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not a C.W. expert but this somewhat scarce maker sword is an anomaly,


first off, blade and scabbard are BLUED. here are other details:


-ricasso shows NO date, NO 'U.S.' but a tiny inspector's 'W' or "M'

-and correct-for-maker 'AGM' inspector mark on pommel,
-NO marks on scabbard rings,
-under maker mark a deeply-stamped 'J' or 'C' ? (or, possibly owner's personal mark or blade-supplier logo?)
-'squishy' blade buffer looks original to the piece, and fits like other 'alleres' I've seen on the Net
-certainly the fine blade shows no signs of being blued to cover rust scratches of other damage
-faint file marks in a few places on the otherwise nicely-made scabbard (didnlt look for seam)
-scabbard may to have slightly disjointed runners - blade needs a bit of 'manuevering' to engage (are runners wood or metal?)
-besides other speculation, I wonder if some very small or 'elite' unit (honor guards or whatnot) had sword- blueing prescribed by their C.O.; or indian wars reissue, or 'optional extra?'
thanks for insights on this!






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thanks! some say scarce others say slightly scarce and one guy said super scarce 'less than a dozen known' how badly does the bluing affect value? can anyone estimate a fair collector value range? thanks again

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These JBA-marked sabers are supposed to be relatively scarce sword according to Thillmann, but in the last year I've noted at least four of them come up for sale, none in as good of shape as this one. The maker, incidentally is Tomes, Son & Melvain - their mark is the small capital "T" you see under the "J.B.A.". JBA is thought to have been a distributor. If it has been blued, I suspect it was done in the 1950s when a lot of unsophisticated collectors were "improving" their old stuff with do-it-yourself home cold blueing liquid. As a young lad I bought a M1861 Springfield which the owner had blued. Actually looked good, but certainly not authentic.


As for value, I haven't seen any for sale recently in comparable condition.. One without scabbard and in rather worse condition sold on eBay last month for $330. The others sold, IIRC, for around $500. Here is a Tomes sword without the JBA mark which is currently for sale:



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hey many thanks for that! so removing the blue - on the blade at least - would make it worth what ? another $3-400 ? if so what's the best was to go about it please? i'd hate to go too 'strong' and end up removing any patina or character that was there when the bluing went on, if youo know what I mean… (of course maybe that went away before the bluing with industrial-strengh cleaner, acid solution or whatever.) anyone else?

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The board is trying to auto correct Pro vi dence to keep some from using the wrong term such as calvary swords;)

The Rhode Island Pro vi dence marked swords are perhaps among the most desirable if in great condition.


I am kind of wanting a minty Mansfield&Lamb at a giveaway price, as Slatersville is just over the hillfrom me.





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  • 3 weeks later...

I also have a similar marked JBA sabre but mine has an 1863 date on it. If I get a chance I will post some pics of it. About 20 years ago I took it to a Civil War show in Wheaton Il. and was able to show it to Richard Bezdek, he authenticated it, but said he knew very little about these and directed me to another individual at the show who had a display of Civil War Sabres. I cannot remember his name but he also had one but it did not have the "T" Tome mark on it and I remember him saying something about this messed up some of his research. He also completely looked it over and said it was definitely authentic. On mine the wood grip is broken and missing wrap and wire but at that time he instructed me to NOT do anything to it as no one actually knew who the JBA actually was at that point and that they were very scarce and an actual value was not known.


As far as I know no one has yet proven who the maker of these was. The "T" is for Tome as indicated previously in this post but Tome was a dealer not a manufacturer. Some think that the maker may have been J. B. Allere out of Chicago, who purchased the blades from Tome but this has not been proven either. According to Richard Bezdek's book 35 separate dealers had contracts for 179,165 Cavalry sabres from 1861-1865, these were apart from the usual makers we are familiar with. As for Tomes, Son & Melvain was supposed to have imported 3,289 sabres. However I remember when talking to the individual he believed that these blades may have been imported and hand guards were added by the maker (JBA) here in the states, so an accurate number of these may never be known.

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I don't remember what his name was but Mr. Bezdek referred me to him and said he was one of the most knowledgeable individuals on Cavalry Sabres. I remember he had a display only with the different makers of sabres.

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