Quantity Available: None
Item Code: 20-2570
This identified battle weapon is an original, Model 1840 Civil War officer's regulation cavalry saber with its original steel metal scabbard manufactured by the firm of W. Walscheid of Solingen, Prussia (now Germany). According to the fine sword reference book of author John Thillmann, not very much is known about the W. Walscheid firm. It appears the company was in business only long enough to produce sabers during the American Civil War. Interestingly, their edged weapons are seldom seen in the collecting field today and their cavalry officer's sabers are extremely rare.
The steel scabbard is identified to Colonel Francis L. Lee of the Field and Staff in the 44th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. According to cursory records, Francis Lee was a thirty-nine year old student when he was commissioned as a Major in the Field and Staff of the 4th Battalion of Massachusetts Infantry on May 27, 1862. He mustered out on May 31 at Boston, MA. Four months later on August 25, Lee was promoted to full Colonel and on Sep 12, he gained a commissioned and mustered into the 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry regiment. A uniformed picture of Colonel Francis Lee wearing a sword around his waist that appears to be this very weapon is found on the HDS database.
The Colonel's cavalry saber features an embellished brass hilt and a handsome, slightly curved, high quality steel blade that measures 32" long. Blade has a width of 1 1/8" with a 25¼" long stopped fuller and 17" narrow fuller. A maker's mark is found on the reverse ricasso and features the name "W. WALSCHEID / SOLINGEN" cleanly stamped in strong letters. Sides of this lustrous blade wear a fine but light, dusky gray satin finish overall with just a few scattered salt and pepper age spots. Blade has no edge nicks and appears to have been slightly cleaned some time ago. Both flats of the blade exhibit a smooth and plain surface free of any embellishments save for an acid-etched Latin inscription on the obverse side that reads "Nunguam non paratus" which translates into "Never Unprepared". Inscription is located within a double-bordered rectangular etched frame located some 5¼" from the ricasso. The embellished, cast brass hilt is typical of sword hilts on almost all of Solingen-made M1840 cavalry officers' sabers. With a symmetrical two-branch guard integrated into the knucklebow, the hilt displays the acanthus fan on the inside quillon, a cast laurel leaf on both upper branches, inside and outside, and shows an ornate foliate design at the knucklebow / pommel junction. Hilt also retains its original, intact, brown leather pad or washer. Grips are in spectacular condition and employ the typical M1840 grooved wooden handle that is cord wrapped and then covered with gray sharkskin. A fine single-twisted, brass gilded wire rests within the grooves and turns around the grip fifteen times, with each turn flanked by two strands of brass gilded wire. Brass wire wrap is tight and strong. The Phygerian-style brass pommel cap exhibits a single, medium-height, domed cap with a cast oak leaf design along the edges and a peened blade tang.
Lee's original imported steel scabbard is in excellent condition and exhibits a pleasing, dark plum and gray patina overall. Completely unadorned, the scabbard is strong and tight with a smooth hard surface. Visible are two small screws, one on each side of the throat. An inscription just below the throat reads "F. L. Lee / from / J A C / 1862". Upper two-thirds of the scabbard have acquired the dark oxidation patina coloring while the bottom portion retains the dusky gray coloring. Some spots of scattered pinprick pitting are evident, as is one slight ding some four inches above the drag. Scabbard has no ring bands but two ring mounts that are tight and each secures a 1¼" diameter sword ring.
This identified, Walscheid-marked regulation M1840 cavalry officer's heavy edged weapon with its embellished hilt is an excellent condition, seldom-seen specimen most worthy of any Civil War blade display or collection.