ROMAN HELMET POMMEL NON-REGULATION MILITIA OFFICER SWORD

$1,195.00 SOLD
Originally $1,495.00

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2159

This very pretty U.S. non-regulation sword dating about 1840 has a U.S. eagle on the counterguard and a beautiful bright-etched blade with strong frosting and vivid etching that includes a matching American eagle with E Pluribus Unum scroll, stars and sunburst.

The hilt and scabbard are matching gilt brass with lots of finish remaining. The pommel is cast and chased in the form of a Roman or classical helmet facing outward on the obverse side. The grips are two-piece mother of pearl with top and bottom straps leading to a decorated ferrule at base with wire binding that crosses the straps. The knuckleguard is an extended recurved guard with acanthus scrolls at top and bottom, and central raised decorative panel. The crossguard is plain and flat with a disk finial that matches the scrolled base of the knuckleguard where it joins the crossguard on the other side. The counterguard is down-turned and shell shaped with a dynamically posed US eagle canted to the viewer’s right and gazing back the left, grasping arrows and olive branch with wings in high relief and broad sun rays bursting out overhead from one wing tip to the other. There is some minor rubbing to gilding on the highpoints of the cast elements of the hilt and on the grip wire and straps from handling, but lots of finish remains. The panels of the grip are very good, with only a couple of tiny edge chips. For a parallel to the hilt see a silver-plated example illustrated by Flayderman as Medicus plate 60c.

The blade is straight, with a single fuller, single edged with spear point and false edge, and preserve super etching. The frosting is strong and the etching vivid. The obverse has floral scrolls at the base extending into numerous flowering stems. Above this is a stand of arms featuring furled banners on pikes with a liberty cap on tall pole rising from the center with a sunburst of rays overhead and a final length of flowering vine that finishes near the waving flame and flower like ends of the frosted pane.

The reverse has floral scrolls at the base that extend in leafy tendrils pointing up a floral entwined trophy of arms. A U.S. eagle clutching arrows and olive branch is above that, with curling scroll overhead, surmounted by an arc of stars with sunburst rays above. The panel ends with more leafy branches tied at the bottom with ribbons and the frosting terminates in flamboyant leafy points as on the obverse. The upper blade, where not etched, is bright, with good surface, edge and point and just rubbing near the tip from sheathing and one very small nick on the false edge.

The scabbard is brass, engraved on the obverse and plain on the reverse, with two carrying rings mounted along the top edge and a shield-shaped frog stud at the top obverse as well. The throat is in place. The scabbard retains strong gilt overall that matches the hilt. The engraving is profuse and well done, with dot and semi-circle borders extending its full length, and floral bands at the rings with acanthus leaves and ruffle extensions top and bottom. The drag has an long vine and leaf extending straight up with a floral spray at top. The frog stud is cast and chased with leaves matching the scabbard engraving and the floral motifs of the hilt.

This is a very pretty sword. Of non-regulation form, these are usually classed as swords for militia officers, who were not so constrained by uniform regulations, but these sometimes show up in portraits of regular officers, likely as gifts or for wear when not in full regulation dress uniform.  [sr][ph:L]

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