IMPORT MODEL 1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD WITH ID TO 28TH & 80TH NEW YORK OFFICER

$1,750.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 870-376

The drawn sword meas. approx. 37.25 inches long from point to pommel. It has a stopped fuller that meas. approx. 22.50 inches long with a narrow fuller that meas. 12.25 inches long. The blade surface is very clean and has very attractive etching. The true edge has two small and one rather deep nick approximately at the midpoint.

The etching on the blade is strong. The obverse etching features a clamshell decoration just above the blank ricasso followed by linear decorations and topped by a fern. Next comes an area of scrollwork with a panoply of flags worked in. Above the scrollwork is a spread-winged eagle followed by more scrollwork with another panoply crowned by a wreath of laurel. The reverse of the blade features the same decoration as the obverse but with a block “U.S” in place of the eagle. The reverse ricasso is also blank but the top of the spine is marked “IRON PROOF.” This area is also stamped with a small number “8.” Only half of the leather washer is present at the base of the blade.

The detailed brass hilt features a guard and knucklebow with a delicately cast single-band with cutout oak leaf scrolls and acanthus leaves. Brass hilt is tight to the blade tang. Hilt features a grooved, center-swelled wooden handle wrapped in high quality gray sharkskin that shows light wear from age and handling. Normal seam is evident on the back side of the grip. Skin is bound with twisted brass wire flanked by straight wire. This wire is tight throughout but for the bottom course which shows a slight sag. Brass pommel is decorated with ornate scrollwork of laurel leaves and features a rounded capstan at top. Casting on the hilt and pommel is well executed. Overall the hilt is in excellent condition but does show some residue in the low areas from a cleaning agent. Some of the cleaner also appears to have gotten on the sharkskin at top and bottom leaving a light stain.

The leather scabbard is good with moderate crazing and moderate amounts of surface finish loss. There is one weak spot approx. 8.00 inches above the drag but this does not appear to be too bad as the leather is holding well. Brass mounts and drag are plain except for scalloped edges with some delicate linear decoration. Both mount rings are present. Drag exhibits several small dents. Upper mount moves a bit due to leather shrinkage.

Attached to the top ring is an old early to mid-twentieth century round paper label with a metal edge. Label reads “M.1978.43.4 VARICK REMSEN SWORD #4.” Also scotch taped to this label is another typed label headed “ANDERSON HOUSE MUSEUM” and reads “FOOR SOLDIER’S SWORD, 1850 / A RELATIVELY RARE EXAMPLE OF A LITTLE-KNOWN TYPE OF AMERICAN MILITARY SWORD. FROM THE VARICK FAMILY OF NEW YORK.”

Remsen Varick was born March, 5, 1843 in Poughkeepsie, New York. By profession he was a clerk, druggist.

On July 14, 1864 the 21 year old was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Company E, 28th New York Infantry to serve three months. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on September 1, 1864 and was mustered out on November 13, 1864. During his time with the 28th the regiment served in Elmira presumably guarding Confederate prisoners.

On December 26, 1864 at City Point, Virginia, Varick was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in Company I, 80th New York Infantry. At the time the regiment was serving with the Provost Guard of the Army of the Potomac. Varick took part in the final assault on Petersburg on April2, 1865.

From April 22, to November 7th the regiment was in Richmond. During that time Lieutenant Varick was in charge of a small boat plying the river between Richmond and City Point. Eventually the regiment was moved to Portsmouth where it was mustered out on January 29, 1866.

After the war Varick returned to Poughkeepsie where he died on May 29, 1882 at the age of 39. He is buried in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.

With the sword comes a small amount of Xeroxed internet research which includes a wartime photo found on the web.   [ad]

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