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SARGE

Early sword hanger for the M1902 Sabre

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I picked up a nice minty russett leather sword hanger for the Model 1902 Army Officer Sabre at a militaria show this weekend. It has bronzed brass fittings and is in excellent condition.

 

1902_hangers.JPG

 

These things are actually very hard to find in nice condition. I walked by them at first thinking they were reproductions but when I went back and picked them up I realized they were just in exceptional condition.

 

1902_hangers_back.JPG

 

I am always on the lookout for these hangers but I seldom see them any more.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Nice find, they're beautiful!

 

Congrats!

 

 

Thanks Varangian. I was pleased with these since they are still a bright russet color and have escaped being polished.

 

Here is an example of the bullion hangers (in this case Artillery) for wear with the full dress bullion belt.

 

Art_Off_bullion_sword_hanger.JPG

 

Closeup of the bullion work.

 

Art_Off_bullion_sword_hanger_clips.JPG


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Yes, the brass fittings on the bullion hangers are gilt. The brass fittings on the russet hangers are blackened or bronzed per regulation. I have several more sets... I will dig them out and photograph them.

 

Meanwhile here is a set of black hangers with brass fittings (not plated).

 

Off_sword_hanger_black.JPG

 

Closeup of the fittings showing the screw locks on the ring clips.

 

Off_black_sword_hanger_snap_close.JPG

 

And another showing the buckles.

 

Off_sword_hanger_black_snaps.JPG

 

These probably pre-date the russet and bullion straps due to the black color and the length of the straps.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Here is another set of bullion hangers for an Infantry Officer. The gilt bullion has a blue stripe down the center signifying the post 1902 change from white for Infantry to sky blue.

 

1902_Inf_hanger.JPG

 

These straps only have the remains of gilt in the recesses of the brass fittings.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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These hangers were made by Horstmann and are marked "Horstmann / Phila" on the reverse of the top fitting. The snaps have the typical screw down locks to secure the snaps to the scabbard rings.

 

1902_Inf_hanger_buckle.JPG

 

Some remaining gilt is visible on the snaps.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Here is a rare set of hangers for a General Officer. These are constructed of red "Russia Leather" per regulations and have three gold bullion stripes on each side of the strap. These hangers retain most of their heavy gold plate.

 

1902_Gen_hanger.JPG

 

And here is a close up shot of the top gilt fitting.

 

1902_Gen_hanger_Ridabock.JPG

 

These hangers were made by Ridabock and are marked "Ridabock & Co. / N.Y." on this fitting.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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The General Officer hangers have the same type of snaps with lock down rings as most other officer hangers but the buckle is unique in that it has two tongues.

 

1902_Gen_hanger_buckles.JPG

 

These hangers are very difficult to find.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Interesting! I've never seen a set of General Officer straps before.

 

And it makes sense that the buckles would need two prongs; if they had just the center prong they'd puncture the bullion.

 

Very nice!


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Sarge thanks for the post of the different hangers their great. Lots to learn here and I'm soaking it in. thumbsup.gif


A people that values its privileges

above its principles will soon lose both.

 

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No offense guys, but, despite how beautiful and nicely crafted these hangers are, they are not doing alot for me ermm.gif . How about showing a newbie to edged weapons collecting such as myself some the the swords that are suspended from these hangers thumbsup.gif .

 

Tim


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No offense guys, but, despite how beautiful and nicely crafted these hangers are, they are not doing alot for me ermm.gif . How about showing a newbie to edged weapons collecting such as myself some the the swords that are suspended from these hangers thumbsup.gif .

 

Tim

 

Hi Tim,

 

No offense taken. Some folks collect bayonets and some knives and some collect swords. I tend to like all sorts of edged weapons so I know where you are coming from. But, I also like to collect edged weapon accouterments such as different hangers, frogs, and knots. There is a lot of diversity there and a collector can make a whole collection out of variation accouterments just as one can make an entire collection out of 1902 Army Officer swords.

 

Here is the US Model 1902 Army Officer Sabre that is suspended from all of these hangers.

 

Army_sword_hilt.JPG

 

Notice that this particular sword has the later chain hanger that largely replaced the hangers shown above.

 

Here is an example of that hanger with the russet leather belt frog.

