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Sword ID "PHOTOS ADDED"
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Topic URL: http://old.gunboards.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=154622
Printed on: 10/05/2007


Topic:



Topic author: Sandgroper
Subject: Sword ID "PHOTOS ADDED"
Posted on: 03/14/2006 9:39:04 PM
Message:
Would like any thoughts on the following sword I have in my collection.

It has a brass hilt with stag horn handle, in very nice condition. Blade is also in nice condition but with a little staining. The scabbard is brass.

The blade is inscribed:
Y F Legers & Yoon a Breda, Eisenhau

The scabbard has the following inscription:
? (rank?) Bleys van Treslong
7th ? (unit?) inf..rie
Overladen (died?) to? Paya-Combo
12 Ma 1875


A friend some years ago suggested the inscription was in Flemmish but I haven't had this confirmed.

I will post some photos.

Any ideas about the history of this sword would be appreciated.

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Replies:

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 03/17/2006 6:51:33 PM
Message:
Have added a couple more photos in the hope someone may have information on the manufacturer or history of this sword.

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Reply author: Davis
Replied on: 03/19/2006 4:21:41 PM
Message:
Looks alot like a French officer's sword in the Art Neveau pattern (which would be correct for the 1875 date). More than that, I am not sure.

Davis

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 03/19/2006 5:33:49 PM
Message:
The name and inscription sound dutch to me.

Breda is a dutch town. The "van" in Bleys Van Treslong also sounds like the dutch version of the german "Von". Are you sure it says "Bleys"? Bloys Van Treslong is a dutch surname, you'll find lots of them if you search for them on yahoo. Try to identify the letters you've listed as "? (rank?)", that will probably be the first name of the Bloys Van Treslong who owned this sword.

I don't think "overladen" means "died" as you've suggested. I cannot read dutch properly, but it is close to German and even closer to the scandinavian languages. So, I believe that word might mean "surrendered to" or "given to".

Also I believe from the pics that it doesn't say "Paya" but "G?ÿa", I've no idea what that means, but I'm pretty sure that's an old style G, not P.

Good luck identifying it. If you find out more, please tell us. Do check out whether it might indeed be dutch, I believe it may be dutch or captured by the Dutch.

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 03/20/2006 3:12:52 PM
Message:
By the way... If the word is Overleden, not overladen it might mean "died"

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/20/2006 4:31:33 PM
Message:
My mothertongue is Flemish (Same thing as Dutch)
I can't see the name quite clear on your photo. First line: Mr + full name.
Second line means (words are abbreviated): First lieutenant of the infantry.
Third line/ Deceased at P*ij*-Combo
Fourth line: The date of his death.
It is without a doubt written in Dutch.
The place means nothing to me, must you look in Indonesia where Holland had his colonies ? I don't know.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/20/2006 5:10:39 PM
Message:
I forgot to speak about the text on the blade.
A better photo would be ideal, but it is probably the "wholesaler" for the sword (maybe only the blade itself).
Eisenau is surely a German town (I think former East Germany but not sure)certainly easy to find on the net.
It could be that Eisenau was one of the regions where they used to make blades etc., something like "Solingen" probably better known to you.
I am not a specialist in edged weapons, but I think it would be interesting to find out who was that "1ste Luitenant der Infanterie".
It would be a tribute to the man (and lets hope he was worth it!)

Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 03/20/2006 6:09:02 PM
Message:
Paya (or Pajo)Combo is both a town and a district in western Sumatra... nice sword, keep researching!

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/20/2006 6:42:06 PM
Message:
Well ... while you were sleeping "down under" I did find some interesting things. "Bloys van Treslong" is an old familyname in Holland (we speak about nobility, even some Princes) so I think that the characters in front of the name could be a nobilty-rank or his first name.
I don't want you to believe everything you dream of, but my best suggestion is: Get you a good friend who is fluent in Dutch (or Flemish, a Belgian of course).
Pay him a good beer (Belgian special beers are the best).
Make him promess you that he will help you with your language-barrier (this could take 4 to 5 pints of the goodie).
Make him look on a searchmachine (I use Google)for "Prins Bloys van Treslong". Try also to make contact with "Nederlands Instituut voor Genealogisch en Heraldisch Onderzoek" (Dutch Institute for Genealogic and Heraldic Research), Dutch people are normally fluent in English.
I know now that some familymembers served on Java and Batavia, so my guess of the Dutch colonies could be correct. There is much to find about this family! Bear in mind however that the inscription on the scabbard could be a tribute to the man a soldier served under and the sword could in fact never been in the possession of the man himself. This of course is a personnal tought, nevertheless if the sword was mine I would do some effort.


Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 03/20/2006 10:05:17 PM
Message:
Bayonetcollector, Davis, Stede and Big commander.Thanks for your input, I must say it is very interesting having a little more opportunity than usual to research the history of a sword.

I have very limited knowledge of swords, my collection really being based around Australian Light Horse equipment which includes a 1908 pattern sword.

So, as far as this sword is concerned, can I assume it was manufactured in Breda, Eisenhau ( Germany ) by Legers and Yoon ( is yoon son? ). Would this be normal that Flemish or Dutch officers would carry swords manufactured in Germany?

Is anyone familiar with this manufacturer?

