December 14-17, 2021 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2021
Edward Randolph Parry was born at New Hope, Pennsylvania in 1832. As a young adult, he was running a bank with a brother in Mankato, Minnesota, at the beginning of the Civil War. Connections with U.S. Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas gained him a commission as First Lieutenant in the 11th US Infantry dating to May 1861 and he helped recruit for the regiment in Massachusetts, serving briefly with the six companies it fielded at Baltimore Harbor in May 1862. Afterwards, he returned to duty in Boston as Quartermaster of Commissary in charge of prisoners at Fort Warren by November. Consignor notes indicate he made the acquaintance of several Confederate officers at the time and even dined with them after the war. He was assigned to field duty with Company B in time to take part in Grant’s 1864 Campaign, reportedly in command of the regiment at the Battle of Weldon Railroad, in August 1864, a battle in which Union losses far surpassed their Confederate counterparts, but resulted in a Union victory with their supply lines extending putting further strain on Confederate supply lines. Parry was also present in the fighting at Chapel House in October 1864. He received a promotion to captain to date October 14, 1864 and after a brief assignment as Acting Ordnance Officer and Assistant Inspector General in the 8th Corps, was summoned back to the regiment in February 1865, then serving as provost guard at headquarters, Army of the Potomac, placing him on the scene for the final battles of the war. He received a brevet to major for gallant and meritorious services, served on the Retirement Board and other capacities until redesignation of the regiment’s second battalion as the 20th US Infantry in 1866, with which he served in Louisiana during 1867-1868 and Minnesota (Department of Dakota) during 1869-1870. He requested discharge because of his wife’s health and returned to Pennsylvania, where he died at the family estate in 1871, and was survived by his wife and a daughter. He published several letters in Pennsylvania newspapers regarding his experiences on the frontier in Minnesota during the late 1850s. Parry's sword is accompanied by a period oil painting, a CDV of Parry holding this sword, a 1864 Army Register, and 1861 Army Regulations book which are both signed by him. The registrar also acts as a family history, as Parry makes notations of his nine relatives who also served. His sword is the most eye-catching piece of the small archive. The sword was presented to him at the beginning of his military career and the presentation is inscribed on the upper mount and reads "Edward R. Parry. / U.S.A. / May 14. 1861." The "U.S.A." in the inscription is for United States Army. Once unsheathed, the blade reveals sharp frosted etchings. The etchings feature laurel and acanthus leaves that swirl in the form of scrolls and are interrupted by panoplies of bunting and arms. The obverse ricasso is marked "W.H. HORSTMANN & SONS / PHILADELPHIA" on the obverse ricasso as well as "IRON:PROOF" on the spine, that is followed by a stretching vine. The reverse blade features similar designs, starting with a torch that is engulfed with floral motifs rather then flames, that travel the length of the etchings and halted by a panoply of arms and bunting, only to continue towards the ricasso ending with a palmette and geometric lines. The floral motifs flow onto the hilt, as the guard exhibits open foliate scrollwork with a quillon that is decorated with a flower on either side. The grip features a grooved, center-swelled wooden handle wrapped in leather which is tightly bound to the grip with brass wire that fits neatly in the grooves of the handle. The brass pommel is decorated with scrollwork of acanthus leaves and features a tiered cap. The blade is housed in leather scabbard that features unrelieved brass mounts, except for the presentation. CONDITION: The blade has been very well preserved and retains its original polished bright sheen with whet etchings. There are scattered areas of light pitting but the blade presents nicely. The guard exhibits darkened spots and the rest of the hilt exhibits a dark mustard patina. The grip is in superb condition and the brass wire remains tight. The scabbard mounts exhibit a similar mustard patina with a brownish hue around the edges of the throat, and ring mounts. The drag exhibits scattered small dings and several dark spots. The leather exhibits small circular grid-like cracks as well as areas of flaking. The seam exhibits separation between the middle and upper mount and there is a subtle gap that measures approximately 6". The drag and middle mount are slightly loose and move slightly forward. The books exhibit blemishes that are typical of old paper which include but are not limited to small tears, yellowing, creasing, and slight tarnishing. The CDV is very well preserved. The oil painting exhibits grid-like cracks and slight fading but still presents well. The frame is intact and exhibits various blemishes. The regular army was small and its officers were often given wide and varied assignments during the war. Their swords are correspondingly rare. This is a very nice, small archive from an officer who was quite active in a variety of different positions throughout the Civil War. Overall very good. JLD
Blade Length
30 - 1/2"
Overall Length
Binder of Research
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,690.00
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Friday, December 17, 2021.
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