CONFEDERATE FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD MADE AND MARKED BY BOYLE, GAMBLE AND MCFEE OF RICHMOND

$6,000.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-599

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This is an excellent example of the “open guard” style of foot officer’s sword made by Boyle, Gamble, and McFee of Richmond, VA, which bears their company name and address cast in raised letters on the reverse underside of the guard. It mounts a fairly wide, just slightly curved, blade with a central, unstopped fuller. The metal is generally smooth, with a good edge and point. The tone is an even steel gray with scattered darker gray age spots, though the obverse shows some broader gray areas on the lower third of the blade near the tip and a little bit of shallow pitting at the false edge.

The blade pad is in place under the guard. The black leather grip wrap is excellent. The double-wire binding is in place. The pommel cap is shaped like that of a cavalry saber and the hilt consists of a knuckleguard with a large oval loop at the pommel for a sword knot, and two side branches that are close together like those appearing in an 1850 foot officer’s sword guard, but not connected by cast openwork floral elements, hence the “open guard” designation used by some collectors. The quillon terminal is the correct wide pattern with flat sides and three grooves on the leading edge.

The brass hilt has a wonderful, untouched, mellow patina to the brass. The blade tang is undisturbed on the pommel cap, and the brass itself has few, if any, handling marks. The underside of the counterguard even has a few trace of original gilt near the lettering of the firm name. There is no scabbard.

Boyle and Gamble owned the Old Dominion Saw Works in Richmond, so edged weapons were a natural area to move into. McFee was a pattern maker, so their brasswork may owe something to him. Bazelon has suggested the partnership of the three was confined to work done under government contract, while Boyle and Gamble sold more broadly. In any case, they made a wide variety of swords, short swords, bayonets, and knives, and were also known for their patented bayonet adapter, which enabled saber bayonets to be mounted on a variety of long arms.

This is one of the classic Confederate swords by a very well-known maker and carries the firm address as well. See Albaugh and other standard reference works for some nice parallels, but there is nothing like owning one yourself.  [sr]  [ph:M]

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