1840’s U.S. MILITIA OFFICER’S SWORD WITH ETCHED BLADE

$850.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2157

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This is a nice example of a U.S. militia officer’s sword of the 1840s, pushing toward 1850 with its use of sharkskin grip. Peterson #116 is a nice parallel, though with a conventional bone grip. He calls it a “militia staff officer’s sword,” which is another way of saying it is not U.S. regulation, but is very nice. He dates the style 1840-1860, which allows for some personal preference on the part of an officer who might favor and earlier fashion. We see no maker or retailer markings, but there was an increasing number of military goods and “fancy goods” merchants during the period.

The hilt and scabbard are brass, nicely detailed and certainly gilt originally, now with a matching, untouched, aged patina. The pommel is a knights-head, a visored and crested helmet, showing just a trace of gilt under the crest, with a chain knuckleguard linked to one quillon finial of the cruciform hilt, cast with straight quillons and up-and-down langets. The grip is sharkskin wrapped and bound with a single twisted wire. The guard is cast and chased with beads, acanthus leaves and foliate scrolls. The langets have slightly rounded tips. The quillons have ball finials, cast and chased with floral motifs as well, which also reflect the scabbard engraving.

The brass scabbard matches the patina of the hilt and is a flattened diamond in cross section. The carrying rings are mounted directly on the scabbard, two at top and one at the midpoint, with bands engraved on the obverse from which a long triangle with leafy border extends up and down from each. The drag is a simple shoe style with narrow blade and, as with the upper mounts, is engraved with an elongated leaf-edged triangle, extending upward. As with the hilt there are some slight traces of gilt. There are a few slight pressure dents or creases, mostly on the reverse. One crosses the upper engraving of he middle mount, but is shallow. Another slightly deeper is two or three inches below the lower engraving. Only in one spot on the reverse of that dent was the lower edge pinched enough to create a very small crack, which is stable, as is the scabbard as a whole.

The blade is an 1834 officer’s style, straight with double edge with spearpoint, slightly diamond or arris shaped in cross-section, with a narrow central fuller, unstopped about an inch from the tip of the langet and extending about two-thirds of the way from the hilt. The blade is etched from the base, even under the langets, with oak leaves and acorns leading to floral scrolls. Above this is a tall set of crossed flags with spearpoint tips adorned with ribbons, between which extends a pole with liberty cap, over which is sunburst with rounded rays at the end of the fuller. The etching then extends onto the rounded portion of the blade with more floral scrolls ending in the leaf-edged point of frosted background. The blade edge and point are good. The etching is visible throughout. The blade is largely a muted silver in color.

This is a nice Mexican War era officer’s sword with an untouched patina on the exterior and a nicely preserved etched blade that displays well when drawn.  [sr] [ph:L]

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