VERY PRETTY PRE-WAR EAGLE POMMEL CAVALRY OFFICER’S SABER WITH LOTS OF GILT FINISH AND DENSE ETCHING

$15,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 715-29

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This cavalry officer’s saber uses an eagle head pommel and white bone grip that look 1830 or so, along with a elaborated version of the three-branch guard that came into popularity with the introduction of the 1833 dragoon and 1839 topographical engineer sabers, and a flat-backed, curved, single-edged saber blade with single broad fuller that looks toward the 1840 patterns. The broad eagle’s head has an open mouth with deeply curved beak, with feathers extending part way down the faceted backstrap. The white bone grip is carved with a shell/fan, crosshatching, and half-chevron bands. There is a ferrule next to the guard and one under the pommel decorated as a leafy collar for the eagle head.

The interior of the guard has incised floral motifs and the hilt is cast with two main side branches coming off the knucklebow that decorated with many, but fairly simple, punch dots and stars. But each of these splays into secondary branches, three from the upper branch and two from the lower, that curl and end in scrolling leaf terminals joining the upper branch to the middle and the middle to the knucklebow. The ends of these are cast and chased to texture them as branches and floral scrolls. The quillon is solid, but cast and chased, or engraved, to imitate a floral scroll on the sides.

The blade is etched for about three-fifths of is length with panels of floral scrolls bordered along the edges with foliate ribbons, giving it a very dense appearance look, somewhat Indian in appearance, an effect increased by the lobed arches, almost Arabesque, that end the panels. The uppermost panel on each side terminates with a tall, scrolling plant sprouting from a handled vase, and has a banded chevron ending the frosted ground.  The obverse features a stand of arms and flags on pikes, with eagle with raised wings perched at center, near the bottom. A central panel repeats the eagle, but clutching arrows and olive branch with the rays of a sunburst glory overhead and shield shaped foliate banner or perch underneath. The reverse repeats the floral scrolls and ends with a seated female figure holding next to her a cornucopia whose curling lines and spilling fruit fit perfectly the floral scrolls beneath. She wears a headress with broad feathers that her as the Goddess of Plenty with various “Indian princess” figures that appear on American swords, as well as the personification of America in the figure of Columbia.

The scabbard is no less impressive, engraved profusely on the obverse with raffles or leafy fans/floral scrolls, with martial and patriotic motifs. Between the ring bands is a trophy of arms with a crossed quiver and battle ax one which is superimposed an oval shield with stars and stripes. Below the lower band these surround a very nicely executed eagle perched on a leafy branch and arrows. After a short gap the floral scrolls, or leafy fans, pick up again and continue to the bottom, where they are surrounded by the separate shoe drag cast with its own floral motifs.

The condition is very good throughout. There are just two narrow, hairline cracks on the underside of the grip, a longer one coming down from the pommel and shorter one up from the ferrule. The frosting has softened slightly to a silvery gray in places, but the motifs are fully visible and the gilt finish on the hilt and scabbard is very strong with only some very minor rubbing to raised points. The scabbard engraving is excellent as well. This is an impressive saber, functional and beautiful at the same time.  [jet] [ph:L]

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