FIRST PATTERN 1887 SPRINGFIELD HOSPITAL CORPS KNIFE

$1,195.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1047-192

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Measuring about 17 inches overall with a 12-inch blade, just 1056 of these knives were made at Springfield Armory from 1889 through 1891. They were meant for use by medical personnel in clearing brush, making improvised splints, etc., in the field. This is the first pattern, with a blade that widens toward the tip, emphasizing its purpose as a cutting or chopping tool. The grip is turned and grooved maple. The crossguard and pommel are nickel plated brass. The blade has a rudimentary ricasso that fades out about midway across the blade.

The blade has a good point and edge with no nicks or chips. The metal shows mainly as smooth and a dull silver gray color. The obverse shows some dark gray and brown at the ricasso, and four broader areas, two in the middle and one at each end on the lower half of the blade.

The reverse of the blade is better. There are some darker spots at the ricasso and scattered midway along the blade, but the rectangular etched panel with clipped corners is partly visible and parts of the inscription can be made, which originally read in full, “HOSPITAL CORPS / U.S. ARMY” with the lower line accented with arrowheads at left and right.

The Type-II scabbard is excellent. The finish is complete and has good color. The brass throat and belt hook are firmly attached. The reverse of the scabbard body is stamped “ROCK ISLAND / ARSENAL” with the inspector’s initials “W.T.G” below and the reverse of the brass belt hook has a small “R.I.A.” stamp as well.

The grip, pommel and guard are excellent and the metal matches the blade in a muted silver gray tone.

This is a scarce knife in any condition and is a key piece in an Indian War or Spanish American War collection, and an essential part of any collection of US military knives.  [sr]

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