ORIGINAL, DATED 1860 AMES MODEL 1860 LIGHT CAVALRY SABER AND SCABBARD IN GOOD CONDITION

$1,350.00

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Item Code: 172-3367

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Here is a pre-Civil War Ames saber specimen and forerunner of the type issued to Federal horsemen during the War. Produced by the Chicopee, Massachusetts firm of Ames Sword Company, this weapon is the Model 1860 Light Cavalry saber that was initially called the ‘new pattern’ 1860 saber.

This edged weapon is dated “1860” on the ricasso and was one of five thousand such ‘new pattern’ Model 1860 sabers that Ames delivered under its 1859 contract to the Ordnance Dept from 1859 through early 1861. Interestingly, by order of then U.S. Secretary of War John B. Floyd 1,200 sabers of this 5,000 unit batch of 1859 contract sabers were sent south to Virginia just prior to the war. Considered a lighter, more maneuverable and finely made weapon than its predecessor the M1840 Wristbreaker, the light cavalry saber weighed 3lbs, 7 oz. in the scabbard.

Blade length of the saber measures 34½”, width is 1 3/32” with a wide fuller 27½” long and the narrow fuller 18¼” long. Blade is slightly curved with a mottled medium gray sheen overall. Shows normal age discoloration and moderate rust pitting overall. Center areas on both sides of the blade edge are heavily eroded or etched. Numerous edge nicks visible. Marked on the obverse riccasso is “U.S. / ADH / 1860.” Date is thin. Reverse ricasso bears the scroll pattern maker’s mark “AMES MFG CO / CHICOPEE / MASS.” that is very thin and barely visible.

Brass hilt retains its original leather washer and a domed pommel cap that bears two inspectors stamps of “JH” and “L_ ” on the brim. Second very thin. Brass two-branch guard and knucklebow are strong, tight and wear a pleasing light patina overall. Outer branches just slightly bent back and the quillon has been bent forward toward the blade back. All brass wears old patina, never cleaned. The shallow grooved, center-swell wood handle grips feature black leather wrap in very dry and shrunken original condition. Brass wire wrap is slightly loose. Leather has slight cracking at the pommel area in addition to some light wood loss.

The indented steel scabbard has acquired a dark plum patina. Two ring mounts are tight and secure two 1 1/8” diameter sword rings. Original scabbard retains its throat collar. No inspector marks discernable on the drag. Drag slipper exhibits almost no angle wear. Cannot say with any certainty, but this is one of the early production Ames light cavalry sabers and possibly one of those 1,200 pieces that went south before the war.

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