May 18, 2021 Early Arms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/18/2021
This rare example of the Grenadier of Virginia saber is 32" long overall and has an unfullered hatchet point blade 26 1/8" long by 1 5/8" wide at ricasso that is unique to this particular pattern. The spine of the blade is inscribed "Klingenthal" and most of the inscription is still partially visible. On both sides of the blade there are still portions of the panoplies of arms visible. The stirrup hilt was cast in two pieces and is similar to that found on the French M1767 briquet, but more robust in size. It is possible that this saber was one of those sent by the state of Virginia to arm the troops of George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Regiment in 1782. These sabers were originally made at the Klingenthal Arsenal in France under a contract with the state of Virginia in 1778. Many of these Virginia grenadier sabers, which had a unique hatchet-shaped blade, were issued out to armed volunteer cavalry during the invasion of the state in 1780. Others were given to commissioned officers of the Virginia Continental and state regulars in 1780-1781. Some also had post war usage during both the War of 1812 and Civil War. During the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781, the British captured Virginia Major Alexander Stuart. His sword of this pattern is in the Virginia Historical Society Collection. This is perhaps the only known example extant that still has a portion of its original scabbard and two mounts. A 21 1/2" leather fragment accompanies this example, along with center mount and drag, both of iron. A good representative example of one of the rarest and most desirable of all Revolutionary War American edged weapons. CONDITION: Originally, this saber would have had “GRENADIER OF VIRGINA” etched on the obverse face and “LIBERTY OR DEATH” on the reverse, but the saber shows signs of cleaning and use over the years that have nearly removed all traces of the etching on this example. Part of the pre-1783 Klingenthal touchmark (crown over "R") is still visible on the obverse face at ricasso as well as part of the panoply of arms on both sides. The sword obviously hung over a fireplace for quite some time, as the right side of the hilt is black from soot, except for a small section where the hanger was on the guard. The opposite side of the hilt retains a mustard patina with areas of darker patina. Sword apparently was displayed with scabbard, as the portions not covered by the scabbard have a darker patina than the protected areas. The scabbard fragment is heavily crazed, showing some losses and tears. Iron mounts retain a very dark heavy patina. Drag mount is separated at bottom seam and has other cracks and denting. A very rare Revolutionary War sword with an even more scarce partial scabbard. DMG
Blade Length
26 - 3/8"
Overall Length
History of French Swords in America
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $19,200.00
Estimate: $6,000 - $12,000
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
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