The sword itself appears to be functional ( not ceremonial ) and shows significant wear to the scabbard attaching ring and also the brass hilt is well worn where it rests on the scabbard mouth. ( I'll post another photo )

Big commander, I have worked with a number of people from Dutch descent over the years but they are a generation or two removed and struggle with the inscription about "Bloys van Treslong" I've tried the beer trick and so far hasn't achieved as much as you have been able to tell me!!!!!

I guess being short of space in the area where they wanted to place the inscription has meant the use of abbreviations which are hard to understand.

I will however see If I can find someone who may be able to help me with the language barrier on the websites you have referred me to.

Thanks and any other thoughts about this sword are most welcome.

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Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 03/21/2006 08:22:40 AM
Message:
Sandgroper, during the 19th century a large percentage of the blades carried by military men of many nations was produced in Germany. This includes government contract/issue weapons as well as private purchase pieces such as your sword might well be.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/21/2006 08:48:47 AM
Message:
As it could be a very interesting sword, herewith some certainties:
**** Bloys van Treslong
(First word could be "Heer" = "Sir" or "Esquire")
( "Heer" is also old Dutch for "Army")
1ste luitnt der infnrie
(1st lieutenant of the infantry)
Overleden te Praija-Combo
(Deceased at Praija-Combo. It is impossible to say if he met his death in battle or in bed. "Deceased" is the correct translation of "Overleden"
12 Mei 1875
(Mai 12th 1875, of course!)

On the blade I think we have in fact:
J F Segers & Zoon ...
If "Zoon" (Son) is the correct word and I think it is, we must assume that the sword is sold and/or manufactured (not necesseraly both) by this firm in the city of Breda. Eisenhau is maybe the indication of the provenance(Germany)of the blade or an indication of a certain(good and known) quality.
The Dutch East-Indian army of that time and later is well known by national archives and genealogists in The Netherlands (Holland).
Its time to find yourself a kind Dutchspeaking person in your neighbourhood, I still believe its worth it, and will follow this story trough this forum. Greetings from the Flanders!





Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 03/22/2006 09:03:30 AM
Message:
Big commander,

Took your advice and fired off an email to the Netherlands Genealogic Society quoting the information you supplied of surname, rank, date and probable place of his death.

Today I received a return email which said " We found the person you mentioned in Nederlands Adelsboek 79 ( A-BL )pages 607 - 608. We send you by post copies of these pages."

I guess it will take a week or two to arrive, hopefully it will tell me a little about the history of my sword.

Thanks again for your help.



Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/22/2006 09:54:13 AM
Message:
Sandgroper, I am happy that this quest is going strong and think that this sword means a lot more to you now (and to a lot of other people also!).
"Nederlands Adelboek" means in fact "Book of Dutch Nobility" and one of the advantages with noble families is that there is always more to find because they usualy keep their "past" and archives in something more lasting than a shoe box.

I will try to find something more on the "vendor/manufacturer"-inscription of the blade, although I am a little bit surprized that none of the collectors of edged weapons (as you know I am not one of them) on this forum could give some information on this. Maybe a very small shop??? It intrigues me!
You will hear from me again, take care!

Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 03/22/2006 6:51:54 PM
Message:
OK, I'm gonna weigh in on the Eisenhau marking. Sandgroper, have a close look and see if it mightn't be Eisenhauer, with the last two letters worn away or otherwise defaced. Not that it really matters... blades marked Eisenhauer were produced in Germany from the middle of the 19th century and into the 20th. An Eisenhauerklinge is literally an 'iron-cutting blade' and denotes a blade whose edge was hardened using an ancient Muslim metalsmiths technique. These blades were very high quality and priced accordingly; your Dutch nobleman might certainly be the owner of such a sword.
Now a bit of surmise... based on my own knowledge of 19th German cutlery trade practice. Since the blade is not marked with a German manufacturer's stamping, I would suggest that the blade was forged in Germany and supplied to J F Segers & Zoon who then assembled the sword with the grip components- and then sold it under their own name. This was a common practice in Europe at the time.
In fact, Eisenhauer blades which were specifically forged for foreign markets were often marked in the intended local language. So you can find French swords marked 'Coup de Fer', Danish swords marked 'Jernhugger', Swedish 'Jernhuggare', and the Dutch 'Yzerhouwer'. (This info from "The Sword and Bayonet Makers of Imperial Germany", John Walther)
What fun this is, eh Big Commander?! Keep us posted Sandgroper on the progress of your investigation- I think you are well on your way to establishing a definitive provenance for your sword. best, Stede in Colorado, USA

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 03/22/2006 7:37:01 PM
Message:
Hi Stede,

Marking is definately Eisenhau. The engraving is quiet deep and very readable.

Y. F. Legers & Yoon a' Breda, Eisenhau.

After looking at it more closely ( than ever before and with glasses on!!! ) I can see it even has punctuation marks so I have added the full stops after the intials, the accent over the "a", comma after Breda and there is also a full stop after Eisenhau.

The only thing I am unsure of is the first letter of the surname, it certainly looks like a modern capital "L" but your suggestion that is is actually a capital "S" is possible.



Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/22/2006 9:50:54 PM
Message:
Hi Stede, Hi Sandgroper,
A sword from somebody who died in a region we overhere call "The girdle of emerald" (because of his green forests)puzzling an Australian, an American and a Belgian is 100 percent fun!
Born in 1945 I was obliged to learn to write in caligraphy and so I'm sure (for myself) that we must read "J F Segers ...".
I confiscated my wife's reading glasses (to put them over mine!)but couldn't be really certain about the "Z" in "Zoon". However this is the most logical explanation to me because "Yoon" isn't a name from our regions. On the other hand "Segers" is a very common surname (it means literaly "descendant of the one who saws" maybe like "Sawyer" in English?).
For the "à" there is no doubt that it is the French word for "at". Strange maybe to you to find this in a Dutch text, but bear in mind that the "low countries" had to endure occupation by the Romans, the Spanish, the Austrians, the French etc. In fact this is the reason why we use a lot of "foreign expressions" combined with the fact that, in a perimeter of 100 miles, we have to speak 4 different languages. It's 3.45 AM, see you again!

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/24/2006 8:20:35 PM
Message:
Realizing this is not a chatroom I have to tell you this: the owner of your sword had interesting relatives. An Admiral, a Governor of Suriname (West-Indies), others did some pirate-hunting on the Mediterranean sea. Didn't find the man himself, because I have no acces to all the archives I would like to consult. Let's wait for the Genealogical society's papers. Please let us know their findings
.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/25/2006 1:39:28 PM
Message:
"Gentlemen ... We got him !" Meaning: the shop who sold the sword to our lieutenant Boys van Treslong.
Breda was the home of a Royal Military Academy. Subsequently there were many vendors of military equipment, leathershops, saddlemakers and hatmakers. An example is J. F. Segers & Zoon, formerly a hatmaker and "passementerie-maker" (asked my wife wath this meant and with a very, very costly twinkle in her eyes she told me about embroiderie, lace and brocade). In 1866 he build a factory with steam-engines. Within 10 years he made saddles and military boots. He provided "helmeth-hats" (I think this means "shakos")to the Royal Indian Army. The original plant burned down in 1920 and a new one was build. However the factory became victim of the economical crisis of the thirties and disappeared in 1933. Source of this is Breda archives.
Because of my age I have seen shops who sold hats, canes, walking sticks, military medals, military hats and so on. So I can vividly imagine such a shop next to the factory of the Segers family.

If you want to know the name of the lady who dropped her handkerchief in front of our 1st lieutenant at the Seger-shop, looking at and choosing his personal sword, I will try but promise nothing !!! Kind regards.



Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 03/25/2006 4:42:54 PM
Message:
Excellent, Big Commander. This was a fascinating story from the start and has only gotten better. I saw the nobles from the 15th century onwards while searching for the blois van treslongs, including the acting governor of surinam (1802-3 if i remember correctly), but you have to have someone who can read dutch to find out much as there are hardly any sites in english reguarding them.

Sandgroper, Big Commanders advice about feeding a dutch speaking person enough good beer to have him help you is sound indeed. It will not be cheap, in those parts of europe they are extremely proud of their brewing traditions and the american version of Budweiser will not do at all, even the original Czech Budweiser might be too feeble for that crowd. Sorry mate, not even Fosters will do, no matter how many XXXXs there are on the can, - I'd play it safe and find a good Belgian or Dutch brew...

However you'll end up owning one of the most well documented swords you can ever hope to get, knowing the man who owned it, his relatives, the shop that sold it, the town it was sold in...

I'd say you might owe Big Commander a taste of that brew too... especially as his wife has now rediscovered the importance of expencive old embroiderie, lace and brocade (That's the price of being a Gunboards member... You can never quite foresee the consequences...). If that was my sword I'd say it was worth it, though. I'd be extatic if any of my swords or bayonets could be documented that completely. Congratulations!

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/25/2006 9:12:35 PM
Message:
Bayonetcollector, thank you for these kind words.
Hopefully Sandgroper can catch some sleep, because while grasping his sword with both hands and his knuckles all white and eyes wide open it isn't easy to get some rest
.
Should I tell him of an other and famous Willem Boys van Tresling sword, hanging since 1572 in the St Michael church as a consolidation of his given word not to take revenge on the people who had slain some of his man because they plundered and set some homes on fire ?
I wonder ... hearth attacks are cheap these days!
On the other hand I am very curious about the first owner of the sword and this information must now come from Sandgroper (what the heck is a Sandgroper?). He surely will tell us after the local postman raided his mailbox with a letter from The Netherlands.
Has anybody an inscription on a good sword ? (just kidding!!!)

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 03/26/2006 05:15:20 AM
Message:
Gentlemen,

I'm amazed at the information you have turned up, great researching Big commander, I really do appreciate your efforts. Am intending to visit the Menin Gate ( being an ace researcher you should know the significance of that to an Australian ) in your country in a couple of years time and can maybe "shout" you that very big beer I owe you.

I have a Dutch person lined up to read the documentation I will receive from the Netherlands, she likes West Australian wine so I won't have to import that strong Dutch beer!!!!

I should be able to scan the document and post it on the site providing I won't be breaching copright.

Are their other similar swords in the collections of other Gunboards members? It seems the suppliers Segers and Yoon would have had other swords they supplied engraved in a similar manner.

