U.S. MIILITIA OFFICER’S EAGLE POMMEL SWORD 1835-1860

$895.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2020-93

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This eagle pommel sword has beautifully detailed casting and chasing to its ornate hilt and a blade that was tri-colored: bright-etched, blued, and gilt. There is no maker’s mark, but some have suggested Ames. The knucklebow is recurved and shows deeply cast and detailed floral and classical designs, as does the asymmetrical, down-turned counterguard, that has a scrolling crescent shape, emphasized by deeply incised curling lines and scrolling upper end. The main motif of the counterguard is an American eagle with U.S. shield on its breast that has high, raised upper edges to its wings. The crossguard terminates in a shell-shaped quillon. The grips are mother-of-pearl panels that are channeled for a twisted gilt brass wire that passes over the backstrap. The ferrule at the base of the grip is embossed gilt metal tape, displaying delicate thin trees and tall leaves. The small reverse guard has two, nested, fleur-de-lis.

The blade is a spadroon in form: straight, with wide central fuller, flat spine, and spear point near the tip. It was etched on each side with three sections highlighted in gilt and blue with bright etched panels between. The dominant motifs are floral scrolls and vines, but the gilt lower panels on either side are panoplies of arms and flags, as is the obverse central panel. The scabbard is gilt brass, matching the hilt, set up with a frog stud and with an upper and a lower carrying ring. It is engraved with floral motifs at the upper and middle rings, at the drag, and half-way between the lower mount and drag. There is are dot-and-crescent borders running down the upper end of the drag engraving.

Hilt and scabbard match, with lots of gilt finish mixed with bright brass. There is a small chip on the upper obverse grip panel, above the first turn of wire. Otherwise the grip is fine. The scabbard has a few very slight dings. The blade has a good edge and is smooth metal showing bright in many places, but with dark gray spotting and areas, and rubbing to the blue. The gilt is still strong. The frosting of the bright-etched panels has shifted to gray, but sets off the etched motifs very well.

Militia officers were guided by varied and loose regulations, so the quality of the sword is not a necessary indication of rank. Some of these swords known with provenance to regular army officers, who may have worn them on occasions when regulation arms were not required or were gifts from friends, family, or admirers. This is a very good example of a better quality and more expensive sword of the period. Militia weapons, uniforms and equipment are great combination of history and art. This would also look great paired with a militia daguerreotype of the period.  [sr]

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