December 14-17, 2021 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2021
Superb example of a Civil War presentation grade sword that is inscribed to Captain Joel Harrison Tarbell. He was born in 1816 and lived a busy life working as a famer, hotel-keeper, and store-keeper when he became the twenty-fourth captain of the Lafayette Artillery Company, serving as such from 1850 to 1865. Organized in 1804 at Peterborough, the company was attached to the 22nd Regiment, headquartered at Lyndeborough from 1833, and formally designated the Lafayette Artillery in 1837. During the Civil War, the Lafayette Artillery Company of the New Hampshire Militia was mustered into U.S. service for ninety days garrison duty at Fort Constitution at New Castle, NH where the unit guarded Portsmouth harbor on August 1, 1864 and served until mustering out on September 23, 1864. The sword was made by Hamilton Ruddick of Boston, a sword manufacturer and machinist in Boston from 1863-1865 and the upper mount is inscribed, “Pres’d to Capt. / J.H. Tarbell / by L. Arty. Co. / Sept. 26 1864.” Given the date of the presentation, the sword was a gift of appreciation to their Captain upon their return home. Tarbell's sword is elegant, and is fitting as a gift of appreciation. The blade features bold, decorative etchings on both sides. The obverse features a foliate scene comprised of red oak leaves and acorns followed by a bundle of military arms and armor topped with a coiled American flag. Below the arms, is a spread winged federal eagle with 13 stars between the wing tips, that is perched above another foliate scene of a twisting grape vine. The reverse reflects the scenes of the obverse, featuring a foliate scene of flowers followed by a decoration of arms with a US shield and crossed flags. Below the arms, are the letters "US" followed by a floral motif of budding roses. Below the etched designs is the maker mark "H. Ruddick / Boston" which was nicely etched on the ricasso. The elegance continues with the French style cast brass guard which features an eagle perched on a patriotic shield in front of a stand of flags in the shape of a fan. Below the guard is a grooved wood grip wrapped with leather and bound with brass wire that is highlighted with a backstrap that features more foliate motifs. The guard is topped by a decorated domed pommel that features beaded designs. The scabbard is leather, with brass mounts cast and chased with decorative designs, with more decorations on the drag. The upper mount features an eagle perched on a bundle of arrows on the reverse of the inscription. The center mount exhibits the same decorations on each side and the drag features a drum over top of a bundle of arms on the obverse and a shield on the reverse, both of which are flanked by scrollwork. The sword is complete with its case which is constructed of wood wrapped with leather. The case is wonderfully lined with blue velvet and the sword fits perfectly inside. CONDITION: The blade remains bright with nearly unmolested decorations. There are slight blemishes especially towards the tip which do not alter the overall appearance. The brass guard remains bright and the leather only exhibits slight blemishes as the brass wire remains tightly wrapped to the grip. The brass components remain bright on both the sword and scabbard. The leather scabbard is in excellent condition and only exhibits slight blemishes. Many of these scabbards are cracked or broken while this example remains nearly untouched. The mounts remain tight. There is significant leather loss to the case, and there are several pieces that are continuing to separate from the wood. The blue lining exhibits scattered stains and tears but remains intact overall. This is a wonderful set that was well taken care of by a proud officer. Overall excellent. JLD

Item Dimensions: 40" x 8" x 6"
Blade Length
30 - 1/2"
Overall Length
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $2,880.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Friday, December 17, 2021.
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