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AMERICAN ARTILLERY OFFICER'S PRESENTATION-GRADE SWORD CA.1825
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This outstanding American Eagle Pommel artillery officer's presentation-grade sword dates ca.1820-1830. 31" blade has the most beautiful, well-preserved blue and gild decorations I have had the pleasure to offer for sale. Frosted etched panels feature classical floral decorations and a head of an Indian chief.
An interesting feature is the presence of a sterling silver-marked grip on the obverse side. The silver slab has acquired a beautiful dark age patina, but appears to have been polished to a mirror-shine, when new. My feeling is that the silver slab may have been placed to receive a presentation inscription, or by the desire of the officer, perhaps to be used as a mirror. Reverse grip is vertically-ribbed mother of pearl. Blade tang shows evidence of period tightening. Blade is inscribed with the dealer's name A.W.SPIES, who, although according to Bazelon and McGuinn, was born in New York City, started off in Birmingham in the early 1800s, and by 1819 had established himself in New York, having married into the well-known Wolfe family of sword merchants. Spies supplied officers swords steadily up to about 1835; then the company gradually turned more towards the firearms sales.
The eagle pommel is of the so-called Widmann style, which evidences the fact that the eagle pommel swords of this fashion were not proprietary to the Philadelphia cutler and sword dealer Frederick Widmann, but were imported by other sword merchants as well, and originated from London, Birmingham or Solingen.
Down-turned shell guard is cast and hand-chased in the most exact fashion, featuring 17 stars and crossed cannon, a motif repeated in the blade decoration.
Blue and gild decoration exhibits only the very minor handling marks, and is mirror-bright.






Image 1 of AMERICAN ARTILLERY OFFICER'S PRESENTATION-GRADE SWORD CA.1825