CLASSIC CONFEDERATE ENLISTED CAVALRY SABER AND WOOD SCABBARD BY HAMMOND MARSHALL OR KRAFT, GOLDSCHMIDT AND KRAFT

$8,750.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1164-29

Known examples of this sword with this scabbard include one in the Wray Collection at the Atlanta History Center. Some collectors still refer to it as a product of Hammond Marshall and Company of Atlanta, who had an 1862 CS contract for 3,000 cavalry sabers, but attribution has largely come full circle, back to Kraft, Goldschmidt and Kraft of Columbia, S.C., first posited by Albaugh in 1963, on the basis of the long, nearly straight blade, the small gauge, untwisted grip wire, and use of brass ferrule at the bottom of the grip.

The wood scabbard also shows up on sabers made by B. Douglas of Columbia, leading to the supposition that they were supplied to both Douglas and K. G. & K. by a local maker or that that one sword maker supplied the other. A strong candidate, however, is the firm of Lewis L. and T.R. Moore (possibly in Atlanta,) who supplied 556 wooden saber scabbards to the CS Arsenal at Charleston, S.C., in 1863, which suggests an even broader cooperation and coordination than just among local manufacturers. Needless to say, the scholarship is ongoing and more work needs to be done, but it is hard to find a more classically Confederate enlisted cavalry saber and scabbard, and this one is extremely nice.

The grip contour is typical of these: rather straight, without the center swell of the US Model 1860, leading some call it a CS version of the M1840 (though we see some British influence overall.) The brass Phrygian cap pommel and three branch guard, however, are straight forward, simplified copies of U.S. versions, flat and lacking contour by comparison. The iron wire and the leather grip wrap are in place and complete. The leather is as nice any we have seen on these, with pleasing, warm brown color and some wear spots, but no holes. The brass ferrule matches the guard in a nice dark, untouched patina. The pommel shows some natural rubbing to the patina as a natural point of handling. A thin leather blade pad is in place on the underside of the guard. The 36-inch blade has an unstopped fuller and spearpoint tip with false edge. The metal is smooth, showing as a muted silver gray with thin, darker gray areas, but no pitting or nicks, and a good tip.

The scabbard is excellent, with a pleasing orange-red, russet color to the wood body and significant remnants of the black japanning on the mounts, which show rubbing mostly on just the high points. The construction is a tribute to Confederate material shortages and ingenuity. Two wood slats were mortised to receive a blade, joined together by pins, painted with red varnish and bound with three tinned sheet iron mounts fitted with a brass throat, ring bands, and drag. The scabbards have naturally loose tolerances for the blades they were meant to receive, making them perfect for use on swords by different makers.

This is an excellent example of a Civil War enlisted man’s cavalry saber that is recognizably Confederate from across the room, and down the hall.  [sr] [ph:L]

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