SCARCE 1859 DATED AMES “MODEL 1860” LIGHT CAVALRY SABER

$1,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2570

This 1859 dated light cavalry saber by Ames is in very good condition, with original leather, wire, nice hilt, blade, and scabbard, and clear maker and inspector marks, the latter of which match on the blade and scabbard drag. Ames seems to have been in discussions with the Ordnance Department about a “new pattern” cavalry saber as early as December 1856, which may have involved some samples. The first contracts and deliveries were in 1857, though production overlapped with the 1840 pattern into 1858. This saber is likely from Ames’s November 1858 contract for 1,000 sabers, which were delivered through April 29, 1859, or from his March 1859 contract for 5,000 sabers, of which 3,600 were delivered through February 18, 1860. In any case, 1859 dated examples are tough to find and this one is nice and the markings are sharp.

The hilt has an undisturbed medium patina, with no bends or breaks, and an undisturbed peen of the blade tang on the pommel, showing it has never been apart. The leather has a nice surface, and is 95 percent there, but does show some small wear spots, mostly on the right, where the palm of the trooper’s hand would rub it most. The binding wire is original as well, in place and tight. On the underside of the guard the sealing pad is present and very good. The blade has a very good edge and point. The metal is smooth, and shows mostly as a muted silver mixed with thin dusty gray, with occasionally darker gray spots and some brown staining on the lower portion at the ricasso and the area of cross-polishing. There is only one abrasion to the blade on each side just above the ricasso, likely from a throat spring. The markings are sharp. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the Ames three-line block letter address: AMES MFg Co / CHICOPEE. / MASS. The obverse is stamped U.S. / JH / 1859.


The scabbard is very good as well, with no dents, only one tiny ding on the obverse an inch or so from the tip. The scabbard is smooth metal and shows its original brown, with some slight rubbing to brighter metal from handling at the ring bands. The drag is inspector marked JH, which matches the blade.

This is a very good pre-war Ames cavalry saber that would have seen service throughout the war. It would add to a cavalry, edged weapons, or even a specifically Ames collection. Sabers dated 1859 are tough to find, particularly in such nice shape.  [sr] [ph:L]

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