HISTORIC IDENTIFIED M1834 OFFICER'S SWORD

$9,850.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 88-133

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This Regulation US Model 1834 sword, by descent initially from Albert Sidney Johnston's widow, was worn by two close relatives. The sword was last worn by Captain Strother Griffin MD author of the book, A Doctor Comes to California: The Diary of John S. Griffin, Assistant Surgeon with Kearney's Dragoons, 1846-47 (A reprinted copy comes with this sword). At the commencement of the Mexican War in 1846 Griffin was attached to Kearney's Army and the First US Dragoons with the rank of Captain. He was present at the bloody battle of San Pascual in which many Dragoons lost their lives before Kit Carson came to the rescue with reinforcements. In 1888 Dr. Griffin became the owner of the San Pascual Rancho which today is part of one of Los Angeles' suburbs. This land later passed to his sister Eliza Griffin, widow of General Albert Sydney Johnston CSA from whose ownership the sword has descended.

Most interestingly the sword guard bears the inscription "George Hancock Griffin US Army" while the throat of the scabbard is inscribed in ornate script "GHG". When Brevet Captain and A.A.G. Hancock (Graduated West Point 1828) died in the field on campaign against the Seminoles in Florida October 8, 1839, John, his fraternal, nephew inherited this sword. He, John, then carried the sword until his retirement from the army in 1854.

The ornately etched 31 1/2-inch blade is in fine condition with minor patches of surface darkening. The brass hilt shows use but retains 70-75 % gilt. The silver "foe" wire grip is intact and shows use. The brass mounted leather scabbard shows a professional repair to what was once a clean break. The gilt scabbard mounts show wear and a nice patina of age.

A letter of provenance signed by Albert Sidney Johnston IV Great-Grandson of General Albert Sidney Johnston comes in the portfolio that contains much information and also a copy of a portrait done of Bvt. Captain Hancock in which a small portion of this sword can be seen on his right side. Acquired by the consignor from Mr. Don Ball in the year 2013 this sword is photographed and described in American Swords & Maker's Marks-A photographic Guide for Collectors- by Clegg Donald Furr, page 82. An historic edged weapon.    [pe] [ph:L]

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