IDENTIFIED NEW YORK US 1832 PATTERN SWORT SWORD AND RIG; 1834 DATED WITH HUSE HILT

$3,950.00

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Item Code: 1142-119

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This is an a very nice example of the U.S. Model 1832 short sword, dated 1834, supplied to New York under the militia act and fitted with the state’s version of the US 1839 pattern artillery plate. Both sword and belt are in excellent condition and the belt bears a period owner’s name in brown ink. Adopted in 1832 for sergeants, musicians, and foot artillery, this pattern was restricted in the regular army to the artillery starting in 1840, but saw wider use in state militia. It was a popular arm, produced by Ames for more than thirty years and saw use from the Seminole Wars, where artillery also saw service as infantry, through the Mexican War, and well into the Civil War, where they sometimes saw naval service as a cutlasses also.

The sword hilt preserves great detail to the feathered grip and the U.S. eagles cast into either side of the pommel. Both show little wear from handling and the patina to the brass and the rivets is pleasing: medium in tone but not bright. The underside of the guard has visible inspector marks: “H.K.C.” in an oval on one end, and “J.M.” on the other, along with a sharp “S. HUSE / NEWBURYPORT” lined up with the blade along one edge of the guard. The blade stamps are equally sharp: the Ames eagle over “N.P. AMES / SPRINGFIELD” on one side near the guard, and “UNITED / STATES / 1834” on the other side. The blade has an excellent edge and point and the blade is smooth bright metal with the exception of gray spotting near the hilt and at the tip.

The 1834 date would place the sword in the third and last delivery under Ames’s second contract with the army. This was signed February 1833 and was for 2,000 swords, like the first. 1,100 were delivered by July 1833 and the remaining 900 seem to have been delivered by March 1834. Ames received another contract in November 1834 for more swords of the pattern, but the hilts made by Huse had received complaints for loosening up and those furnished after completion of the second contract in March 1834 seem to have been produced in-house by Ames, using an improved mold.

The scabbard is complete, with some age cracking to the surface of the black leather body, but with nice color and no loss of finish, and an undisturbed, aged patina to the brass mounts. The belt is white buff, as is correct for the period, and is flexible, complete, a mellow cream color, with tight stitching on all the component parts, and a nice even patina to the brass belt plate and rings joining the belt elements and frog. Inside the belt is the ink maker’s stamp of John I. Pittman, in business from about 1845 according to Bazelon, which would give the belt rig a date of 1845 to 1851, when state regulations for the plate on artillery belts officially changed, but the older patterns were certainly retained in state stores and likely issued out again at the beginning of the Civil War.

The belt also has a period brown ink owner’s name on the inside: “W.B. Andrews.” In searching for men with Civil War service, 36 named “W. Andrews,” show up for New York on CWData. 2 are listed with the middle initial B, but neither served in the heavy artillery. 22 have middle initials other than “B,” and 12 have no middle initial listed, but did not serve in the heavy artillery. There is some speculation this is William Andrews or William Andrus, both of whom served in the 4th NY Heavy Artillery. They joined about the same time and are both listed as 44 years old (indicating they were likely older than the legal age for service.) Andrews, however, seems to have served under the name William Watson, which may have been his middle name. He enlisted 1/5/64 at Rochester, mustered as private in Co. M 1/12/64, and deserted 8/5/1865 while on detached service. He died in 1910 and is buried in Dayton, OH, as “Wm. W. Andrews.” Andrus is a possible mistranscription of Andrews, but he is not given a middle initial. He served in Co. I from January 1864 until captured at Reams Station in August 1864 and dying in November at the POW camp at Salisbury, NC. So, there is some research yet to be done.

This is a splendid looking set that has the look of having been together forever, has great condition, and a nice early date to the sword that is particularly scarce with the Huse marked hilt. It would make a great addition to an artillery or militia display, or to a collection of regulation U.S. swords and edged weapons.  [sr] [ph:L]

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