CONFEDERATE CAVALRY SABER BY FROELICH

$10,000.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-614

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This is a very early and possibly unique Confederate cavalry saber, possibly even a cavalry officer’s saber, by Louis Froelich. It uses a crudely cast, heavy, thick guard, with the side branches branching off from the knucklebow at two different points in a typically Froelich fashion. The heaviness of the casting, in marked contrast to some of his officer’s swords, can be seen on some of his other cavalry sabers- note the saber at left on page 60 of McAden and Fonvielle, which also shares an unfinished underside on the guard plainly showing its sand casting. The pommel shows his typical, smooth profile, but has a tang mound. The leather grip wrap is very good with some minor flaking and losses to the finish, but no holes, just a little wood visible next to the guard. The wire binding is complete and intact, consisting of two loosely, irregularly twisted strands of coiled wire.

The blade is 35-inches long with an unstopped fuller, smooth metal, muted silver gray in color with scattered dark gray spots, single edged and gently curving in typical cavalry saber form. There are some nicks to the edge of the blade about a third of the way out. The tip is good, but has a slight bend, the result of a missing drag on the scabbard.

The scabbard is leather covered with reverse seam and wood lined. The wood extends a few inches beyond the leather, which is solid, but shows a good deal of flaking to the finish, but is generally black in color with some abrasion to brown. The brass mounts match the hilt in the heaviness of the casting. The upper mount is cast with an integral flat throat and is very angular. The ring band is made of separate, flat brass strap and is actually pinned in place. The middle mount appears very unusual at first, circular, with notches at top and bottom and flat, integral, ring band, but seems rather a version of the throat on some Froelich officer’s swords that has a semicircular flange coming down on either side of the scabbard- see McAden and Fonvielle p.39 left and middle, p.46 bottom and 48 right, and p.55 bottom right. In this case it might be more accurate to think of the middle mount has having a similar flange extending up and down the scabbard from the ring band. The form of the drag, of course, is unknown.

The sword is unmarked, as is to be expected, though the upper mount has a very neatly done “A.A.” lightly scratched into it. This is likely an owner, though it one person wondered whether it might have been Alexander Adrian, one of Froelich’s employees at Wilmington between September 1861 and March 1863 (see M&F, p.38.) Froelich emigrated from Bavaria to the U.S. by way of England and by early 1861 was settled in Wilmington, NC, where he first appears as an employee of Wilmington Button Manufactory, run by two fellow German immigrants. That business closed in mid-summer 1861, but Froelich is mentioned soon after as making arms and by September he was in business with a partner as the Wilmington Sword Manufactory. He produced arms throughout the war, with some pauses, which was a tribute to his determination: he survived his partner’s dishonest business dealings, an outbreak of Yellow Fever, fires, federal cavalry raids, a move from Wilmington to Kenansville, and changes of business name to the Confederate States Arms Factory and Confederate States Armory. All the while, he turned out a large assortment of swords, sabers, bayonets, sword bayonets, pikes, knives, axes, accouterments and other vital military supplies. Formerly in the collection of Kevin Hoffman, this is a very interesting example of his work.    [sr] [ph:L]

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