SCHUYLER, HARTLEY AND GRAHAM SILVER GRIPPED TRANSITIONAL 1860 STAFF AND FIELD SWORD

$650.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-401

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As Thillmann notes, the 1860 Staff and Field is a misnomer derived from Peterson’s classification of the 1860 Staff sword that morphed into the 1872 Staff and Line officers’ sword. This one dates about 1870, showing elements of both forms, along with an 1834 style silver grip pressed to imitate a wire wrapping. The sword rates very good to excellent, with loss of gilt to the pommel, but strong remnants on the rest of the hilt, and a bright blade with strong etching showing some small age spots.

The lantern pommel has a leaf and berry starburst on the top and the standard shield and U.S. eagle on a wreath on the sides. It shows strong detailing, though the gilt has vanished from handling, as does the upper grip ferrule. Both ferrules have deeply cast floral motifs. The silver grip has good surface and a muted patina. The cast and chased motifs of the guard are deep and crisp, with nice gilt remaining. The motifs include a short scroll at top of the knucklebow and Roman style coiled thunderbolts from the detailed central floral medallion. As also is typical of the 1860 staff, the knucklebow splits at bottom to form the cross guard and quillon and to anchor the obverse counterguard. The crossguard bears just deep geometric line engraving but terminates in a quillon button bearing an animal or gargoyle face. The obverse counterguard bears a deeply cast and chased eagle superimposed on banners, but with a wreath and with a U.S. shield on its chest, which is omitted on the usual 1860 staff sword. The reverse counterguard is hinged, as on the 1860 staff, and instead of being plain, has a stippled ground with cast U.S. shield on a display of crossed arms and oak and laurel wreath.

The blade is arris (diamond) shaped, an early feature, etched, “Schuyler / Hartley / & / Graham” on one side above the ricasso. The frosted etched panel on either side ends at top with a scalloped spearpoint. Both sides show etched, geometrically arranged leafy tendrils and floral motifs mixed with martial elements. One side includes a U.S. shield, fork-tailed flag on a spearpoint pike and “U.S.” with sun rays to either side. The other side has a stand of arms at the bottom, with flag above and an eagle with raised wings and a U.S. shield on its chest farther along. The edge and point are good. There are scattered, small age spots, but the motifs are very clear and legible. The scabbard is blued, with the finish a deep plum, showing some thin freckling here and there. The ring mounts have narrow, floral cast, bands, with upper mount having double rings and the middle mount, one. The drag is shoe style, but bears a cast flower petal at bottom center, with leaves flaring out to the sides. The petal nicely mirrors the one on the knucklebow. The embellishment, like the upper double ring mount, is part of the evolution of the pattern into the 1872.

This “1860 Staff and Field” truly merits a “transitional” classification and is rather pretty, with excellent detailing, silver grip, and strong gilt. It would be a very good looking and instructive addition to a U.S. sword collection.  [sr] [ph:m]

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