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M1911 Patton Sword


pony soldier

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pony soldier

To forum members and collectors:

 

Given an extraordinary run of luck I have been able to obtain one of the two "Holy Grail's" of Patton saber collecting. At a recent small auction I was able to acquire a M1911 saber, serial number 114. The number one is the ultimate rarity, the M1931 of which there were only 5 trial specimens made according to the well written 1972 Cooper article. I do not believe I will live long enough to find one seeing as how there are only two on the loose.

 

It was embedded in a small German WW2 auction of material. I believe it was overlooked by those collectors for two reasons. One, it bears the S.A. mark fo Springfield Armory which may have been mistaken as German. Secondly as the pictures show, with the cutouts in the guard and all metal parts except the blade painted gold it may been assumed to be a played with European saber. Hard to believe with the U.S. stamps on the other side. At any rate it sold undetected for what it really is.

 

The guard is pierced with the usual cutouts. The blade is full length with an intact tip. Pointing to the more experimental fabrication of the saber, the guard is made of much lighter steel without the reinforcing ribs of the M1913. The scabbard is covered with a duck fabric which has been coated with either black paint or some sort of a waterproofing material which now has dried. I have observed and pictured two other M1911's which have similar manufacture and color. The scabbards all appear to have been done at an Armory level due to their uniformness.

 

A question for the forum. The gold paint on the metal surfaces has the appearance of having been applied under a more controlled situation rather than someone with a spray can?? However on the other two I have seen they retain the Armory finish, so someone "decorated" it. For now I will let it stay for more study, eventually will remove it back to original finish as possible. For now I am pleased to have been able to find this raity and someday return to the collecting fraternity at large. It represents a previously unknown number which can be added to existing data base. The Kellerstedt book and others state there were only 79 of these sabers made ranging recorded number 110 to 164. I am making the rash assumption that I believe Springfield started the numbering sequence at 100 and completed at 178.

 

The tapered leather guard washer is missing, however this can be replicated by the marks now on the blade and guard plus measurements from pictures of the other two I have taken. Should any want additional pictures I will post specific areas by request.

 

They are still out there.

 

Pony Soldier

post-2046-1300766295.jpg

post-2046-1300766370.jpg

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Spathologist

OMG. That is absolutely fantastic, congratulations! And in beautiful shape, with the scabbard intact.

 

Just wow.

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A very rare sword... congratulations! I see what you mean about the gold finish. I agree with your decision to leave it in place until you can figure out what the original finish would have been. How is the backstrap/pommel attached? Can you show a picture of the pommel top? I presume the reason the hilt does not sit flat against the scabbard throat is that the guard is bent so can you show a picture of that area as well?

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pony soldier

Sarge:

 

The paint finish is very done, almost factory, but it is not Armory. The reason for the not filling to the scabbard is that the angles were changed after the scabbards were made. That is the reason for the tapered leather washer. Varagian previously had a post on that. I would like to see the Armory directive on that if he could post it. I hope listing this in the forum will draw a lot of good info on the saber from the member, particularily should someone else have a 1911 to compare with.

 

Thanks for the congrats.

 

Pony Soldier

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Pony Soldier that's amazing never knew such an animal even existed, I bet you're one happy guy!!! And I thought I really had something when I finally found my elusive tent peg scabbard, congratulations :thumbsup:

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I and a friend spent the day yesterday at Hayes Otoupalik's house in Missoula and had a grand tour of his collection and for most the day I was light headed it is truly an amazing personal accumulation of the rarest of the rarest over many years. I can honestly say what everyone has collected on this entire Military Forum Hayes has it all and then some. Hayes was a very gracious host and is definitely one of a kind. I asked to look at many rare items and Hayes was more than happy to shove them into my hands and let me drool over them.

