SCARCE 1843 PATTERN REVENUE-MARINE SWORD

$4,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-38

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

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

The Ames Sword Company catalog of 1882/83 lists this sword as number 538 and describes it as the “Old Regulation Revenue and Marine,” by which they mean the old regulation “Revenue-Marine,” the earliest designation of the Coast Guard, established in 1790 as an armed customs service, several years before the establishment of the U.S. Navy. The “old regulation” sword thus predates the one then in service (adopted about 1870) and the regulation US Navy officer sword used by the service for several years starting in 1862. It thus was likely the pattern adopted under the service’s 1843 regulations or even their 1834 regulations, both of which were vague. In any case, our example features a U.S. shield with twenty-six stars on the obverse counterguard, fixing its design to 1837-1845, thus likely under the 1843 regulations. And, it may even date the manufacture of the sword. The example illustrated by Peterson has thirty-one stars, so it looks like they were keeping track of the count.

The hilt is gilt brass with a silver grip. The globular pommel is topped with a five-pointed star. The reverse has an American eagle. The obverse shows a burst of arrow-headed thunderbolts headed downward from behind a scrolling ribband bearing the word, “Liberty,” with thirteen stars above. The silver grip is finely detailed in a spiral band and rope pattern. The quillons are deeply cast and chased in an elongated flower and bud finial design (in contrast to acorn finials on the USN officer’s sword, as Peterson notes.) Both the reverse and obverse counterguards are hinged. The reverse is a plain oval. The obverse is a very detailed, deeply cast and chased eagle with spread wings clutching an American shield.

The blade is double-edged and oval in cross-section. Both sides are etched. The obverse has a flowering branch rising from the ricasso and above it a fouled anchor inside an oval wreath topped by a trophy of arms and flags, from which extends a pole topped by a liberty cap. Over that an eagle with raised wings clutches arrows and an olive branch, and holds a dry-point etched E Pluribus Unum ribband in its beak with a sunburst overhead. The panel finishes with an extended leafy branch knotted at the base and short section of oak leaves and acorns. The reverse is similarly etched, but instead of the fouled anchor and trophy of arms, a relaxed sailor leans back against some netting, with coils of rope at his feet, smoking a pipe.

The sword rates very good to excellent for condition. The hilt preserves a lot of bright gold wash and impressive raised detail. The blade has no nicks and a good point. The etching is very visible throughout, bright at the base and slightly subdued on thinner frosting toward the tip. There are some small gray spots to the bright metal above the etched panels, mainly on the edges, and some places where the frosting next to the bright etching has shifted slightly toward gray. The sword lacks a scabbard, but is impressive overall and is a hard one to obtain at all. [sr]

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