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US M1860 LIGHT CAVALRY SABER BY MANSFIELD & LAMB
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This is an interesting Civil War saber, to say the least. Made by the Rhode Island maker Mansfield & Lamb in 1862, it has the appropriate inspection mark on the obverse ricasso, along with the year of acceptance. Maker's mark is on the reverse ricasso. Pommel is stamped with a number 35 on the obverse pommel, and 335 on the reverse side of the pommel, with the number 3 perrhaps being an over-strike. Numbering of swords was a Confederate characteristic, which might indicate that this particular Union saber was captured by Confederate Army, stamped and reissued to a Confederate cavalry man. To add to the mystery, there are five distinct notches placed on the cross-guard bow at the spot where it enters the pommel. Scabbard drag bears six similar notches. Kill notches??? Scabbard is from a M1840 heavy cavalry saber, which is not surprising, taking into the account shortage of serviceable weapons ion the South. Anyway, that is how the sword came into my possession in a small North Carolina auction, and it appears that both the sword and the scabbard have been together for a very long time. Scabbard body has several dents, with one especially resembling a strike from a piece of shrapnel or a buck and ball. Blade has been period field-sharpened and bears a wonderful grey patina, as does the scabbard. An unusual sword, by all means, and full of character.




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