The reason I posted this is I noticed sabers everywhere and told Hayes about Pony Soldiers 1911 Patton he had acquired and he asked 'the one with the curved blade'? and then he grabbed one from a corner handed it to me and got a couple pictures of myself with a grin ear to ear holding it. I'm going to ask Hayes if it would be okay to post it and if so I'll post it in a couple days, I also saw the Patton Saber with the 1911 .45 built into the handguard that’s in one of Bruce Canfield's books. It was definitely something I can scratch off my bucket list!! I'm going back for a visit for a couple days in August after his Missoula gun show and maybe this time I'll be a little more focused. :w00t:

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Spathologist

Hayes' collection indeed boggles the mind. He has had several M1911 Experimentals in his collection over the years, he gave me I think 9 serial numbers after a brief look through his files.

 

Not quite sure how Patton got squeezed in, but the M1911 Experimental was the saber that Patton elbowed aside to get his M1913 adopted...

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I'm sure this is the only 1911 saber I'll ever have the oppurtunity to hold along with many other rare items that day.

 

 

 

1111111521x1014.jpg

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pony soldier

Noworky:

 

Thanks for sharing the great picture of you holding Hayes' 1911. It gave a great view of the color of the guard and the scabbard. The scabbard appears to be leather?? I have talked with him several times over the years and he usually comes to the Oregon Arms two day show at Portland later in August. He displayed that combination Patton and .45 colt a couple of years ago. Most unusual piece. He has advertised for some time seeking a 13 tube Blakeslee civil war cartridge box. (must be about one of the few things he does not already have). I have shown him mine at a couple of shows but not sold to him. He has been kind enough to plant a card in it for my wife so she will know who to contact after I croak.

 

When you see him again in August remind him of the 13 tube box and then I am sure he will know who Pony Soldier is. However thanks to your visit, it reminds me to get ahold of him and discuss in great detail the colors of the scabbard, its covering and the metal throat and tip of the scabbard.

 

Best to you.

 

Pony Soldier

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I was glad I got to see one, Hayes has a lot of stuff and your cartridge box must be extremely rare if he doesn't have one. Hayes is quite a guy and they definitely broke the mold for him but he's more than happy visit and talk about history if you show some interest and don’t just want to know how much something’s worth. I posted a picture in the firearms section with Hayes and his T.W. Cofer revolver, Civil War is for sure his thing. If you like when I’m there in August I’ll ask him if I could take some more detailed photos of the 1911.

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Spathologist
If you like when I’m there in August I’ll ask him if I could take some more detailed photos of the 1911.

 

Please do. Photos of this bird are rare enough that any new image adds to the knowledge base.

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  • 2 weeks later...
pony soldier

All:

 

I have a couple of new comments to add to this post on the 1911. The Springfield Armory Musem holds or held several specimens of the 1911. When Joe Turner was able to view these sabers he made a series of hand drawn notes which "Varangian " acquired and was kind enough to post on the forum some time back. On the Turner's notes for serial number 125 he states the throat and tip of the scabbard are copper plated. On my serial number 114 as the pictures show it appears they are a gold or copper color. As I had shown in an earlier post the quality of the color is very well done, not applied with a spray can. I am wondering if perhaps this coloring is a mate to 125. I will have to some testing people I work with try to confirm exactly what the color material is and its method of application. Anyone have any thoughts on this??

 

The Turner notes also show that 120 at Springfield has a solid guard with no cutouts. In addition the solid guard sported reinforcing ribs similar to those on the M1913 Patton. With these specimen's construction it appear that Springfield was conducting experiments within an experimental saber. Makes one wonder what other variations they produced with the 79 production run.

 

I am going to take some better closeup pictures of specific areas on the scabbard and the saber and will post them soon as I can get some time. I hope that someone out there also has a 1911 and will add their info to the post.

 

Pony Soldier

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Very, very beautiful. I heard that Patton did indeed design a sword, but have never seen one until now! Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations on capturing your holy grail.

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Spathologist
When Joe Turner was able to view these sabers he made a series of hand drawn notes which "Varangian " acquired and was kind enough to post on the forum some time back. On the Turner's notes for serial number 125 he states the throat and tip of the scabbard are copper plated. On my serial number 114 as the pictures show it appears they are a gold or copper color. As I had shown in an earlier post the quality of the color is very well done, not applied with a spray can. I am wondering if perhaps this coloring is a mate to 125. I will have to some testing people I work with try to confirm exactly what the color material is and its method of application. Anyone have any thoughts on this??

