US 1832 PATTERN 1844 DATED ARTILLERY SHORT SWORD AND DINGEE MARKED BELT

$2,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 480-222

The 1832 short sword had been specified for infantry sergeants and musicians as well as enlisted men of foot artillery. With the distribution of the 1840 sword patterns the sergeants and musicians received their own swords and the short sword became the sidearm of the foot artillery exclusively. This is a good example of the sword dated 1844 with its original white buff belt rig made and marked by Dingee, with its 1839 pattern two-piece artillery plate with a “U.S.,” which replaced the old 1832 S-link two-disk plate.

This has a pre-Mexican War 1844 date, and was likely supplied under the Ames August 26, 1844 contract for 1,000 swords, delivered by May 12, 1845. The hilt shows an old polish to bright, now re-acquiring a patina and the blade was plated, indicated it made its way into state militia or volunteer hands, something Ames heavily encouraged as a business practice, encouraging their request from the federal government by states under the militia act.

The blade shows a US over SK on one ricasso with another S.K. in the channel of crossguard immediately below. The other ricasso is marked, “N.P. AMES / CABOTVILLE / 1844,” though with the right of the upper two lines obscured by wear and the plating, and the channel of the guard below is clearly stamped “W.R.” by the inspector. The blade has a good edge and point, though the plating is worn along the edges and on some high points near the tip, showing the underlying steel as a darker gray. The scabbard is complete and the leather has a good seam and only minor crackling to the finish, but was broken at the upper edge of the drag, which is still present, but should be sleeved and reattached.

The belt plate is very good and the belt is complete and in solid condition with good seams. It does show dirt and some stains, nothing unexpected after 180 years, but the interior still shows as wonderfully clear and fully legible maker’s mark stamped in ink, “MADE BY / R. & H.A. DINGEE / NEW YORK” in a rectangular cartouche with only minor rubbing to a few letters. The company is well known to collectors as a supplier of leather gear to the army, having started in 1803 in harness and saddle making, receiving its first government contracts in 1814, and remained in business throughout the Civil War in the hands of Robert Sr. (died 1843) and sons Robert Jr. (died 1841) and Henry A., the latter also in a partnership as Dingee & Lorigan.

This is a very good example of a scarce early US infantry belt with appropriate sword dating to the Mexican War and early US expansion into the west. It would fit well in a US edged weapons collection or a display relating the Mexican War, the antebellum U.S. Army, and the Civil War as well.  [sr] [ph:m]

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