Incidently, Sandgroper is a nickname ( used by people in other Australian states ) and refers to people born and bred in Western Australia, sort of a term of endearment.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/26/2006 6:29:31 PM
Message:
Ha ... Te Menin gate! and John Mac Crea's poem "In Flanders fields".
It should be a shame if I needed to do a search on both items, being a son of a WWI and WWII veteran officer who even saw some action at Passchendaele! Let's invite the other forum members to have a look!
You may expect a PM with my coordinates, let us hope that in the future you will have the opportunity to visit Flanders battlefields. W'll have that drink in memory of all the "comrades" and "Kameraden" who never saw home again.
Last small secret: I'm trying to beat (in speed) the Dutch Genealogists and in a same movement your Australian postman


Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 03/26/2006 7:11:21 PM
Message:
Great stuff! I've contributed all I can and now follow the thread with interest... this is what collector networking is all about, my friends.
As for other swords, I have a Wilkinson British infantry officer's sword from the mid-19th century with what appears to be a family crest and initials embossed on the blade. I just now got the form from Wilkinson and will be sending the info in for research... wish me luck, eh?
Heh- I too wondered where the handle 'Sandgroper' came from- I expect the actual level of 'endearment' varies depending on quantities of lager consumed and whose rugger team is winning ;).

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/26/2006 8:04:26 PM
Message:
Hi Stede,
Try to show me a good picture of that crest and maybe a new "Sandgroperstory" will be told on this forum !



Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 03/28/2006 02:16:18 AM
Message:
Big commander, Stede, Bayonetcollector, others,

Well the mail arrived today and delivered a letter from the Centraal Bureau Voor Genealogie and included some photocopy pages of the Nederland's Adelsboek. What great history the Dutch have kept. Whilst I can't read Dutch it seems to list births, deaths/place of death, marriages and occupations.

It would appear the original owner of the sword I have was one:

Willem Otto Guy Bloys van Treslong, born in Breda on September 8, 1845, Lieutenant of the Infantry, I'm unsure of the next so will put it in Dutch, "gedatacheerd bij het leger in Ned.-Indie", died Pajacombo ( Sumatra ) 12 Mei 1875.

These details fit perfectly with the inscription and other details supplied by Big commander. Big commander, perhaps you can tell us what "gedatacheerd bij het leger in Ned.-Indie" translates to!! I hope its not as gruesome as it sounds!!

It gives the same details for his parents and siblings.

So Big commander, the next question is. Would our man have been regular army or would he have been employed by The Dutch East India Company. Is there further research that can be done either with the military archives or the Dutch East India Company?

Stede, now that we have established the sword being sold through Segers outlet in Breda does that mean the Eisenhau ( which I presume isn't a provence of the Netherlands ) is actually the style of manufacture you mentioned?

This is really interesting as Western Australia has close ties with the Dutch and Dutch East India Company, our West coast has many wrecks of Dutch East Indiamen ships which were blown of course. They include the Batavia, Gilt Dragon,Zuytdorp and many others. Before British colonisation Australia was even referred to ( officially on maps ) as New Holland.

Sorry about the history lesson, back to the subject.

I have scanned some of the pages I received and will post them with this update.

What next??

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Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 03/28/2006 6:06:11 PM
Message:
Sandy, I'm pretty sure the 'Eisenhau' marking indicates that advanced method of forging I mentioned earlier. Later in the 19th century it did become a generic indicator of high-quality manufacture but we don't know how long our man had his sword before his demise...

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 03/28/2006 6:46:22 PM
Message:
I don't know anything about the Eisenhau stamp, but what Stede has explained earlier reminds me much about what an old metalsmith told me about in my childhood. He called it a Saracen blade. It was forged in a very time consuming way, but it was as good steel as you could ever make. I've not seen that type of steel (or not recognised it), but it is supposed to have a special swirling grain. The thing about it is that it is soft and flexible, not soft as iron is, but not hardened too much either. A hard, inflexible blade will break. A blade of a softer steel will build up pressure for a split second before that power is released, snapping off harder blades... Thus the term "iron cutting blade". These are things I was told while helping that old blacksmith, not verified by research, but I always respected what he told me and all the other things I learned about metals from him have proven to be correct. I believe there is a (swirling) grain of truth in what he told me... You may have a very good blade there if Stedes assumption is correct. I'd love to see it and swing it. Perhaps I'll have to go to Australia some day...

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/28/2006 9:34:35 PM
Message:
Wow
... beaten by the Dutch KLM flight and the "Greased Lightning" of the Australian post offices, better known as the "Superboosted Turbopowered -12 cylinder-Shorthaired Walibi"
. So be it !
I must admit that the Dutch genealogists did a fine job. You not only have the man himself but also his parents, sisters, brothers and brothers-in-law (I think Stede has fallen from his chair now
.)

