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    Description

    One of the greatest rarities in American Sword Collecting with only a handful of known specimens.

    Regulation US M1840 Engineer Officer's Sword and Scabbard by N. P. Ames. The emergence of one of these incredibly rare swords is universally recognized as a landmark event. This example was purchased privately 25 years ago in the New England area, has been in storage ever since, and is offered here for the first time. The great rarity of these swords is attested to by the fact that as of Feb. 19, 1840, when General order No. 7 was issued, specifying the adoption of the sword, there were but 39 US Engineer officers in the regular establishment. This example is in excellent untouched condition and conforms to the regulation in every detail. 37¼" overall with a 31¾" blade triangular in cross section. A fuller extends the entire length of all three facets. The blade is exquisitely etched, with hand engraved details, for 2/3 of its length, on all three facets. The obverse two facets exhibit scroll and leaf designs with American flags and arms panoplies at the mid-point. The reverse facet displays similar designs with "U. S. Corps of Engineers" in a central panel, above which are arms panoplies and a spread wing federal eagle with riband and rays. The "N. P. Ames/ Cutler/ Springfield" logo at the base. The blade retains 80% of the original mint luster, with just some scattered staining. The distinctive all brass hilt with the grip composed on two intertwined rattlesnakes , the knucklebow cast with the thunderbolts representing Trajan's 'Thundering Legion, and the obverse counterguard decorated in relief with the double turreted engineer castle, 26 stars and a floral/scroll terminating in a large star is near mint. The reverse counterguard is hinged and spring loaded, with very fine stippling on the face. The hinge pin retaining the counterguard is slightly bent but not broken and easily straightened. The hilt overall retains 90% of the original gold wash. Typically, the all brass scabbard retains only vestiges of the original thin black leather covering (most of the surviving specimens have, in fact, had this covering restored), there are absolutely no bends or dents. The three gilt brass mounts are decorated with incised lines at the edges. Single carrying rings on the top and middle mount and a Federal shield frog stud. The mounts also retain about 90% of the original gilt. There is just one tiny pierced hole at the very tip of the lower mount, negligible. A rare opportunity for the advanced collector or astute investor.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,777

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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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