HIGH GRADE US 1860 STAFF OFFICER’S SWORD BY AMES WITH GILT SCABBARD

$4,000.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-399

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This beautiful, high quality sword by Ames follows the printed regulations for the 1860 sword for “officers of the general staff and staff corps” except on two points. Rather than horn, it a sharkskin grip, which is typical of Ames and appears even on the one known US Ordnance marked example. Secondly, it has a wonderful, engraved gilt brass scabbard with deeply cast and chased mounts. Most importantly, it is a beautiful sword in stellar condition.

The brass hilt has very full, vibrant gilt coverage. The lantern pommel has a leaf and berry starburst on the top, a blank shield-shaped plaque on the reverse and U.S. eagle on the obverse, with the space between punch decorated to give the impression of stars. The knuckleguard is pierced for a knot at top and cast and chased with foliate scrolls and a central flower motif from which dart coiled lightning bolts toward pommel and counterguard. As is typical, the knuckleguard splits at bottom, one branch continuing on to form the crossguard and quillon, and is plain on the reverse to match the plain, folding reverse counterguard. The obverse of the branch is cast and chased with floral motifs to match the secondary branch and obverse counterguard, which bears a high-relief American eagle with arrows and olive branch superimposed on a panoply of flags. The sharkskin grip is excellent, with deep gray color and full, textured surface. The ferrules with floral designs have full gilt coverage matching the rest of the hilt. The wire binding is in place and tight.

The scabbard is gilt brass with 90 percent or better finish with cast and chased decorative mounts, engraving on the scabbard body between, and separately applied branch with oak leaves and acorns at the drag. The best parallel for some elements is a March 1864 presentation to Surgeon Martin of the 2nd ME Cavalry shown by Thillmann in US Army swords, 437-38. The upper scabbard mount carries two rings with a cast and chased central oval showing a Roman soldier clutching a scroll to his chest, holding the top of his shield and standing before a legionary standard and what appears to be a short column decorated with victory garlands. The pose suggests a dedication to service and reflects the legionary style thunderbolts on the kuncklebow of the sword. Between the upper and middle mounts the scabbard body is engraved with a long rectangular, clip-cornered cartouche with floral scroll borders, space for a presentation inscriptions. The single-ring middle mount carries deep floral and geometric motifs. The engraving then picks up again midway to the drag with an extended series of floral scrolls and raffles. The lower portion of the scabbard has short beaded leaf followed by a separately applied long branch with oak leaves and acorns. The drag itself is a simple button. The reverse of the scabbard and the mounts is plain, but engraved in a clipped-corner cartouche near the throat is, “Made by / Ames Mfg Co. / Chicopee Mass” identical to that on the Ames sword illustrated by Thillmann.

The blade is diamond (arris) shaped with bright finish and high-quality etching with vivid frosting, floral, patriotic, and military motifs. The reverse is drypoint etched “Ames Mfg Co. / Chicopee / Mass” in script just above the ricasso, with floral scrolls and an arabesque chevron above leading to a tall stand of arms with short floral scrolls and a typically Ames eagle set transversely with raised wings and foliate banner scroll overhead, terminating with a chevron and vine. The obverse uses a tall stand of arms and flags as the central device with sections of latticework, floral scrolls, arabesque chevrons, and vines. The etching elaborate, but shows the highest quality with the designer knowing how to handle the motifs freely, but without them getting away from him.

Adopted for officers “of the general staff and staff corps” in 1860, this sword pattern was also used by general officers. Peterson incorrectly designated it a, “staff and field officer’s sword,” a name that has, unfortunately, stuck. It is also frequently confused with the later regulation 1872 “staff and line officer’s sword,” which is fairly common and used all the way up to 1902 in the regular army, national guard, veteran and fraternal organizations, etc. See Thillmann’s Civil War Army Swords, chapt. 17, pages 425-460 for a full discussion.

The condition is outstanding. The hilt, scabbard and blade are bright. The scabbard gilt finish shows just minor wear spots on some small high points such as the Roman soldier’s upraised arm, and the raised, beaded central veins of deeply cast leaves and the end of the oak branch at the drag. Please see our photos and ask for extra details if necessary. [SR] [ph:M]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

THANK YOU!

Inquire »

Inquire About HIGH GRADE US 1860 STAFF OFFICER’S SWORD BY AMES WITH GILT SCABBARD

should be empty