788

Rare Navy Contract Inspected US Model 1852 U.S.Naval Officer's Sword

26" slightly curved single-edged blade, with 7" false edge, 17" stopped median fuller and 12" narrow fuller at spine. Gold gilt cast brass guard with acorns and oak leaves and USN in a ribbon on its face. Forward swept dolphin head quillon, acanthus leaf decorations around edge of pommel cap. Pommel cap cast with a droop-winged American eagle surrounded by 13 stars. 5.25" grip with grooved wooden handle covered by gray shagreen with 15 wraps of twisted brass wire. Blade etched with a bold U.S.N. in a ribbon on the reverse at center with additional images of an American eagle, fouled anchor, a bowline knot and foliate scrolls. Obverse etched with panoplies of arms, an American shield and anchor and both foliate and geometric patterns. Above the ricasso the obverse blade is etched AMES Mfg. Co / Chicopee / Mass in three lines, with the obverse ricasso stamped 1852. The reverse ricasso is stamped P/R.B.H., the inspection mark of US Naval inspecting officer Lt. Robert B. Hitchcock. Sword is contained in its Ames factory leather scabbard with gilt brass mounts. The two suspension mounts feature the standard knotted rope motif while the drag is cast with a sea serpent around its edge. The throat is marked on the reverse in three lines: AMES MFG. CO. / CHICOPEE / MASS. In 1852, the US Navy adopted a new pattern of officer's sword. At that time they ordered 500 of the new swords from Ames, and these swords were inspected by Lt. Hitchcock. These swords were then issued to all current US Naval Officers in the service, leaving less than 20 swords unissued at that time. As officers were required to purchase their own uniforms and sidearms, officer's swords were very rarely acquired on contract, inspected like other ordnance and then issued. This is an exceptionally rare example of a US Navy contract M1852 sword from Ames, correctly dated 1852 and bearing the correct inspection marks. A true rarity for the US Naval collector and an item rarely seen for sale.

Condition:

Very good. Blade lightly cleaned with a shiny pewter patina, showing mottled oxidation, discoloration and some surface roughness, particularly near the tip. All etching remains clear and visible, although no frosting remains. Leather throat washer in place on face of guard, guard has been re-gilded. Grip with some light wear. Scabbard very good showing moderate surface crazing and some bends and areas of weakness. Mounts likely re-gilded as well.

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$2,160
10/31/2018

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