NATHAN STARR 1818 CONTRACT NCO SWORD

$895.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 597-13

Based on a pattern submitted in November 1818, Starr received a contract for 4,000 of these swords in December. They were delivered in 1819 and 1820. This one was inspected by Luther Sage, indicating it was one of the 1819 deliveries. These swords were specified as the noncommissioned officer’s swords and may have been restricted to sergeants as a badge of rank, but Peterson notes they were used in the artillery and carried by musicians as well.

The blade is straight, single-edge with wide, unstopped fuller running to about 6 inches of the point, which has a rudimentary false edge. The blade is 25 9/16 inches long and 1 ¼ inches wide at the guard and shows small pieces of the leather blade pad on the blade shoulders. The reverse is stamped in line with blade near the guard, “N. STARR / US / P / LS.” The stamping is very clear, just a little rubbed along the tops of the first two lines and the bottom of the last, but fully legible and unambiguous. The blade is smooth metal, steel gray with some dark gray stains and just a little shallow pitting near the point, but both edge and point are very good.

The iron hilt shows mostly brown. The iron ferrule on the grip is in place at the guard. The ribbed wood grip is good, but only fragments remain of the leather wrap. The grip shows as a mix of black with dark and light brown. The backstrap and pommel match the knucklebow as mostly brown, but smooth. The knucklebow is correctly pierced for a sword knot near the pommel, which is rounded and shows the slotted nut securing the blade tang. As is also correct the knucklebow has a rather straight line from its turn down from the pommel, making it not quite a “reverse-P” guard, and widens as it transitions into the guard, which then narrows again to form a disk quillon.

The sword comes with its original iron scabbard that has a typically Starr narrow drag and oval button on stud for a belt frog. The riveted retention springs are in place in the throat. The scabbard preserves a lot of its original black japanned finish, having scratches, rubs and wear marks, but no dents or holes. This would make a nice addition to a collection of Starr swords or US infantry and artillery enlisted edged weapons. The pattern remained in use into the 1830s when the less elegant, but impressive M1832 short sword made its appearance.  [sr] [ph:L]

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