 

Sword_Hanger_1902.JPG

 

While there are quite a few variations of this particular sword, the one shown is the standard regulation. To see other examples, all you have to do is to do a search for 1902 sword on the forum and you will find several threads showing different variations of this sword that has been US regulation for the last 100 years.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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SARGE,

 

Wow, now that's what I'm talkin' about thumbsup.gif . I am going to take you up on your suggestion of delving into older threads that describe these swords. I would very much like to expand beyond my collecting of "short" bladed weapons, but, of course, the first order of business is to educate myself.

 

In addition to reading past threads is there a book you would recommend to someone wanting to venture into the collection of U.S. swords?

 

Thanks for the advice and for sharing pictures of your gorgeous M1902 example.

 

Tim


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Tim,

 

I would recommend the old 1960's standard work by Peterson "The American Sword" as a basic US sword book. There are certainly others including Bezdek, "American Swords and Sword Makers" which will tell you much about makers, retailers, and markings.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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I can imagine this one would be used with a Sam Browne belt in '30s. Am I right?

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I am not cetain of the date or use of the hanger that you show. I generally date these longer russet leather sling hangers prior to the 1930s. These service dress hangers had largely been replaced by the chain hanger by the 1930s.

 

Sword_hanger_chain.JPG

 

The chain hanger shown above was standard by the interwar period. Having said that, since officers had to buy their own uniforms and accouterments it is possible that some older style hangers survived into the inter-war period.

 

As I look at your hanger I see a couple of things that look out of place. First, is that there is no regain hook at the top of the straps. This hook was standard on both styles of these US sword hangers from this period. Second, is that if both straps are elongated they would be of approx equal length. That makes me think that this hanger may not be for the US Model 1902 sword after all but may have carried a straight sword with two rings on the top scabbard band.

 

Short_off_hanger.JPG

 

The short hanger shown above is of this type and has no regain hook and has straps of the same length. This is actually a civilian US fraternal sword hanger. So, I am not certain of what your sword hanger is for but I would suggest trying to find a chain sword hanger for a 1930s period 1902 Army Officer Sabre as that would be the regulation brown leather hanger for service dress from that time period.

 

I hope this helps.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Guys,

I have both style of hangers

- hook & short chain with leather frog for Sam Browne belt

- Artillery bullion with brass hook and 2 long straps

 

I fully understand how to wear and execute drill with the Sam Browne style.

 

However I am lost with the bullion one. The straps seem too long for unhooked sword wearing and once hooked up with both straps still attached to sheath, it looks too awkwardly. Next to that, I have officers M1938 dress blue tunic with vertical slot at left waist, which seems to be used for sword wearing somehow. No idea, how to use 2 straps hanger + sword + dress blue tunic with that slot.

 

May I ask you for advice? Can you share with me any period regulation, please?

 

thanks

Mirek

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Mirek,

 

The bullion straps are worn with the full dress US Army Officer blue uniform. So, depending on if it is worn with an external bullion belt or a hidden interior belt the bullion straps are the same. This may help...

 

The old fashion was for the straps to be long and for the sword to actually drag the ground when worn. That is why there is an exaggerated "drag" on the end of the scabbard and for older swords to show wear on the bottom of the drag from being drug along in the dirt. This is also why there is a regain hook to hitch the sword up if it is not worn loose. Later swords, such as the M1902 Army Officer Saber, had shorter straps on the hangers as the fashion changed.

 

The M1902 is normally worn from the belt in the regain position with the hilt backward and placed at the waist. It is unhooked when it is drawn from the scabbard, which is then held in the left hand for removal and replacement into the scabbard. This is the mode when executing the saber drill, passing in review, etc.

 

Try this: Hold the scabbard near the throat in the left hand. This will allow you to positively control the scabbard when it is unhooked and to move it slightly to help in the smooth draw or the replacement of the saber (with the right hand) in the scabbard. When hooking up the saber hold the scabbard near the throat in the left hand and rotate the wrist (and sword in the scabbard). Rotate the sword clockwise (as if looking at the sword hilt while holding it at your left side) 90 degrees so the knuckle guard goes from facing away from you to where it faces your rear. This will place the hilt to the rear and the back of the blade to your front to be properly be hooked up on the regain hook. This motion will also neatly wrap the hangers around the scabbard with the face of the bullion to the outside for a smooth look.

