Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    General Robert Cowdin's Civil War Presentation Cavalry Saber This Schuyler, Hartley and Graham presentation sword was given to Brigadier General Robert Cowdin on January 1, 1863 by his staff. This sword has an elaborate guard and grip with a blade and scabbard that are equally impressive.

    Robert Cowdin was born in Jamaica, Vermont on September 8, 1805 and moved to Massachusetts at the age of twenty. Already a member of the state militia at the outbreak of the Civil War, he was named Colonel of the 1st Massachusetts Infantry as the war began. He led his regiment at the Battle of First Bull Run, Williamsburg, and at Chantilly. He was appointed brigadier general just three months before this sword was presented to him by his staff as he served at the defenses of Washington, DC.

    This ornate saber has a 36" curved blade with fine scroll etching on each side. On the obverse appears 'US' between the foliate etching while on the reverse, a spread-winged eagle with a ribbon bearing the words 'E. Pluribus Unum' above its head are nicely done. At the ricasso the maker's mark of "Schuyler Hartley & Graham" is etched while on the mark of "W. Caluberg Solingen" the maker of the blade is stamped. Schuyler used only the finest blades and advertised many different styles of engraving and blades.

    The grip of the sword is very decorative being made of silver bands with a shamrock design etching with narrow brass and gilt etched bands. The guard is of three curved, highly gilded bars curved to the pommel. The inside and the outside of the guard are highly engraved in a floral pattern terminating at the tang with a cherubic device. Atop the grip under the pommel is a large bearded medallion device nicely gilded as well.

    The metal scabbard is decorated at the throat with a gilded and intricately engraved band above two large gold medallions at 4" and 12" down the scabbard. The drag is also very ornamental extended 6" from the end of the scabbard. Highly etched, this part of the sword and scabbard shows the most loss of the gilt as it has seen much use. Between the two medallions on the scabbard is the inscription to General Cowdin as follows:

    Presented to
    Brig. Gen. Robt. Cowdin
    By His Staff
    Jany 1st 1863

    This is an overall very attractive presentation sword and scabbard given to a brigadier general during the Civil War.

    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,682

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 February 27 - 28 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search