 

Well, here is the museum's image of #125, very similar to yours:

2i91oxe.jpg

 

Here is #120, black painted scabbard but black furniture...maybe the copper color was painted over?

16kc51f.jpg

 

But here is a period image, and the scabbard body looks unpainted...

w2f12t.jpg

 

 

 

I heard that Patton did indeed design a sword, but have never seen one until now!

This isn't the sword Patton designed; that was the M1913. This saber was designed by the Cavalry Board.

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This is the kind of stuff that makes me love my hobby or obsession which ever my wife wants to call it!! :w00t:

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  • 4 months later...
Kidsagacious

Hi all,

 

I found this old like doing research on the two of these sabers I have in my collection. Is there any chance that anyone would like to see pictures of them? Let me know and I'll get the photos uploaded.

 

I figured I'd ask first.

 

Al

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pony soldier
Hi all,

 

I found this old like doing research on the two of these sabers I have in my collection. Is there any chance that anyone would like to see pictures of them? Let me know and I'll get the photos uploaded.

 

I figured I'd ask first.

 

Al

 

Al:

Please do, I for one would love to see them be they Patton's or whatever as long as they be swords.

 

Thanks,

pony soldier

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  • 5 months later...

J&J Militaria has #128 for sale, currently. It has a few problems, but these aren't exactly growing on trees. I had to seriously sit down and think about buying it, but at $7K, it's just more than I'm willing to pay.

 

But if someone here has deeper pockets, you'll not see another one of these for quite a while.

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On the M1911 on the J&J site, serial number 128, Gunderson militaria has the same saber on his site. Not sure who bought from who and who is the current owner. Assume that soon one of them will take it off. I have bought from Gunderson before and thought I would try to make a deal. $7000 is a lot but maybe something can be done if he still has it. On the Gunderson site he notes that about 15 are known. J&J says that Springfield made 62 of them. All of my notes say 79 which I believe to be corrent. Regardless I am also trying to connect with another I have been talking about for two years. That one still retains the tapered washer for the scabbard. To date I can acknowledge 20 of them, including one rusty relic that sold on Ebay about 7-8 years ago. Let is slip through my fingers, too late to it and it sold for $255.00 without a scabbard. Would have liked to get it and try to revive the serial number.

 

Pony Soldier

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Well, good luck on either or both! I'll have to sit this one out; I have some deployment cash, but I just can't justify that price.

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On the M1911 on the J&J site, serial number 128, Gunderson militaria has the same saber on his site. Not sure who bought from who and who is the current owner. Assume that soon one of them will take it off. I have bought from Gunderson before and thought I would try to make a deal. $7000 is a lot but maybe something can be done if he still has it. On the Gunderson site he notes that about 15 are known. J&J says that Springfield made 62 of them. All of my notes say 79 which I believe to be corrent. Regardless I am also trying to connect with another I have been talking about for two years. That one still retains the tapered washer for the scabbard. To date I can acknowledge 20 of them, including one rusty relic that sold on Ebay about 7-8 years ago. Let is slip through my fingers, too late to it and it sold for $255.00 without a scabbard. Would have liked to get it and try to revive the serial number.

 

Pony Soldier

 

Hey Pony Soldier,

 

I missed your response to me back in August, and was never notified that you responded. Before you slap leather on that sword, let me get the pictures of mine posted. Both have the washers and both put the one from J&J to shame. I will get it done tomorrow or Saturday. Take a look then and we'll talk after.

 

Kidsagacious

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Kid:

Thanks for the note and look forward to seeing your pictures. Always looking for more information and new sabers to add to the database.

 

Sean:

While I might be a little too fat around the middle, am not that fat in the wallet. Actually if Gunderson still had the saber, the beatings would start to try to find a more realistic price level. Agreed they are scarce, but $7K is a lot. I am more interested in the other one have been working on.

 

Pony Soldier

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