Translation is as follows (roman numbers followed by a character mean that there is a link to other branches of the familytree):

(Family died out in 1949)

VIIId. Esquire Jan Lodewijk B.v.T, born Amsterdam May 24th 1813, captain of the artillery, deceased Breda Febr. 28th 1860, marries in Breda Aug. 3rd 1843 Agatha van der Hoeven, born Breda Febr. 23rd 1821, deceased Utrecht March 11th 1889, daughter of Pieter Cornelis tobias and Jacoba Susanna Johanna Broeckhoff van Jaarsfeld.
Out of this marriage:
1. Lady Agatha louise B.v.T., born Breda June 10th 1844, deceased Utrecht April 1890, marries in Breda April 22nd 1869 Johan F. H. Boonacker, born Leersum May 6th 1838, general-major ***. of the sappers (not sure but think "***."="titulair", meaning he had the rank but not the job. "Honorary" is what I make of it.,deceased 's-Gravenhage April 15th 1932, son of Vincent F. Jacob and Maria C. Berns; he remarried in Haarlem on March 14th 1895 with Catharina P. Dubois.
2. Esquire Willem O. G. B.v.T., born Breda Sept. 8th 1845, 1st lieutenant of the infantry, detached at the army in the Dutch-Indies ("detached" in the sense of "ordered to do a job for a certain time in a certain place", this is common even nowadays), deceased at Pajacombo (Sumatra) May 12th 1875.

3. Johan Pieter, follow the link IXd.
4. Lady Cornelia H. B.v.T., born Breda Febr. 4th 1849, deceased there Dec. 23rd 1851.
5. Lady Cornelia H. B.v.T., born Breda Sept. 3rd 1850, deceased Winterswijk Dec. 1st 1908, marries in Delft on March 16th 1877 with Doctor Hendrik M. D. van Riemsdijk, born Gorinchem May 22nd 1840, officer of the infantry, adjunct-inspector of the inland-education in the Dutch-Indies, (later on) teacher in chemistry, botanics and zoology at R. college (sorry, "R." is all greek to me)at Winterswijk, deceased 's-Gravenhage Dec. 24th 1928, he is the son of Dirk en Maria E. Beckmann.
6.Cornelis E., follow the link IXe.

Note: I used "Esquire" and "Lady" for "Jhr." (Jonkheer) and "Jkvr." (Jonkvrouw). In my belief this isn't 100 percent correct, I don't know the exact equivalent in english. In german it would be "Junker" and "Junkfrau". I don't have an appropriate dictionary on hand right now.
Concerning "Eisenhau.", this is definitly not a Dutch province or so, Stede's explanation seems correct to me.
The Dutch East India Company and a possible link will be looked upon.

I think that the moderators of this forum are very patient with us, let me thank them !



Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 03/28/2006 9:54:23 PM
Message:
I made a mistake in the name of number 4.
The name is Anna Maria instead of Cornelia.
Other type errors are to be blamed on French wine, not Belgian beer
!

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 04/01/2006 7:29:45 PM
Message:
Sandgroper, like I wrote to you in a personal e-mail I still feel like a thiny little mouse in front of a big "wheel" of Dutch cheese, looking to the right and to the left ... and back again, not knowing where to begin. There is to much to go trough on the web concerning the East Indian Army, the Royal Dutch Indian Army and so on.
There is a certain thing however that I did find: one person with the same familyname did a lot of research on Dutch Sumatran affairs and amused himself with collecting epitaphs (tombstone engravings) in the East-Indies. I'll send wat is interesting by post (Shorthaired Walibi, remember?). In my view it is imperative that you contact your Dutchspeaking lady if you want to know more, she may always contact me on my personal e-mail adress to get updated on the difficulties she will encounter. The alternative is to learn Dutch and make a lifetime hobby on the hand of just one sword.
Finding the ship on which Willem came to Sumatra (and in what year) plus what is written on his tombstone would be the ultimate reward. Let us remember that he was only 30 years of age (my dougther is older!). But please don't underestimate the time and Australian wine this would take. My heart says it would be worth it, but of course it is not my sword.
Feel free to mail me at any time !



Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 04/06/2006 8:22:06 PM
Message:
Another question before I start "shouting" beers.

I know it's an open ended question but this would seem to be the best forum to ask it, what could I expect the value of this sword to be?

I may have to up the Home and Contents Insurance!!!!!!!!!

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 04/07/2006 7:57:56 PM
Message:
I am under the impression that on forums, like this one, it is always difficult to get an answer regarding the presumed value of objects like the sword you have. Although a lot of them where made in that era I have not the impression that many survived in Europe (confiscated and scrapped in two world wars?). Not being a collector of edged weapons I can only think outloud: it is an antique sword, in good condition (as far as one can see on your photos), the original owner is known and was a descendant of a family that was famous and wrote history in the 16th century(hunted by the Spanish king and the Inquisition they fought "their Alamo" and won!).
If this sword was mine, I wouldn't sell it. I'm sure, if it where in Holland, Sotheby's Amsterdam would like to have it in one of their auctions. And there lies the problem, the value is given by the interested amateurs. This does not mean to me that it is worth a fortune in money, but it certainly has a good value to the romantic soul or related family. Knowing the history of the object I dare to say that 1000 à 1500 US Dollar seems a good price.
The only thing what could happen now is that somebody with real experience would disagree.
Gentlemen, swordcollectors, don't be shy please and give us your view.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 04/10/2006 11:39:16 AM
Message:
Nobody?

