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Philippine Constabulary Officer Swords

Started by SARGE , Mar 20 2008 01:52 PM

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#1 SARGE

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:52 PM

Gents,

Several Philippine Constabulary belts were shown on another thread and received some interest. I thought I would post a thread on the Philippine Constabulary Officer Sword and see if anyone has another to show.

These swords are very scarce variatons of the standard US Model 1902 Army Officer Sabre. They have some distinctive differences from the standard sword however and were only worn by the Philippine Constabulary. Here is an example of the PC sword made by Baron of Solingen.

PC_sword.JPG

The hilt is identical to the Standard M1902 except it has a different backstrap with a ball pommel and a thumb rest near the guard. The PC sword also has wire wrapped grips instead of the black grips of the standard M1902. Wood and leather did not fare well in the tropical climate so wire grips seem to make more sense than painted wood.

PC_sword_backstrap.JPG

For comparison, here is a photo of the standard M1902 hilt showing the backstrap and grips.

Army_sword_hilt_reverse.JPG

#2 SARGE

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 01:59 PM

Another difference in the Philippine Constabulary sword is that the PC emblem is affixed to the front of the scabbard.

PC_sword_close.JPG

This same PC within a wreath emblem is etched into the blade.

PC_sword_blade_etch.JPG

Here is a closeup view of the German maker mark showing that this sword was made in Solingen.

PC_sword_BARON_marking.JPG

Anyone with another PC Officer sword to show?

#3 copdoc

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 06:55 PM

Sarge
That is an interesting piece. It is for dress isn't it? I need one to go with my Colt M1902 and barongs. I have always liked wire wrapped handles both for looks and for use. Do you know how many were made?

#4 SARGE

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 06:51 AM

Sarge
That is an interesting piece. It is for dress isn't it? I need one to go with my Colt M1902 and barongs. I have always liked wire wrapped handles both for looks and for use. Do you know how many were made?


Copdoc,

These swords are very scarce but I don't know how many were made. The sword was basically a dress sabre and the knot on this one is the standard US Officer bullion knot worn for full dress and is original to the sword. I have seen a portrait photo of the sword in wear by a Constabulary Officer who is wearing the leather field knot and slings with his khaki uniform. I am sure they did not wear this sword in the jungle but it was worn with the field uniform.

I know of around four of these PC swords in collections. One just sold on ebay for $1,127.00 but I seldom see these for sale at any price. Here are some photos of the one from ebay, that was also made by Baron.

Constab.jpg

Closeup of the hilt and scabbard.

constab1.jpg

Closeup of the blade etching. Notice the pitting on the blade from the tropical climate.

constab_2.jpg

Keep looking and one may pop up.

#5 KurtA

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 01:26 PM

VERY nice sword! I had never seen one before.
Kurt

#6 copdoc

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 03:13 PM

I have seen a portrait photo of the sword in wear by a Constabulary Officer who is wearing the leather field knot and slings with his khaki uniform. I am sure they did not wear this sword in the jungle but it was worn with the field uniform.

Sarge
Thanks for the additional info. That is a fascinating piece. Several of use posted pics of M1902s a while back. Maybe this should be pinned and the other pics added to it for reference. Can you post a copy of the photo portrait? I guess if you have a barong(the short very curved machete) you don't need anything else. They are made to cut. A friend just gave me another one and I had to use it in the yard a few times before retiring it to the collection. I think they have 30 some names for the different variations. The Fillipinos must really like knives.

#7 SARGE

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 07:29 AM

Sarge
Thanks for the additional info. That is a fascinating piece. Several of use posted pics of M1902s a while back. Maybe this should be pinned and the other pics added to it for reference. Can you post a copy of the photo portrait? I guess if you have a barong(the short very curved machete) you don't need anything else. They are made to cut. A friend just gave me another one and I had to use it in the yard a few times before retiring it to the collection. I think they have 30 some names for the different variations. The Fillipinos must really like knives.


Copdoc,

Here is a period postcard of a Moro Philippine Constabulary unit with three PC officers shown in the center. Note that they are carrying the PC Sword in this color litho photograph.

Phil_Constab.jpg

And, here is an example of the leather Philippine Constabulary Officer's sword belt that was used with this sword. Constabulary Officers later went to wearing the standard Sam Browne belt with an open buckle sometime between the wars but I don't know when that occurred.

