ELABORATE PRESENTATION GRADE OFFICER’S SWORD WITH SCABBARD INSCRIBED TO CAPTAIN AUGUSTUS HOELZLE OF BATTERY K ARTILLERY OF THE 1ST DIVISION OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

$9,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-447

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This sword was probably sold by Schuyler, Hartley & Graham of New York. The pattern is pictured in their 1864 catalogue in figures 13 and 16. Rather than have a standard blade, the lightly curved 32 inch blade has "B.K." (Battery K) on the left side among the etching and a patriotic motif based on the Great Seal of the U.S. on the right among floral patterns. The spine has "IRON PROOF," and the etching has gold washed backgrounds. The hilt is an interesting pattern with a lounging rendition of Liberty/Columbia holding a bald eagle along with a star and globe on the guard, mostly floral motifs elsewhere, and an eagle and shield motif on the back of the pommel. A golden sword knot is tied to the knuckle guard. The cast silver grip is unusual for a U.S. sword given its pattern includes the Mexican eagle and snake motif on the right. The scabbard has elaborate fittings with various designs including Medusa's head over some cannon balls and is inscribed "Presented to/Capt. August Hoelzle/by the Members and Ex Members/of Battery K Artillery, /1st Div. N.G.S.N.Y."

August Hoelzle (1834-1896) of New York City was a lawyer. His unit was established in April 1867 as Battery K of the First Regiment of Artillery with John Heubner as their leader, but First Lieutenant Augustus Hoelzle took over the same year and was commissioned captain of Battery K of the 1st Division with rank from March 14, 1877. They were a mounted field artillery unit of mainly German-American men. When the rest of the First Regiment was discontinued in 1869, Battery K continued on alone. They served during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. 1,000 strikers went to jail and around 100 were killed during the widespread strikes around the country. New York escaped some of the more dramatic violence, perhaps in part due to their highly organized and professional National Guard units which were among the best in the country. Battery K became the First Battery in late 1881. Hoelzle was succeeded by Louis Wendel after his resignation in October 1882.

Fine overall with mostly bright blade exhibiting traces of original gold, some slight pitting/staining, slightly bent tip, and mild wear. The hilt and grip have untouched dark aged patina naturally found on items that have been well cared for but not cleaned. The sword knot has mild wear. The scabbard has aged patina, crisp designs, and traces of silver plating. This is a very attractive National Guard sword from the last quarter of the 19th century.   [ph:L]

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