Here's a great email concerning a fake sword on that recently appeared on ebay:
"This not a Nashville Plow Works sword, they looked nothing like this.
Authentic ones had "CSA" and "Nashville Plow Works" cast in large block
letters in the bronze counterguard. There was no maker's mark stamped
on the blade ricasso (see Albaugh "Confederate Edged Weapons" page 88).
This style sword is known as the "General Joe Shelby" model (Albaugh
page 122), and it has been widely reproduced. Authentic "Shelby's" had
a number stamped on the blade ricasso, not a maker's mark (certainly not
"NPW"). They are of unknown manufacture, with some theorizing they were
either James Conning or Leech & Rigdon.
A company called "Sword World" reproduced this sword in the 1960's and
stamped them with the names of various Confederate sword manufacturers.
They are now all over ebay, probably constituting about half of the
fakes I've seen recently. This sword is likely one of these "Sword
Note that the seller is selling this as "rare" and "authentic." When I
contacted him to tell him his description was wrong, his response was "I
beg to differ. Do your research!!!" Unlike most hucksters, who couch
their descriptions carefully to cover themselves, this seller actually
believes (or at least asserts) this is the real McCoy. So far, I've
saved two unknowing buyers by getting them to retract their bids."