PC_belt.JPG

Notice that the PC belt buckle device is the same as is seen on the sword.

#8 copdoc

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:59 PM

Copdoc,

Here is a period postcard of a Moro Philippine Constabulary unit with three PC officers shown in the center. Note that they are carrying the PC Sword in this color litho photograph.

And, here is an example of the leather Philippine Constabulary Officer's sword belt that was used with this sword. Constabulary Officers later went to wearing the standard Sam Browne belt with an open buckle sometime between the wars but I don't know when that occurred.

Notice that the PC belt buckle device is the same as is seen on the sword.

Thanks Sarge those are great. I posted a pic of my M1902 Colt Alaskan (Phillipine) revolver to see if anyone had a holster or pic of a holster.
http://www.usmilitar...d...531&hl=1902
Charlie said the holster had a PC in an oval and was made by Rock Island. No one had a pic of the holster. Do you think it had the same Intertwined PC that is on the belt and sword? Charlie said the holsters are much rarer than the guns which makes sense.

#9 Dirk

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 05:26 PM

This is a great thread! Thanks Sarge...I had no idea of this type of sword existed...a great learning thread http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#10 SARGE

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 06:56 AM

Dirk,

I am very glad you like the PC sword thread. These swords are below collector radar because of their scarcity. They are certainly the "rarest" of the Model 1902 saber variations.

Copdoc,
I saw your 1902 Colt thread and I appreciated seeing your pistol and also having it correctly identified. Charlie is quite right that the proper holster would have a simple embossed "PC" within a circle on the flap that is the same as the "US" within a circle seen on say, 1911 Colt pistol holsters. Enlisted Philippine Constabulary belts (from this time period) also had a round interlocking belt buckle with a simple block "PC" on the male portion of the buckle. As far as I know, only the Officer swords and belts had the entwined "PC" within a wreath. I would not expect to see a holster for your pistol with anything but a plain embossed "PC" within an oval.

#11 copdoc

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 10:02 AM

Copdoc,
I saw your 1902 Colt thread and I appreciated seeing your pistol and also having it correctly identified. Charlie is quite right that the proper holster would have a simple embossed "PC" within a circle on the flap that is the same as the "US" within a circle seen on say, 1911 Colt pistol holsters. Enlisted Philippine Constabulary belts (from this time period) also had a round interlocking belt buckle with a simple block "PC" on the male portion of the buckle. As far as I know, only the Officer swords and belts had the entwined "PC" within a wreath. I would not expect to see a holster for your pistol with anything but a plain embossed "PC" within an oval.

Thanks Sarge
Charlie did not say if it was an simple or intertwined PC and I did not know enoght to ask. Thanks again for showing your sword and the belt/card.

#12 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 02:59 PM

Another difference in the Philippine Constabulary sword is that the PC emblem is affixed to the front of the scabbard.

PC_sword_close.JPG

This same PC within a wreath emblem is etched into the blade.

PC_sword_blade_etch.JPG

Here is a closeup view of the German maker mark showing that this sword was made in Solingen.

PC_sword_BARON_marking.JPG

Anyone with another PC Officer sword to show?



Attached please find two photos of a Philippine Constabulary Sword in my collection that belonged to Lt. Ray Gramm who served in the Constabulary from 1909 to 1911. This sword is just like the one that you have in your collection, made by Baron with an engraved blade and leather sword knot of the same type used by the US Army. Hope this is of interest. Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_Sword_Gramm_A.jpg


#13 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:01 PM

Attached please find two photos of a Philippine Constabulary Sword in my collection that belonged to Lt. Ray Gramm who served in the Constabulary from 1909 to 1911. This sword is just like the one that you have in your collection, made by Baron with an engraved blade and leather sword knot of the same type used by the US Army. Hope this is of interest. Joe



Here is another angle of the Gramm sword. Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_Gramm_B.jpg


#14 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:17 PM

Here is another angle of the Gramm sword. Joe



Though the PC Sword pictured earlier was the norm for most officers, it was also not unusual for Constabulary Officers to use unofficial swords. Attached are photos of a sword belonging to Lt. Henry A.C. de Rubio who served in the constabulary from 1902 to 1903 in Rizal. deRubio was part of the Constabulary Headquarters Mounted Troop under General Allen. de Rubio served in the Philippines as a Volunteer during the Spanish American War and is referenced and pictured in "Jungle Patrol" by Vic Hurley that tells the story of the early Constabulary.

