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US M1841 NAVAL CUTLASS
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The US Navy M1841 boarding cutlass was the second regulation pattern cutlass since the M1826 Nathan Starr model. Total number of cutlasses ordered was approximately 7,200; all were made by the Nathan Ames Company. Production dates range from 1842-1847. This particular example is marked on the obverse ricasso N.P.AMES / SPR[INGFIELD] in two horizontal lines. Reverse ricasso is marked U.S.N / 184? [last digit worn out] in two horizontal lines. The hilt shows attractive uniform patina and honest wear, with traces of original fire-gilding. Obverse side of the quillon is stamped with the Armory inspector’s initials W.A.T, for William Anderson Thornton, Captain, USA. Reverse side of the quillon is inspector-stamped J.C.., for J.C.B. – Joseph C. Bragg. Dating the cutlass more precisely doesn’t seem possible to me. Outside of the guard is stamped with the ship's rack number 91. Inside of the guard is stamped 131/580, probably the Navy Yard storage numbers. Blade is the standard 21" long, and is peppered with light pitting, signs of use and period cleanings. High rack number "91" indicates that the old veteran served on a large ship, a heavy frigate or a ship of the line.




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