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 04/10/2006 5:07:14 PM
Message:
Hope some experienced sword collector will answer, just like you asked Big Commander. My feeling matches yours. If it is sold in the netherlands where there are descendants of mr Blois Van Treslong, maybe even direct descendants, and many who are familiar with or connected in some way or other with the history of that colony it could fetch a great premium. I suppose there is a fairly objective price that can be set based on the type of sword etc, but the history makes it unique and hard to set a definitive price for... Somehow I hope you won't find out for certain, sandgroper, as that would mean you'll have sold it. Getting a sword that can be documented like that is rare indeed. I've some few bayonets that can be connected with specific battles, and that makes them extraordinary. A sword with a history like this.... Wow!

Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 04/10/2006 6:15:57 PM
Message:
BC & BC (!) have the right of it, Sandy- your sword without the inscription and provenance you've tracked down would be in the $400-$600 range. As it sits, however, the sword is worth as much as someone would be willing to pay to aquire it- be they a collector or a family descendant of the original owner.
Like the others, I hope you hang on to it but the reality is that none of us actually OWNS these things; we merely have posession for some years... in the event, I'm willing to bet that a member of the Treslong family would pay the most if their circumstances permitted.

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 04/10/2006 7:29:31 PM
Message:
Gents,

Thanks for your thoughts.

I have had this sword for over 40 years and am very attached to it so have no thoughts of selling. I've always suspected the inscription related to the death of the original owner and back in 1975 had a drink with a couple of mates to commemorate 100 years after the passing of this unknown ( to us ) soldier. Unfortunately, I read the date of his passing as 12 MARCH 1875, not as I now know to be 12 MAY 1875, so the salute to Willem was a couple of months short of the 100 years.

Big Commander, Bayonetcollector and Stede, perhaps you had better come visit to examine Willems sword and we can share a couple of Stella Artois beers and tell tall tales.

Thanks again for your help in revealing so much of the history of this sword.







Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 04/11/2006 08:03:15 AM
Message:
Sandgroper, you have done well to keep that sword so many years! It shows that in fact you are a romantic and nostalgic person (maybe your partner would'nt agree, but that's the fate of the males we are).
I promised you to look deeper into the voyage and circumstances of death of our young lieutenant. The truth is that I'm holding the shorthaired Walibi by the hairs of his neck (rearpaws smoking!) until I receive the ultimate to know from some Dutch genealogists. They told me that they could find it, if it was noted anywhere. Please be patient.
Something else catched my eye. The number of readers of this topic is rather high. Are we writing a bestseller?

Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 04/11/2006 7:00:39 PM
Message:
Maybe... but I'll wait for the movie! Or at least the paperback, eh! ;)

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 04/11/2006 8:07:51 PM
Message:
As we are all still waiting to hear the cause of death of this Blois Van Treslong I supose this will be a "whodunnit", a crime novel.. Perfect for easter, isn't it?

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 04/12/2006 9:32:13 PM
Message:
I discovered that the Treslong family didn't die out completely. Arnout B.v.T. married Marjet van Lidth de Jeude on October 7th 2000. So there is hope!
No word from my genealogists yet, but ... I'll try to get the big guns in action. Meaning a former customer, editor and professional genealogist and I call him my friend (tought we didn't need him to conduct this final search). The second big gun is a Balinese lady (dream on you guys!) a friend of my wife and "child at home" of the Indonesian embassy in Brussels. This could be interesting because much of the local Dutch archives stayed in Indonesia after they left their former colony and I learned that it takes a lot of weight to have acces to them.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 04/16/2006 07:22:02 AM
Message:
So it is Eastern! Please don't go hunting rabbits today, the Easterbunny could get involved and the children won't forgive an "accident"!
Together with the mention that the final chapter of this story will not be easy to write I did receive an interesting link to a living familymember (among other functions he even is a member of the Advisory board of Sotheby's Amsterdam!!!). Sandgroper, maybe this is the chance to find out some more (I leave you the honor to try to contact him because English certainly is no obstacle).
Hope the link works: http://www.nextwavefunds.com/team/advisory.php


Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 05/08/2006 7:16:03 PM
Message:
Hello Sandgroper!
Is there any news about this topic?

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 05/30/2006 8:42:35 PM
Message:


quote: Originally posted by Big commander

Hello Sandgroper!
Is there any news about this topic?


BC and others.

Have been away for past 5 weeks so no further progress. Now that I am back I will resume my inquiries.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 05/31/2006 6:27:49 PM
Message:
Hoi Sandgroper, tought you were burried in a collapsed opal mine.
If you need some help in my part of the world, please tell me, nowadays we are specialised in the impossible!

Reply author: solman
Replied on: 06/11/2006 11:59:01 PM
Message:
more! more! this is the coolest thread ive read in the 14 months on gunboards.

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 07/24/2006 7:34:44 PM
Message:
Have moved this thread to the top to enable it to be easily found by some people doing some research for me "elsewhere".

In the meantime, anyone like to speculate how a sword owned by a Dutch officer who died in Sumatra in 1875 came to be in Perth Western Australia 100 years later?

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 07/24/2006 7:57:03 PM
Message:
At last! Sandgroper, you stumbled out of your collapsed opalmine!
Dear friend, any news? Do you need some assistance in my part of the village this world is? Let us know your needs or tell us your findings! I think that we are all very curious. Don't be shy (how could an Australian ever be?!). Tell, tell, ...
More as 700 readers can't be wrong.
Kind regards!

