STARR 1812 CAVALRY SABER: WAR OF 1812

$795.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 597-10

Starr’s March 1812 U.S. contract for 5,000 cavalry sabers was modified twice: once in design of the sabers and once in the number ordered. After delivering 1,000 by November, the remaining 4,000 were redesigned to have a slightly larger opening for the hand in the knucklebow, a more sharply curved blade with sharper angle at the hilt, and an iron scabbard instead of the leather scabbard supplied with the first 1,000. Just two months later, the number outstanding on the contract was expanded from 4,000 to 10,000 and in fulfilling that some swords with first pattern elements seem to have snuck through: Peterson notes that, “some swords with straighter blades and hilts at a different angle were accepted under this contract.”

This is a good example of the saber using a clip point 33-¼ inch blade that is 1-1/2 inches wide at the guard and fitted with the iron scabbard. The blade is stamped on the obverse, “P/ HHP / N. STARR,” with an “O” underneath. The first two lines indicate proof or inspection/acceptance by U.S. inspector Henry H. Peterkin and the third line is obviously the maker. The “O” is probably the individual worker making or finishing the blade. The markings are sharp and distinct.

The iron hilt is the standard “reverse-P” configuration used in this pattern and has an additional “P” stamped on the exterior of the knucklebow. The metal is smooth and a mix of brown and light gray and dark gray, with a little corrosion on the side of the crossguard and on the iron ferrule on the bottom of the grip at the guard. Parts of the leather washer or blade pad are still in place on the underside of the guard. The grip retains about 75% of its thin leather wrap, showing as a blackish brown with lighter brown wear spots. The wire binding, as usual, is missing. The blade is a mix of gray with brown coming up, no deep pitting, but some crustiness near the guard on the reverse, some unevenness to the blade edge, but no nicks, and a good point. The iron scabbard is good, a deep brown in color, with narrow drag, both ring bands, with the carrying rings, in place, as it the screw-fastened throat. The surface is a little crusty in places, but has generally good surface with some scattered shallow pressure dents or dings, but no deep dents, creases, breaks or holes.

This is a nice War of 1812 U.S. cavalry saber typical of those carried by the regiments of U.S. light dragoons and state cavalry units supplied with U.S. arms under the terms of the Militia Act.  [sr] [ph:L]

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