US 1832 PATTERN INFANTRY SERGEANT’S SWORD BELT WITH REGULATION SHORT SWORD

$2,300.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1097-22

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This is a scarce example of the 1832 pattern sword belt and short sword for infantry sergeants and company musicians. This was regulation until the 1840 patterns were adopted, produced, and issued, and likely remained in use for some time thereafter at remote posts and in state forces. The belt is white buff leather with sword frog suspended from the brass loops joining the three-piece belt. A buckle adjusts the size and the belt fastens using the early 1832-34 style double-disk plate with a US eagle on one disk and a stack of muskets between a “US” on the other, indicating infantry use. O’Donnell and Campbell suggest the casting pattern and flat back of this plate may mark it as a product of the Allegheny Arsenal, which began making its own infantry accouterments in 1833. (See, Am. Mil. Belt Plates, Fig. 247.) In any case, this is a nice example of a Seminole War and Alamo period belt rig. The leather is in excellent shape, flexible and retains good color.

This belt comes with an 1832 pattern short sword and scabbard in place. Civil War collectors are familiar with it as a regulation arm for heavy artillery, but it saw wide use among state units and militia groups before the war and its impressive hilt made it popular among fraternal organizations as well. The last US contract deliveries were made in 1862, but it is seen in photographs throughout the war and some even made it onto naval vessels in lieu of cutlasses. The brass hilt of this one has a pleasing, medium patina with just minor wear marks or age spots, and no dents. The eagle on either side of the pommel shows some wear to the high spots from handling, but is distinct. The feathered grip is very good. No ordnance markings on bottom of the crossguard are visible, but the “W.A.T.” inspector mark of William A. Thornton in a side flat of the crossguard is crisp. The blade has a good edge and point, with minor brown spots near the guard and some thin darker gray staining on either side of the single fuller toward the point. There is a short line along the edge of the single fuller on one side showing some slight pitting that was partially polished out. The blade largely shows bright from the polishing, which has begun to tone down slightly, but softened the markings at the ricasso. One side of the ricasso shows a clear US / 184[.] / JCB. The other shows parts of the N.P AMES / SPRINGFIELD, stamp, but the eagle is not visible. The last two digits of the date are faint. The third seems to be a “4,” which would fit with the inspection mark of Joseph C. Bragg, who operated from 1841 to 1849. The last numeral cannot be made out. The black leather scabbard is excellent, with good color and surface, tight reverse seam, and just minor abrasion lines. The brass mounts have a medium patina, like the hilt, though naturally show less rubbing from handling.

This is a very nice example of a scarce early US infantry belt with appropriate sword from the period of the Seminole Wars, the Alamo, and early US expansion into the west. It would fit well in a US edged weapons collection or a display relating the Mexican War, the antebellum U.S. Army, and the Civil War as well.  [sr]

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