SCARCE 1859 DATED AMES LIGHT CAVALRY SABER, AKA MODEL 1860

$1,800.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 766-1613

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Call 717-334-0347,
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Old habits die hard. Although we now know production of the new pattern cavalry saber intended to replace the heavy Model 1840 started in 1857, most still refer to them as the Model 1860. This is a scarce example of one produced by Ames in 1859 and so marked on the obverse ricasso: US / JH / 1859, with the three-line block form Ames address on the reverse: AMES MFg Co / CHICOPEE. / MASS.

The hilt has a nice untouched patina to the brass, with a few light age stains and no sign of repeening or tightening to the pommel, along with a clear, matching JH inspector stamp on the rim of the pommel cap on one side and a script WAT on the other that is rubbed on the left, but fully visible on the right and unambiguous. The leather grip wrap is near excellent, with nice color and finish to the leather, showing only two or three small wear spots on the top between turns of the wire that show tiny bits of the wood and one next to the pommel, along with minor crazing. The blade pad is in place under the guard. The blade is smooth metal with good edge and point, and shows as a muted silver gray with some darker gray spots and just a little brown at the base of the ricasso.

The scabbard is very good as well and shows an old brown lacquer finish with some scratches and wear spots from use and certainly looks of the period. We suppose it could be cleaned, but like the undisturbed look. Throat, rings, and drag are all present. The drag shows a small S, probably part of the GGS inspection mark of armory sub-inspector George G. Saunders, whose mark appears on the drag of an 1859 dated Ames recorded by Thillmann (p.85) along with JH on the blade and JH and WAT stamps on the pommel, exactly as here.

This was made under a March 19, 1859, contract for 5,000 sabers. Twenty-four hundred were delivered by September 1859 and another 1,200 by February 1860, most of which probably had 1859 dates. Despite a potential number of 3,600, these 1859 dated sabers are pretty tough to find, likely because they were issued early and saw lots of service. This would make a great addition to a cavalry display and likely fill a gap in an Ames collection. Did we mention we really like that old, brown lacquer finish on the scabbard?  [sr] [ph:L]

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