SCARCE HORSTMANN US MODEL 1840 MUSICIAN’S SWORD WITH ETCHED BLADE

$315.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2020-84

As an importer, Horstmann brought in or assembled some 1840 pattern musicians’ swords even before the Civil War, but his versions of the sword have always been scarce. One reason is that he was largely cut out of wartime government contracts because he was not manufacturing them himself and one his domestic suppliers, Emerson and Silver, also let the government know that they could supply the same weapons directly at a lower price. Horstmann continued to supply state and militia units, however, and this is an interesting example of one of his higher-grade versions, having an etched blade.

The sword is marked by Horstmann on the obverse ricasso in two lines, with the lower line tough to make out, but “Horstmann” plainly legible in the upper line. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the king’s head blade mark of Horstmann’s main German supplier, the Gebruder Weyersberg of Solingen. The blade has a good edge and tip, and is largely gray mixed with dark spots overall, but the etching is visible. The reverse is somewhat darker than the obverse, but the etching is legible there as well. The motifs are mainly flowering vines, but the reverse also displays an etched, elongated fouled anchor.

Ames is known to have delivered musician’s swords for the US Naval Academy band. Horstmann seems to have been aimed this at a similar market, either a state naval academy or naval militia, although since band uniforms and equipment were often supplemented from post funds, it might still have made its way into federal hands by private purchase. In any case, it is a rather unique example. The hilt has a medium patina and shows some slight wear on the knuckleguard’s reverse, which is the side against the body when worn and indicates it was actually issued and carried. Musician’s swords, like NCO swords, show a surprising number of variations for a simple, regulation pattern.  [sr]  [ph:L]

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