SCARCE AMES SOUTH CAROLINA ARTILLERY SWORD

$2,800.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 715-26

This scarce sword was in the collection of the late Kevin Hoffman and is illustrated in his on-line book Swords of Honor and Presentation. There it is described as, “Unmarked but definitely manufactured by Ames. Unstopped filler beginning 1/2 inch from the guard and running 20.5 inches. The entire curved blade is unmarked. The grip, ferrule and smooth pommel are the same as used for the South Carolina M1833 dragoon saber and those used on some of the swords of the National Lancers. The grip is wrapped with twisted brass wire (not dragoon twist). The thick brass guard is a reverse "P". The quillon is flat sided with no line decoration. The knuckle bow graduates wider in width and slims in thickness as it rises to the pommel.”

The South Carolina M1833 dragoon sabers are discussed by Thillmann in Civil War Cavalry & Artillery Sabers, where he notes the unusual configuration of the pommel for the pattern, using not the stepped pommel found on the regulation U.S. and other versions, but a smooth birdshead form as here. The reverse-P guard is a common pre-war form that had some specific association with the artillery from the Napoleonic period and revived by the U.S. for the 1872 sword for mounted officers of artillery. Before the war it shows up on the artillery swords manufactured at the Virginia Manufactory and it has been suggested South Carolina got the idea from the Virginia swords, which had a birdshead pommel and unstopped fuller (though with a narrow secondary fuller,) and these in turn possibly influenced the form of their 1833 dragoon pattern, but so far as we know that is still speculative- as a general form it was not uncommon.

The sword is in very good condition with a mellow untouched patina to the brass with some darker age spots and lighter areas from rubbing here and there. The grip wrap and wire are very good, the leather showing just a little wear about midway down on the underside of the grip. The knucklebow is slotted for a sword knot. The 1833 dragoon style ferrule at the guard is in place. There is a leather sword pad in place under the guard. The blade has a good point and no edge nicks. It is smooth metal and a muted silver in color with scattered, thin, gray areas. There is no scabbard.

This is an interesting sword with a provenance to a well known and respected collection.

A very scarce sword by Ames for the state of South Carolina. Reverse P style artillery.  [sr] [ph:L]

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