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    Description

    Untouched, High Grade, Silver Grip, Civil War Presentation M1850 Staff & Field Officer's Sword by Horstmann. The 33" blade retains most of the original mint luster with some scattered areas of dry surface rust that would clean nicely. Blade etched for 2/3 its length with arms panoplies, floral/scrollwork, and eagle with shield on obverse. "W. H. Horstmann & Sons Philadelphia" just above the ricasso which is marked with a crowned head. Reverse with similar etching but incorporating a large block US. Regulation style hilt but with elaborate embellishment on the pommel cap and the inside of the guard. Silver grip exquisitely engraved overall with floral/scrollwork with a riband surrounded by floral work on the obverse. Certainly one of the nicer examples of this style of work we've seen on a grip. Entire hilt perfect, untouched, and retaining much of the original gilt. German silver scabbard with elaborate brass mounts perfect. All mounts cast in deep relief. Top mount with eagle surrounded by sunburst surmounting an arms panoply. Middle mount with separately affixed bust of Washington, with sword and laurel leaves above, and oak leaves with ribbon below. Lower mount with arms panoply including American shield and fasces. The elaborate drag incorporates 4 piercings. The sword is overall in superb untouched condition. The sword is accompanied by a period cloth storage case.
    Inscribed between the upper and middle mount on the obverse of the scabbard, "Presented to / Col J. P. Wickersham / of the 47th P. V. M. by Co. H / And other Friends as a Token of Respect / for him, both as an Officer and as a Man". The 23d Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia was called to active duty from 7/9/63 to 8/14/63. Organized at Camp Curtin, the regiment joined the right wing of the Army of the Potomac near Greencastle, Pa. on July 13, in anticipation of a general assault against Lee's forces entrenched across the Potomac. The attack, of course, did not occur, and the regiment returned to Reading, Pa. where they were mustered out. Wickersham was Pennsylvania's pre-eminent educator of the mid 19th century, and was appointed Pennsylvania's Superintendent of Schools by Governor Curtin in 1866. During the war Wickersham offered to raise a regiment in 1861 but was turned down by Curtin, feeling his services were needed in the state education system rather than in the military. But not to be totally deterred, Wickersham was instrumental in raising and equipping several companies for Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiments. When the Confederates reached the Susquehanna River, near Columbia Pa. in late June of 1863, Wickersham called a meeting, and gave a rousing speech in which he stated that the Rebels were on their doorstep and, "It is the duty of everyone who is able to fight them. I intend to do it.....if any brothers or fathers would sooner fight than run away they will find me ready to lead them...." Beautiful sword with a fascinating history.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    25th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 915

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