This sword is similar to the Constabulary Officers sword, with a blade similar to many spanish blades. The sword has a leather and wire wrapped grip and a plain unengraved blade, steel scabbard with brass mounts and drag. I hope this is of interest for those who collect Philippine Constabulary.

Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_deRubio.jpg


#15 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:18 PM

Though the PC Sword pictured earlier was the norm for most officers, it was also not unusual for Constabulary Officers to use unofficial swords. Attached are photos of a sword belonging to Lt. Henry A.C. de Rubio who served in the constabulary from 1902 to 1903 in Rizal. deRubio was part of the Constabulary Headquarters Mounted Troop under General Allen. de Rubio served in the Philippines as a Volunteer during the Spanish American War and is referenced and pictured in "Jungle Patrol" by Vic Hurley that tells the story of the early Constabulary.

This sword is similar to the Constabulary Officers sword, with a blade similar to many spanish blades. The sword has a leather and wire wrapped grip and a plain unengraved blade, steel scabbard with brass mounts and drag. I hope this is of interest for those who collect Philippine Constabulary.

Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_deRubio_2.jpg


#16 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:19 PM

Here is another angle of the Gramm sword. Joe

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  • PC_deRubio_c.jpg


#17 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:23 PM

Copdoc,

Here is a period postcard of a Moro Philippine Constabulary unit with three PC officers shown in the center. Note that they are carrying the PC Sword in this color litho photograph.

Phil_Constab.jpg

And, here is an example of the leather Philippine Constabulary Officer's sword belt that was used with this sword. Constabulary Officers later went to wearing the standard Sam Browne belt with an open buckle sometime between the wars but I don't know when that occurred.

PC_belt.JPG

Notice that the PC belt buckle device is the same as is seen on the sword.


This is a nice complete sword belt and only the second time I have seen this version of the Officers buckle in 30 years of collecting. Attached is a sample out of my collection. Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_Wreath_Buckle_2.jpg


#18 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:24 PM

This is a nice complete sword belt and only the second time I have seen this version of the Officers buckle in 30 years of collecting. Attached is a sample out of my collection. Joe


Here is a view of the back of the PC Officers buckle. Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_Wreath_2.jpg


#19 noworky

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 04:44 PM

Joe these are great looking variations of the 1902 and I'm going to blame Sarge for my interest in the 1902s variations and the different manufactures. I only hope I can stumble on to one of these CPs someday, Thanks for posting.

#20 Argonauts2

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 06:29 PM

Joe these are great looking variations of the 1902 and I'm going to blame Sarge for my interest in the 1902s variations and the different manufactures. I only hope I can stumble on to one of these CPs someday, Thanks for posting.



Noworky

They are nice pieces with a lot of very interesting history behind them. Now to get you really hooked, two books you need to get a hold of and ready. One I believe might be on line. Once you ready them, you will become a constabulary collector. The first book is Jungle Patrol, written by Vic Hurley published in 1938. The second is Bullets and Bolos by John R. White, published in 1928. Both long out of print, hard to find and when they do come up on e-bay and other places, very expensive, but well worth it as a history and reference.

I have collected Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Scout material for 30 years, and every new items is a fun part of the hunt, with maybe one or two good early pieces found a year. Good luck. Joe

#21 SARGE

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 08:30 PM

Noworky

They are nice pieces with a lot of very interesting history behind them. Now to get you really hooked, two books you need to get a hold of and ready. One I believe might be on line. Once you ready them, you will become a constabulary collector. The first book is Jungle Patrol, written by Vic Hurley published in 1938. The second is Bullets and Bolos by John R. White, published in 1928. Both long out of print, hard to find and when they do come up on e-bay and other places, very expensive, but well worth it as a history and reference.

I have collected Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Scout material for 30 years, and every new items is a fun part of the hunt, with maybe one or two good early pieces found a year. Good luck. Joe


Joe,

Thanks for showing your Philippine Constabulary swords and buckle. I love PC stuff and I too find it very hard to come by as you said.

