Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

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ToolsOfOld
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by ToolsOfOld »

Hi all,

I am hoping someone can help me identify this large blade. It is unmarked except for a large broad "X" at the base. I assume the two holes were for mounting it to a handle or a pole.

Thanks for any help you might provide!
IMG_20170528_185125.jpg
IMG_20170528_185125.jpg (217.05 KiB) Viewed 4998 times
sammy the blade
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Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by sammy the blade »

Spears to be a knife
BruceS
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by BruceS »

Leftovers of a Artillery Short Sword. It looks to narrow down at the waist of the blade and get heavier at the tip. I would think a point would have a socket. So probably a had held blade of some sore. Where did you find it?

Bruce
ToolsOfOld
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by ToolsOfOld »

Thanks for your thoughts, Bruce. I found this at an antique store listed as a "spear tip". I didn't get the sense that the dealer had a lot of expertise with this sort of thing, however. It also seemed to me that most spears have a socket for the wood shaft, but I do not know much about this stuff.

It may be a coincidence, but I bought it from a store located two towns away from Chicopee, Massachusetts, where the Ames Manufacturing Company was located. Wikipedia says they made short swords from the 1830s to the 1860s and beyond.
BruceS
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Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by BruceS »

I've got the Hamilton reference book "The Ames Sword Company" and I didn't see anything that struck me as possibly being this blade. There was a Horse Mounted Soldiers Knife but it was single edge, and the tang is 3 rivet. I was really into the Artillery Short Swords for a while and was going to collect a few. That never happened and I still have the book. They made a lot of other stuff like shovels and axes. I have an Ames WWII folding shovel on my collection somewhere. Based on where you found it, there may be a connection to the Ames Company I just don't know what product it could be. Keep looking

When I was a kid, I found an old socket bayonet when looking for bottles. (I've shared pics with Ian. He likes militaria.) It wasn't until 30 years later that I discovered that the Appalachain Trail was close by which explained how it got there. Event of the internet. Thanks Al Gore!

Bruce
gravknife
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Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by gravknife »

ToolsOfold ,Bruce

I dont think this an ames artillery sword as it has holes in the tang and most were peened over tangs i believe .
I am thinking it could be an English military blade due to the X mentioned ,as any weapon sold by Britain is stamped with one to say the government sold it for export
I cant see the X though or its size..I believe America bought many arms from europe during the civil war ,it could be from then.

There were seargeants pikes and spears/spontoons but most had tubular construction for pole attatchment as you mentioned earlier ,and were not tang pinned.

I believe this could be a drummers sword or maybe a large bowie knife or dirk used in the war of independence or civil war
There are many edged weapons it could be but without a defining manufacturer its really hard to pin down exactly.

I love the socket bayonet bruce shared and now this one appears ,it would be great to have a metal detector holiday on your side of the pond.
Thanks for sharing this blade and giving me something to think about .

Hope your both well
Ian
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TRYKER
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Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by TRYKER »

could be a home made dirk knife.
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ToolsOfOld
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Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by ToolsOfOld »

Ian and Bruce,

Thanks for your thoughts on this. From the images I can find, this blade seems a bit small, plain, and short for an Ames-manufactured artillery sword. It really does look like the right size and shape to be a spontoon.

I've examined the wear a bit more closely. At some point the end of the base was hammered enough to cause the metal to start to spread at the edges. A small flat spot on one of the blade edges indicates that it was also hammered -- perhaps to drive the opposite edge though something. Most interesting, there are nicks in the blade edges. Four of the largest of these (two on each side) are oriented in the same direction. The metal has been spread and displaced enough to show that the blade hit something very hard and thin at a 45 degree angle. If a right handed man gave this blade a swing at about 45 degrees and it was stopped by another man doing the same thing opposite him, it would leave marks like the ones on the blade. This is just speculation. It does indicate that it was used in the same orientation several (but not dozens) of times and that it hit a blade or something very much like one. It was a slashing motion that made these nicks, but this could have happened at any point in its long life.

I've taken a picture of the X on the handle for your consideration.

Thanks again for the help.
blade-x.jpg
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gravknife
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Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by gravknife »

ToolsOfOld

That X is much larger than i perceived .

I got it slightly wrong anyway .The X is to certify that a sword or blade had undergone strength testing.
I have a wilkinson cavalry sword dated 1900 that has the X.
The 2 arrows are sold for export ......sorry about that.

I wonder if your X is to certify the same on your blade or just a foundry mark usung the roman numeral.

I hope you find out and im still looking ,i just havnt had access to a computer for long this past week and a half.

Heres the X and other marks on British swords.
Hope your well
Ian
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british-sword-markings-3.gif
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ToolsOfOld
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Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by ToolsOfOld »

Ian,

Thanks again for the info. Indeed, the "X" at the base of my blade is large and crude. I imagine it was done with a chisel when the metal was still hot. It would have been covered by the handle, so wasn't really meant to be seen for long.

I was searching the internet and found an "Arkansas Toothpick" knife that had very similar proportions to this old blade. It didn't have the slight waist in the blade that mine has, but it was otherwise fairly close.
ToolsOfOld
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by ToolsOfOld »

Thanks also for posting that informative graphic, Ian!
ToolsOfOld
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am

Re: Old 12 inch blade with 6 inch handle - What is this thing?

Post by ToolsOfOld »

Has anyone seen this type of large "X" at the base of a handle before?

Thanks!
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