UNITED STATES NAVAL OR MARINE OFFICERS EAGLE HEADED SWORD – BLUE & GILT - C1812

Stock Ref: AST 1992

An outstanding example of an American Naval or Marine Officers sword dating from c1810-1815 retaining its original gilt finished hilt and a fine blued and gilt blade. 

77.5cm (30.5”) curved single fullered blade with flat back and clipped point. The blade is single edged. The blued and gilt blade is decorated on one side with a trophy of arms containing a shield with the American stars and stripes, and foliate designs. Central frost etched panels on both sides containing a laurel and acanthus scroll with a Phrygian or Liberty cap on a spear.

Gilt brass hilt in the 1803 style with the knuckle guard incorporating three graduated flaming grenades surrounded by rope work. Eagles’s head pommel with brass back piece. Carved bone* grip with American style geometric designs.

Maker: Probably an imported sword from Birmingham UK

Dated: 1810 - 1815

Original black leather scabbard with gilt/brass metal fittings with two loose rings and a frog stud.

The sword and scabbard are in extremely good condition. The blade retains much of its original blue and gilt with some fading, however, the decorations remain clear. The unblued part of the blade is free from rust and has only minor staining. The hilt retains its original gilt finish and is in very good condition. There is shrinkage in the bone grip which has left a gap along the back piece and some surface cracks. There is some small loss near the pommel.

A similar sword – except for the knuckleguard – is shown in American Swords – The Philip Medicus collection Page 112 – 52B. We understand that this pattern of sword was carried by both US Naval and Artillery Officers - the rope work surround suggests that this was probably made for a Naval or Marine Officer. The style of the knuckle guard matches that of the British 1803 pattern on which this sword is undoubtedly based.

The dating of this sword links it to the American British War of 1812 - 1815 in which the fledgling US Navy played a significant part. The Mameluke pattern which is associated with the US Marines was not adopted until 1825.

Further research is appropriate.

*Note

The grip is we believe made of carved bone or marine rather than elephant ivory. The bone is in the form of a carved outer casing over a wooden former, which in turn surrounds the tang. Under the proposed Legislation on Ivory products within the UK this item would be exempt under the de-minimis or 10% rule as it predates 1947. 

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£3,495.00