looked older so just my uneducated guess - like a beefy spadroon. In the line to get in there were chaps pouring over photo graphs or period prints of servicemen and gun batteries.

I agree, as I strode along with a gait of "just carrying a sabre for walk, nothing to see, please move on", seems to do the trick. If I was a bit sketchy and kept fiddling with it and had a go at the local rodents I might have got a look or two. Next test, Rawlings synthetic basket hilt waster to SG1. Bet it attracts a SWAT team.

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2016 17:53
by MattS
I went to a similar 'militaria fair' up in Newark last month. Whilst I did come home with a possibly Wilkinson 'best quality' dismounted blade overall I wasn't very impresses. As you say there were the Third Reich stalls, mixed in with deactivated firearms, surplus, sword replicas and then a few antiques which weren't anything special. If it's antiques you're interested in, the ones which call themselves 'antique arms' as opposed to 'militaria' seem to be much better.

Depending what state the 'relic' is in, you can often pick up a bargain on a rusty sword. The majority of people only want shiny ones and so the rusty ones usually get little interest and go for a song.

Good luck getting to SG1 then!

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 24 Jul 2016 08:33
by Yeknodathon
And a pic! Er, how I do clean the brown gunge off?

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 01 Aug 2016 11:48
by admin
It is Farnham actually!
I go there regularly - some months there is nothing of interest, sometimes there is something good. As the dealers come from all over the place the prices are very variable. Some are full time dealers, others are just collectors selling bits from their collections.
Good to see you got something! 1890/1885 patterns are generally pretty affordable and a good place to start - also nice and solid for swinging around.

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 01 Aug 2016 15:48
by MattS
Yeknodathon wrote:how I do clean the brown gunge off?

I would use Autosol and a cloth, or if it's really stubborn Autosol and some 0000 wirewool.

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 02 Aug 2016 18:55
by Yeknodathon
admin wrote:It is Farnham actuallyI

LOL!! Fareham, Farnham..multiple indecision and platform changes. Person at the ticket counter just oozed "oh, no, please not now?" and then...finally.. decision...right train, wrong ticket.

It was enjoyable; the videos helped me a lot to identify swords.

The Arts and Crafts-esque Maltese cross is very nice..and yeh..quite hefty, good for the muscles.

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 03 Aug 2016 18:33
by MattS
Yeknodathon wrote:yeh..quite hefty, good for the muscles.

Do you the specs of it?

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 04 Aug 2016 06:49
by Yeknodathon
MattS wrote:Do you the specs of it?

That'd be weight, length, balance asking me to be lucid and sensible for more than 15 minutes and deal with reality?

Well, if I must.. but I have to find the right moment to meet this challenge.

William Morris sabre with attitude is quite a good spec..

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 12 Aug 2016 08:52
by Yeknodathon
Ah, a rare lucid moment...

First attempt - bathroom scales were not registering. Well, it bloody well registers when I get on it... although it almost always tells me damn lies...
Second attempt - kitchen scales. Aha a reading! But it is in some sort of klingon hieroglyphs I have not seen before...
Third attempt (after five minutes of button pushing)... ahhhhh, turning the display the right way up is helpful. Did I say this would be a challenge?

The more experienced may need to guide me along if below is not enough?

Weight with scabbard = 1.6kg. (Yes, I do remove the scabbard before solo drills and yes, I often try to insert the sabre back the wrong way round to experience that dufus, oh, the sabre is stuck halfway down moments)
Weight without scabbard = 1.05 kg
Length of blade = 88cm (only a few cms in curvature)
Point of balance = 13cm from hilt
Fuller - single, starts 4cm from hilt and ends 65.5 cm
Back edge = 7mm flat until end of fuller where it narrows and false edge (?) begins
Blade width - 32mm at the ricasso narrowing to 27mm before the pokey, prodding, stabbing bit at the end.

That was very taxing, I will now return to my normal world of fantasies, visions and other hallucinatory experiences.. far more easy to deal with.


Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 16 Aug 2016 14:44
by MattS
Perfect, thank you very much :D It sounds like a nice authoritative blade!

Re: The First Antique Sabre

PostPosted: 16 Aug 2016 19:54
by Yeknodathon
MattS wrote:It sounds like a nice authoritative blade!

More solid, chunky and authoritative than an overfed chihuahua wanting its dindins.