CONFEDERATE ARTILLERY SHORT SWORD WITH CS AND STAR

$3,250.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2024-272

Confederate swords don’t get much more recognizably Confederate than this- probably the reason it has been widely reproduced. This is a very good, original example, showing remnants of an old coating green paint that, whatever its original purpose, has preserved the metal quite well. These were obviously patterned after the US Model 1833 short sword, using a brass hilt and short, wide, double edged, spearpoint blade. The pommel shape was altered to a simple, rather crude plug shape, and the original decoration, a U.S. eagle, was  replaced by an impressed five-pointed star, leading early collectors to assume a Texas or Louisiana connection. We don’t discount an allusion to the popular southern song lyric referring to “the flag that bears a single star,” but the actual place of manufacture has still not been pinpointed. (Selma and Macon have been proposed. Some think there were several makers. “Unknown” is probably the most accurate current attribution.)

The maker also simplified the grip pattern, using simple spiral, flat lands and grooves in place of the U.S. scales or feathers, with a plain section at bottom imitating a ferrule. As if to make up for those simplifications, however, the maker decided to improve upon the plain crossguard of the US pattern, giving it simple rounded ends but also a slight curve and, instead of blank side panels, incorporated a raised “CS” that was emphasized and framed by giving the upper edge of the guard a slight hump above it. Unfortunately, the maker’s sense of design outran his abilities in casting and chasing, and the letters are usually poorly delineated, with this sword bearing a much better “CS” than seen on most. The blade is typical of these, using a single, unstopped fuller. It is full length, with good edge and point, showing brown through the thin forest green. Overall the sword is in very good shape. The casting of the hilts often produced significant flaws and many show up with gaps or crude lead repairs.

These are often typed as swords for heavy artillery, with soldiers in the field artillery carrying them, if at all, supposedly to disable horses of attacking cavalry. Artillerymen would more likely have found use for them in cutting out dead or wounded horses from their own gun teams and in clearing undergrowth around gun positions for convenience and visibility. They may also have had wider use. The US M1833 was originally used as a short sword for NCOs, musicians, and others before being relegated to heavy artillery, and these would also have found use as general side knives and as cutlasses, with even some of their US cousins showing up in naval contexts.

We rather like the green paint, and have left it as is.    [sr] [ph:L]

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