STARR 1813 OFFICER’S SABER AND SCABBARD

$5,450.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 597-11

This nicely marked Starr officer’s saber has the steeply angled hilt seen on his government contract enlisted sabers of 1812/13 but with the shallower pommel cap seen, for instance, on his 1808 and 1818 sabers. This has a 37-inch blade, 1.5 inches wide at the guard, with a single wide, unstopped fuller running below the back edge of the blade to within a few inches of tip, which has a conventional point in line with the back edge of the blade. The obverse of the blade is crisply stamped near the guard with a dynamic American eagle looking over one wing and clutching arrows and an olive branch. “N. STARR” is stamped below this in a concave arc, equally crisp, just a little light on the right leg of the final “R.” The blade is very good. The metal is smooth, a light silver gray in color with thin darker gray clouds. The edge and point are good. The only crustiness is right against the guard.

The hilt is iron, reverse-P in form, with a rounded backstrap extending up from a ferrule on the grip at the guard to form a shallow bird’s head pommel. The knuckle bow is slotted for a sword knot and faceted down to the crossguard. The quillon curves slightly and has a disk finial. The iron is a mix of gray and brown, with a few crusty spots and some shallow corrosion exterior of the knucklebow and on the side of the crossguard, but still shows signs of having been silvered. This seems to be the case also with the twisted wire binding of the grip, which is in place and fully intact. The leather grip wrap is also very good, a brownish black in color, with some rubs and age crackling, but no severe wear spots.

The scabbard is black leather, with a good seam on the reverse and no bends or breaks, but a crusty finish on the upper two thirds, showing a uniform color, but much of the finish flaked, and there is some rubbing along the lower edge of the body. The upper mount with flat throat, middle mount, and drag are all in place. Like the hilt, the brass mounts clearly were silvered. The drag and middle mount show as aged, subdued brass with spotting, as does the reverse of the upper mount, but its face shows lots of subdued silver. The middle mount has a carrying ring. The upper mount has both carrying ring and oval frog stud.

The silvering of the hilt and scabbard mounts suggest this was carried by an officer of infantry or dragoons, though once we get into militia usage all bets are off. In any case, this is very good example of a War of 1812 era sword by one of America’s best known arms makers.    [sr] [ph:L]

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