 

These motions are the same if worn from a hidden interior belt or an external bullion belt. Here are a couple of pictures of how the slings should look.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

 

US uniform plate.jpg

US uniform plate sword.jpg

cadetwithsword.jpg


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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I am woefully ignorant about sword slings and other related accouterments. I recently acquired a russet leather sling which I believe is a M1903 sling for the M1902 Army saber. The longest strap, which is about 14" long, is marked with the inspector initials "A.H.W.". One thing that strikes me odd about this sling is that the brass parts are all bright and show no signs of ever having been bronzed as I understand the 1903 dress regs required. My question is, did the M1903 slings ever use bright brass hardware? If so, when - before or after the bronzed?

 

The sling came attached to a chape which I believe is for the later chain hangers since it is marked “Q.M.C./Jeff.1924/H.E.K.”; leather slings were long obsolete by 1924.

 

 

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The sword hanger shown with the chape dated 1924 is for use with the Sam Browne belt. Most seen today are stamped J.Q.M.D. and are dated to the mid 1920's. The leather slings are perfectly correct.

Best, George

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George, thanks for the feedback. Do we know when bright brass hardware was used rather than the bronzed brass specified in the regs?

 

Dick

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What type of sword belt / cross-body sling was worn under the M1902 white, high-collar jacket when the officer was 'under arms'? I've got photos of officer wearing the white, high-collar jacket with trousers and with white riding breeches and boots -- all the while wearing a M1902 saber. The saber straps hang from an opening to the left side of the jacket.

 

But there is no visible dark 'stripe' or 'bulge' around the officer's waist under the white jacket -- and one would think that wearing either the dress belt or the service belt & buckle would 'show' under the coat.

 

Most officers in the interwar period (between the SAW and WWI) were graduates of USMA, VMI, Citadel, etc. As cadets, they had all worn a white canvas duck strap that went over the right shoulder, across the body, and down to a point at the left hip, just below the belt. The cadet saber's scabbard was hooked through a throg at the bottom (either leather or cloth). I've seen these advertised in the 1917 'military edition' of the Sears, Roebuck catalog.

 

I know officers wore their normal sword belt under their blue M1902 dress coat (and wore the dress sword belt around the outside of the waist of their M1902 full-dress coat).

 

Anyone know if Army officers wore those white duck straps under their M1902 white uniforms, and hooked the black saber straps onto the throg at the bottom? Or did they just wear the black belt under their white uniforms?

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SOME GREAT ADVICE GUYS---------------- all that green crap that forms on brass, get it off before it destroys your hangers. as it forms it pops rivets, ruins leather and so on.


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Hi Ranger,

 

You ask a good question. Look at the fellow wearing the M1902 Saber in post #19 above. He is wearing the M1895 blue coat made like the white summer coat you describe. His sword hanger is worn on an under belt and is threaded through the slit in the lower left hem that is made for that purpose on both blue and white coats as you describe. He may be wearing his waist belt internally over his trousers or a cloth shoulder belt as you describe. Either way would be acceptable as long as it is not worn on an external belt worn over the coat. There could also be an integral metal loop sewn into the interior of the coat to attach the hanger to. In this case the weight of the sword would be born through the cloth hanger made into the interior seam of the coat. Otherwise, it could be born by a cloth cross-body sling as you describe.

 

The cross belt and throg (frog) worn by military academies generally support the straight "Cadet" sword that had a frog stud on the scabbard rather than a scabbard like the M1902 that has two suspension rings for slings or chains. So, the USMA cadet cross-body straps were made to hold a specific style of sword with a frog stud and would not properly hold a sword with suspension rings. The proper cross belt in this instance would have a metal loop to hold the hangers for a US M1902 Army Officer Saber. Notice there is a Sam Browne belt shown below that has the brass loop sewn directly to the leather belt instead of being worn on a separate leather frog.

 

 

 

 

Cadet white sword belt.JPG

NYNG Art sword.JPG

USMA sword.JPG

1902 cadet sword.JPG

Sword chain 3.JPG


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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