SCARCE HORSTMANN & SONS 1840 MUSICIAN’S SWORD

$165.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 286-510

Horstmann-made 1840 musicians’ swords are fairly scarce. The company was a huge military goods operation and had army contracts, but in 1862 the Holt Owens Commission on Ordnance and Ordnance Stores met to consider whether Horstmann was violating his contracts by not actually making the swords himself. Emerson, of Emerson and Silver, helpfully testified to the commission that he had actually sold blades to Horstmann for use in fulfilling his contracts, and voila, the commission solved two problems at once, cancelling Horstmann’s contracts, cutting him out as middle man, and handing the orders over to Emerson and Silver. In July and September 1861 Horstmann had supplied 1,024 musician’s swords. It was not until 1864 that he got another contract, for just 500. He made more than just those contracted for by the federal government, of course, but the numbers give an idea of their relative scarcity.

There is no scabbard, but the blade on this example is very good. There are no edge nicks or chips and no pitting. The color is bright mixed with muted silver with just some slight graying, a few age spots of brown near at the ricasso, and a few spots of old grease. A few pieces of the blade pad are present at the base of the blade. The hilt has a medium aged tone and no damage. The company mark is on the reverse ricasso, reading “Horstmann / & Sons” in two lines. Interestingly, “Philadelphia” has been stamped below that, but upside down. That designation for the firm tends to change in 1862, so this is likely one of their early war products, before their friends in the business cut them out.  [sr]

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