US MODEL 1840 MEDICAL STAFF SWORD BY MILLER & CO. WITH MINTY ETCHING

$2,750.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 809-96

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Introduced in 1840 for army surgeons and assistant surgeons, this sword is in just the kind of condition you like to find in piece coming out an estate: just enough age to the hilt and scabbard combined with a near mint blade when unsheathed to show it was carried in the field, brought home by the veteran, and that it lay untouched for 150 years. This one follows the regulation pattern and is etched on the ricasso, behind the langet by the retailer, “Miller and Co. / New York.” This firm was operated by John Miller starting in 1863 as a successor to William Miller, thus dating the sword 1863-1865.

The eagle is placed in an oval cartouche on the obverse. The pineapple finial, acorn and oakleaf upper portion of the grip and floral decorated tulip-shaped lower portion are all crisp and nicely detailed. The Old-English “MS” is cast integrally with the langet and has thirteen stars below it on the panel. The brass scabbard is free of dents and the separate brass mounts are in place, plain on the reverse, and on the obverse decorated with cast stars and geometric and floral motifs. The two upper rings and single middle ring are in place. There is some nice gilt remaining on both hilt and scabbard. The scabbard shows some rubbing and some spots of verdigris on the reverse of the throat and drag. The hilt shows some on the obverse in the coil of the foliate crossguard branch at right and at upper left of the obverse langet, with some brown spots and some green on the reverse upper grip and blank blank langet.

Drawing the blade confirms how untouched the sword is. The etched frosted panels are vivid and near mint, terminating on either side with Arabesque spearpoints with concave edges and featuring long straight leafy vines. The obverse is etched with the vine running in the lower and upper portions of the panel. Prominent in the center, in script, is “U.S. Medical Staff, ” bordered by bright-etched flamboyant tentacles with arched bases. The reverse has a display of arms at the bottom featuring, drums, a US shield, two crossed flags with ribbons knotted around the spear points of their staffs and a tall halberd at center, with two sections of vine above, between which appears a display with U.S. flag, sword and the snake entwined Rod of Asclepius, a symbol of medicine and healing.

The condition of the etching is exceptional and this is a very nice example of the regulation Civil War sword for officers of the medical staff, who served not just at general hospitals, but in the field, serving under fire at the regimental, brigade, divisional and corps level.  [sr]

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