WAR OF 1812 STARR 1812/13 CONTRACT SABER

$1,195.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 998-124

In March 1812 Nathan Starr received a U.S. contract for 5,000 cavalry sabers. Late in the year, after 1,000 had been delivered, the design was changed slightly and in January 1813 the outstanding number of swords to be delivered under the contract was increased to 10,000. These would arm not only the two regiments of U.S. dragoons, but state forces as well under the Militia Act of 1808. Starr delivered them from 1813 through 1817. These sabers are iron hilted, with birdshead pommels, reverse-P guards, and curved single edged blades and clipped point. The blades not only had a pronounced curve, but were set at a noticeable angle to the hilt. Scabbards are iron, japanned black, with two carrying rings for saber slings.

This example has an excellent blade, bright, likely cleaned carefully some time ago, preserving sharp maker and inspection stamps on the obverse ricasso: “P / HHP / N.STARR,” indicating proof and acceptance by U.S. inspector Henry H. Perkin. The leather washer is in place at the blade shoulder. The blade has an excellent edge and point. There is just one very small pitting mark near the hilt on reverse near the edge and a couple of small marks just above the inspection and maker stamps.

The hilt is smooth metal, mostly iron gray with some brown striping. The knucklebow correctly shows a “P” inspection mark on the exterior near the angle and is slotted for a sword knot. The grip is good, though showing some finish loss on either side, mostly at the pommel, with some lesser rubs midway down, but only one or two small spots that show any of the underlying wood. The scabbard has its throat, screw, carrying rings and drag in place. The surface is blackened and fairly smooth, but with some gray showing nearing the carrying ring bands and a small spot of surface rust on one side of the drag.

This is an exceptionally nice example of the US regulation War of 1812 enlisted cavalry saber that would fit a collection focused on that conflict, early western expansion, or regulation US swords. Some of these, like their pattern 1818 cousins, later found their way into service at the beginning of the Civil War at the sides of hard-pressed southern cavalry as well.   [sr]

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