RARE M1840 U.S. ARTILLERY OFFICER’S SABER MADE BY AMES BUT ETCHED AND RETAILED BY SCHUYLER, HARTLEY AND GRAHAM: THE ONE IN THE BOOK!

$15,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-637

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This is an extremely rare M1840 U.S. artillery officer’s saber made by Ames but etched and retailed by Schuyler, Hartley and Graham. Thillmann knew only of this one example, and until it was found it was unclear if Schuyler, Hartley and Graham retailed any artillery officer’s sabers at all since their catalog illustration looked so much like an enlisted version. This exact sword is illustrated and discussed in Thillmann’s valuable book, “Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers.”

The grip, guard and blade are typical Ames products. The hilt is unadorned and the knucklebow follows the 1840 light artillery pattern, but with a long quillon and the high dome pommel seen on Ames wartime enlisted hilts. The grip is leather wrapped and bound with standard twisted brass wire. The bridle leather washer is in place on the underside of the guard. The scabbard body is plain steel, as is the drag, but the throat, ring bands and rings are brass, marking it as an officer’s saber. The mounts are plain, but carefully worked, the ring bands being nicely contoured with collared channeling between the rounded band and the loop for the sling ring.

The blade is fully etched across its width, not just in the fuller, in the “large foliate style” similar to that used on pre-war Ames 1840 cavalry officer’s sabers, but with the Schuyler, Hartley and Graham firm name etched in the fuller under a palmette on the bottom reverse, just above the ricasso. The etched blade motifs also omit a “U.S.” amid the entwined leafy branches and floral elements in panels that terminate on each side in Arabesque spearpoints. The etching is fully visible, but thinly applied. Thillmann refers to it as “beautifully executed.” The only parallel he could find for a similar Ames-made officer’s saber with S.H.&G. etching was a cavalry officer’s saber sold at auction in 1989.

The condition is excellent and all original. The pommel and tip of the blade tang are smooth, showing the sword has never been apart. The brass hilt has a medium patina. The leather grip shows some wear spots but has never had any leather treatment or polish applied. The scabbard is smooth metal and in the bright, showing just some very small gray spots with pin-point pricks on the drag. The blade is excellent. Thillmann remarked it was at some point “carefully sharpened,” which, “did not affect the fine blade etching.” We see only scattered thin gray spotting with just a couple of darker gray spots on the reverse false edge near the tip.

When originally introduced in 1840, these sabers were authorized both for mounted officers of artillery and infantry, i.e. field and staff, but the 1850 patterns largely limited them to officers of light artillery and they are scarce by any maker. This is an exceptional example, a combined effort by the most prominent sword maker and best-known military goods retailer of the period, literally “the one in the book,” and offers a unique opportunity for the advanced collector of U.S. edge weapons.  [sr] [ph:L]

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