My belt buckle is die stamped and unmarked just as yours is. I have only seen two complete PC Officer sword belts of this type over the years and only a handfull of buckles. Here is another interesting PC belt and buckle that was used during Japanese Occupation. This is also die stamped and unmarked. It was acquired by a US pilot who was shot down over Manila Bay and fished out of the drink by Filipinos and returned to US control. He traded uniform parts for it while in the jungle.

Phil_Const_Belt.JPG

#22 SARGE

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 08:41 PM

Joe,

Most of the PC swords I see appear to have been made by Baron. I have seen one or two others as I recall. Your second PC sword is interesting since the date on the scabbard engraving actually pre-dates the US Model 1902 saber. That may explain why it is a variation with a sharkskin grip and plain blade. Any maker or import markings on it?

Here is another scarce sword for the Philippine Army. This one is made just like the US 1902 but the blade is for the Philippine Commonwealth that only existed from circa 1935-1947.

Philippine_Army_hilt.JPG

I will show a blade closeup in the next frame.

#23 SARGE

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 08:47 PM

A close up of the Philippine Army blade etch.

Philippine_Army_blade_close.JPG

This sword is an unmarked German export probably made by Hörster or Herder between 1935-1941. The etching also features the US flag and the seal of the Commonwealth. Another scarce variation of the long serving US Model 1902 Army Sabre.

#24 Argonauts2

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:19 AM

Joe,

Thanks for showing your Philippine Constabulary swords and buckle. I love PC stuff and I too find it very hard to come by as you said.

My belt buckle is die stamped and unmarked just as yours is. I have only seen two complete PC Officer sword belts of this type over the years and only a handfull of buckles. Here is another interesting PC belt and buckle that was used during Japanese Occupation. This is also die stamped and unmarked. It was acquired by a US pilot who was shot down over Manila Bay and fished out of the drink by Filipinos and returned to US control. He traded uniform parts for it while in the jungle.

Phil_Const_Belt.JPG



Sarge

Thanks for the note and the photo of the PC belt and buckle. The occupation pieces are really rare pieces, collaborators generally did not last too long unless they were able to show quickly that they were working for the underground. I have a similar buckle which stamped as well with no maker marks and is nickel plated. I have attached a photo along with a photo of the Cap insignia for the Occupation PC which has a screw back post, though I have seen examples of the device with a large safety pin back. The nickel is worn off my piece, but this insignia was nickeled as well. All the best. Joe

Attached Images

  • PC_Occup.jpg


#25 Argonauts2

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:39 AM

A close up of the Philippine Army blade etch.

Philippine_Army_blade_close.JPG

This sword is an unmarked German export probably made by Hörster or Herder between 1935-1941. The etching also features the US flag and the seal of the Commonwealth. Another scarce variation of the long serving US Model 1902 Army Sabre.



Thanks Sarge

I love this Philippine Army sword and have never seen one of these, though I have many period photographs of Philippine Army officers sporting them and I assumed --- wrongly -- that they are simply US Army 1902 Officers swords. It certainly makes a lot of sense. My guess is that they were provided an option of an engraved blade, just as US Army Officers were for a minor up-charge.

What would be equally interesting and the rarest of the rare would be if a Philippine Island National Guard (PING) Model 1902 Officers sword ever turned-up since they only existed from 1917 to 1921.

As to my other sword, there are no engravings on the blade and no maker marks. Lt. de Rubio used the sword in the field, as it's pictured mounted on his saddle. I also have a photo of Lt. Gramm with his sword mounted the same way on the saddle, so they were not just dress use, though I am not too sure how much good they would do in a bolo rush. As a side note, Fencing instruction was a required class in the early years of the PC academy, pre-1910. When I get a minute, I will scan a photo of the swords mounted on the saddle and post them for reference.

I don't believe the sword was made by the Germans or French. As I have collected German swords for many years, and don't recall ever running across a military German, French, Austrian or Russian sword without a "fuller", which is the case with this sword. The blade reminds me of the blades found on Faternal Swords that are more rounded, though this is a wider and heavier blade that could easily be for combat and not just show. I have however seen Spanish blades that don't have fullers, though they are not my specialty so I don't have too much basis to go on one way or another. Interesting sword none the less and I always like named pieces as the fun is in researching who the owner was and what he did.

All the best. Joe

Edited by Argonauts2, 02 January 2010 - 07:44 AM.



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