DescriptionMagnificent, High Grade, Tiffany & Co. M1860 Cavalry Officer's Saber, identified to Captain James C. Robinson, Co D, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Although the sword bears no inscription, it is accompanied by a period black Moroccan leather accordion style folio, 5" X 9" X 1 1/2", which contained a number of period documents from Robinson, including a newspaper clipping providing an account of the presentation of the saber. Interestingly, this grouping came out of the same house in Bradford, Pa., on the New York border, as the John C. Robinson frock coat which is offered else where in this catalog. It is likely the two Robinsons' were related, quite possibly brothers. Robinson enlisted in the 16th Cav., as a Captain 10/28/62. He was promoted to Major 12/12/64 (as the sword is presented to him as a Captain it has to predate this promotion) and Brevet Lt. Col. with rank dating to 3/13/65, although the document notifying him of the promotion is dated June 2, 1866, and is one of the documents accompanying the saber.
The saber has a 35" blade, etched on the obverse with large central panel exhibiting a spread wing eagle. The reverse utilizes a similar size panel with large block US surrounded by vines and leaves. On the lower section of the blade on the reverse is an etched panel, "Tiffany & Co. / New York" and on the ricasso, "Collins & Co. / Hartford / Conn." The blade is excellent, retaining much of the original lustre, with some staining and salt and peppering on the upper third toward the tip. Absolutely no pitting or nicks, very nice. The all brass hilt displays acanthus leaves on the face and reverse of the two outboard branches, as well as where the guard enters the pommel. A superbly detailed spread wing eagle, in very deep relief is on the top of the quillon. The pommel exhibits highly detailed gadrooning around the top, and deep relief, highly detailed, oak leaves, with an acorn in the center, on the face. Sharkskin grip with very tightly twisted copper wire about perfect, just showing a touch of wear, indicating Robinson did apparently carry and use this saber. The steel scabbard is now dark gray and was apparently originally blued with traces remaining. Scabbard perfect with no rust, pitting or dents. All scabbard mounts are brass, the throat with relief acanthus leaves and berries. Upper mount with very deep relief acanthus leaves and berries where the scrollwork decorated ring is attached. Top and bottom of the mount covered with engraving, front and back, including large block US at the top. The middle mount is identical although it does not include the US. The lower mount/drag is quite heavy and composed of very deep relief scrollwork and leaves. All mounts perfect. The hilt and scabbard mounts retain traces of the original gilt. The saber is completely untouched with wonderful patina on all of the brass.
The documents are all in fine condition and all were either generated by, or sent to Robinson. The group includes: Three muster rolls/Ordnance reports, all dated 1863; a great "Alphabetical Roll" of Company D, which Robinson commanded, dated October 28, 1862 when the regiment was mustered in, with every member of the company listed with age, occupation, where they enlisted, wealth of information; notification from the Adjutant General's Dept. informing Robinson of commission, by brevet, to the rank of Lt. Col.; his citizenship document from the state of Pennsylvania, which he apparently filed in 1857, but was not granted until 1868. Robinson was from Ireland and required to "renounce forever all allegiance to the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland"; Robinson's death notice from the Philadelphia Record dated December 17, 1920; the newspaper clipping concerning the presentation of the sword. The presentation speech was given by Sgt. William H. Beardsley of Co. D. Beardsley was promoted to 2d Lieut. on 10/28/64, again helping to date the presentation. Refers to the presentation of "the Saber - now your property - treasure up in your mind the eloquent ideas it speaks" and other 'flowery' language. Robinson responds with a lengthy soliloquy, expressing his gratitude and stating that he accepts it as a "token of your respect, trusting you will aid me in supporting this magnificent gift" Great sword with a fantastic history.
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