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Cleaning and Inspecting Old Sword

InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
My google-fu is rather weak today. I've recently inherited an old sword my grandfather possessed, from what I can find it's an 1865 (possibly 4 last number is hard to read, it's an 1860 model for sure though) Union Cavalry Sword made by the Ames Manufacturing Company inspected by D.R. (David Rice according to a website with a list of inspectors).

Anyways, while it's in OK condition it could be better so I'd like to get it cleaned up and there's a small dent in the scabbard that I'd like to get fixed. But first I'd like to get it inspected to make sure it's genuine. I still plan on keeping even if it's not, but I'd gladly pay extra to keep it in as pristine condition as possible if it is real.

So how do I go about finding someone who could do this? Would I take it to an antiques dealer or is there like a Civil War specialist?

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    HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    One possibility: look through the list of "Arms and Militaria" appraisers on Antique Road Show's website for an appraiser in your part of the country.

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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Contact your local historical society, they probably have a civil war buff on staff or at least know one.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Be careful of what you do to it if you want it to keep its value. Oftentimes, genuine historical articles lose significant value if they've been refurbished. An appraiser will be able to give you much better advice, but my years of watching Antique Roadshow tell me it's better to leave the dents and any other cosmetic mars alone. Old things should look "old" if you know what I'm saying.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    Be careful of what you do to it if you want it to keep its value. Oftentimes, genuine historical articles lose significant value if they've been refurbished. An appraiser will be able to give you much better advice, but my years of watching Antique Roadshow tell me it's better to leave the dents and any other cosmetic mars alone. Old things should look "old" if you know what I'm saying.
    This. There's a huge difference between the restoration a museum will do to something like that sword, and 'cleaning it up'. Any antique is this way. It's most valuable in perfect condition of course, but it's more valuable in a degraded condition than it is if you repair or alter it.

    matt has a problem on
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    LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Contact your local historical society, they probably have a civil war buff on staff or at least know one.

    Yeah, if you know it's from the 1860's, I'd contact a local society. Even civil war re-enactment groups might have some one on hand that could tell you about it.

    If you wanted to sell it, it would have to be appraised, but if you just wanted to learn about it amateurs should be good enough.

    LavaKnight on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    And depending on what they give you for a value, you'll want a professional appraisal to get it covered under home insurance.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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