Reply author: Stede
Replied on: 07/24/2006 10:37:16 PM
Message:
Sandy, it would seem far more likely the sword ends up in Oz than say, the US or Europe. Sumatra is just around the corner for you (geographically speaking). Just as a guess, I would surmise the sword never made the return trip to the Low Countries... I'll bet the engraving was done locally; and then the piece travelled to western Oz- and eventually into your hands. The how and why and when of the journey is another matter, but there you are... ;)

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 07/25/2006 09:39:06 AM
Message:
That would be the most likely theory, Stede. Sometimes stuff can be found in the weirdest places and have taken routes that noone can figure out, but in this case Stedes theory is the simplest and most probable. It probably was intended to be given to his relatives (or a relative was there and had the engraving made), then for some reason it never reached home. Might be the owner died on the journey and his things were sold off in the next port, it could have been stolen, taken off a shipwreck... a thousand possible explanations... but that is probably impossible to ever get to know.

Given that the Blois Van Treslong line still exists I believe it is unlikely that it came home to be sold or lost, to then turn up in Australia later... With its inscription and the history about him that his relatives would have known I'm sure they would have kept it as a family heirloom, or as it is tied closely to the countrys colonial history it might have gone to a museum. I doubt they'd just sell it off, though sometimes people do the craziest things with grandpas belongings...

Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 07/25/2006 1:42:02 PM
Message:
I'll add some more information about how this sword possibly came to be in Western Australia.

I got it from a friend in 1961.

His father was given it and three other swords after a relative died. This would have been around 1958/59. People in Australia didn't really collect these sort of items in those days, but most homes had a sword or bayonet ( some had Luger and Mauser pistols ) usually hidden behind a wardrobe or in the back shed away from the children. These weapons were brought home by Diggers ( Australian soldiers ) after the Boar War, WW1,WW2, Korea and Vietnam. It seems the Diggers were avid souvenir hunters but when they got home their wives didn't appreciate having swords, bayonets etc in the house and insisted they were "gotten rid of" or at least hidden from the children.

I recall my friends relative had served in the military and having died in the late 50's probably in both WW1 and WW2. This is supported by the nature of the other 3 swords he had. One was an 08 pattern Lighthorse sword as issued to our Lighthorse in WW1. This was accompanied by a Turkish sabre of similar vintage. This means he probably served with Australian forces in the Palestine/Sinai theatre in WW1 and would have access to captured Turkish weapons. Not too sure how he would have explained the loss of his issued 08 sword to the quartermaster when he had to return his gear after the war but this seemed to be a common occurence. I believe these two swords were probably momentos of his WW1 service.

The other two swords were the Van Treslong sword and a Japanese Samurai sword. Australian troops fought in the Pacific in WW2, New Guinea, Bougainville, Timor and I believe Sumatra ( or Dutch East Indies as we use to call them ). If the Van Treslong sword had remained in the Dutch East Indies then it may have fallen into the hands of our Aussie Digger and been brought back to Australia with him after WW2, along with the Japanese sword.

My friends family had no interest in the swords, as I recall his father only wanted the Japanese sword and the rest were given away.

Now for the horror part of the story, particularly for those who collect Japanese swords.

My friends father was a stockman ( what Americans call a Cowboy ) and possessions had to be useful, no dusty collections of swords etc, if you had something it had to be useful. He was particularly impressed with the blade of the Japanese sword. I can still vividly remember the marks of the flame tempering on the blade and incredible edge it held. In that era most people involved with farming or livestock grazing slaughtered their own stock to feed the family. As I said, he was so impressed with the blade he decided to make the sword into a knife to use slaughtering livestock. I recall making objections at the time but only being 10 or 11 years old my objections were of no consequence. I remember my friends father complaining about not being able to cut the blade with a hacksaw and having to take it to an engineering shop to be cut with a diamond tipped cutting wheel.

So, my thoughts are that the Van Treslong sword remained in the Dutch East Indies after his death, possibly in the mess of a military garrison or officers club which would have been occupied by the Japanese during WW2. It has fallen into the hands of our Australian Digger along with a captured Japanese Samurai sword and been brought home to Western Australia as souvenirs of his WW2 experiences.

How does that sound Big commander, Bayonet collector and Stede!!





Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 07/25/2006 2:06:02 PM
Message:
It was "liberated" by the Imperial Japanese Army after the taking of Singapore. Some American soldier took it from the chef of Yamamoto (the chef was cutting sushi with it at that precise moment!). Later on the American traded it for an engraved baby Nambu he saw in the hands of an Australian commando while walking down the road to Mandalay.
This is how my moviescript of "The B.v.T code" would begin!


Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 07/25/2006 3:03:28 PM
Message:
"Liberated" by a Digger is a story I can easily understand and your idea crossed also my mind. It can't be told as the 100 percent truth but one could say: "In all probability this sword was "liberated" ...".
The story you told about the Japanese sword doesn't surprise me either. To explain this is easy. I saw a lot of WWI German swords who were made into sickles (think this is the right word for those curved knifes for cutting grass by hand). I was a small boy but saw them in the hands of, rather poor, elderly persons when cutting grass for the couple of rabbits they held.
Stahlhelms were sometimes used as "manurespoons" after a visit to the local blacksmith.

Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 07/25/2006 3:45:16 PM
Message:
A great story that just adds to the fascinating documentation of this blade. Make sure to write it all down and keep it with the sword so it may be kept for posterity. Your sword has really been around. The idea that it was liberated that way sounds quite plausible.

And, I've seen much the same thing that you and Big Commander describe. In harsh and poor conditions in the arctic all that could be used had to be used, especially as almost everyone had lost everything because of the "scorched earth" tactics the German army used when withdrawing from the Litsa front. The heaps of German stuff lying about everywhere was used, modified, reused, remodified and used... If I could bring a group of fellow collectors to my hometown just a few decades ago you'd certainly see grown men cry... We have to remember that these were not rare and pricey collectables to them, there was heaps of this "garbage" laying about everywhere, discarded. What could be used was used to keep off hunger and cold and the rest was left to rot and rust. The russians sent truck after truck with German helmets to the smelters as they needed the steel... The locals remade everything... Behind my grandfathers barn is an old German field kitchen, it is still there, long since sunk in the peat. It was where they cooked that first winter while they lived, all four (Grandpa, grandma, my father and uncle), under an upturned boat beside the ashes of their house IN ARCTIC CONDITIONS. Of course everything had to be utilised. They did not have enough housing for themselves, much less for collections.

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 07/25/2006 8:17:38 PM
Message:
I can't restrain myself BC, have to tell this. The knickname German soldiers gave to their field kitchen is still used by me for a barbeque set: "Gulashkanone".


Reply author: Bayonetcollector
Replied on: 07/25/2006 8:45:22 PM
Message:
that's a nice name for it... If you ever have the chance to look down the "barrel" of the large cauldron (200 litres, no less) you'll know why...
Also the carriage looks much like an artillery carriage...

Download Attachment:
210.66 KB

Here's the text, it is from a 1930s cigarette card showing a WWI scene.

Download Attachment:
219.97 KB

Not about to derail your great topic, Sandgroper, just taking a slight turn, back on track in a minute... (as a railwayman like me would say it).


Reply author: Sandgroper
Replied on: 08/09/2006 8:32:37 PM
Message:
My latest information from the other side of the world about the original owner of this sword.

Information given by the book Naam-en Ranglijst of 1876 (list of names of officers of the Dutch Army as well as the Royal Army of the Dutch East Indies) mention a Jhr. W.O.G. Bloys van Treslong, born in 1845 and died in 1875.

Information given by the list of names of officers 1868:
2e lieutenant of the fifth infantry regiment on 2 July 1866 (in ´sHertogenbosch).

In the list of 1875: he became 1st lieutenant on 22 july 1868 and detached to the East Indies for two years. In that of 1876, there is only a statement about his death in 1875. He belonged to the Royal Dutch Army and was detached for two years in the East Indies.

Big Commander, it's a bit like pulling teeth but it's great a thread of information still exists. In Australia we have much of our military history archived in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and it is possible to do searches on details of individual soldiers. Through this resource I have perused and taken photocopies of my own grandfathers service records in the first world war, even down to his pay sheets ( they didn't get paid a lot while overseas fighting!! ). Is this the case in the Netherlands? is there a Military archive which would give personal details, service records for our friend Willem?

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 08/10/2006 9:59:16 PM
Message:
I'm looking into it. Just some info on the side for now. The Royal Military Academy is still in the city of Breda. Some additional facts you received from the Dutch lady employed at the "Museum Bronbeek Arnhem" are interesting because until now we didn't know that he had been 2nd Lieutenant of the 5th Infantry Regiment on the 2nd July 1866 at the city of 'sHertogenbosh.
Arnhem being the city were "Operation Market Garden" took place in 1944. If ever you read the book or saw the movie "A bridge to far" you will remember that this British-Polish operation was not a succes and many commandos thanked their return to the friendly lines to the Dutch resistance.
I'll contact Arnhem just to see what "there is just a statement about his death in 1875" means to them, but I'm afraid it will be nothing more as what you can read on the scabbard.
W'll see what the Military Academy has to say about name lists of their students. Probably all documents went to the National Archives in Den Haag.
The "trick with the dove" will be to find the correct and interested person. Some patience is necessary.


Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 10/11/2006 2:45:34 PM
Message:
I revive this post to let you know that this sword is not forgotten. It isn't as easy as I was thinking to go further into the past. Some good vibes are needed. It will come, I'm sure!

Reply author: deleur
Replied on: 10/12/2006 5:32:52 PM
Message:


quote: Originally posted by Sandgroper

Have moved this thread to the top to enable it to be easily found by some people doing some research for me "elsewhere".

In the meantime, anyone like to speculate how a sword owned by a Dutch officer who died in Sumatra in 1875 came to be in Perth Western Australia 100 years later?


In the 50's / 60's tens of thousands of dutch people emigrated to Australia and New Zeeland. Maybe this is how the swort ended up in Australia.

(Sorry that i just saw this topic. Could have easily tranlated it for you
)

Reply author: Big commander
Replied on: 10/12/2006 6:36:41 PM
Message:
Well ... your compatriot died in 1875 in Sumatra. The remaining questions in fact are: the name of the ship that took him there, of what did he die (combat -remember the Atjeh uprising- or disease) and where is he burried? Somebody is looking at it but it takes some time.
 
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