April 11-13, 2023 Firearms and Militaria
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/13/2023
Richard Lloyd Tilghman served 30 years in the U.S. Navy and from 1845 to 1849 he served as a lieutenant on the Congress, Commodore Stockton’s command ship in the Pacific Campaign, during which combined operations by the Navy, Marines, and Army seized California for the U.S. We have not verified specific actions, but his short biography in "Men of Mark in Maryland" says, “In his campaign, Lieutenant Tilghman was conspicuous for his gallantry, and more than once distinguished himself in action.” Born in 1811 at the family estate “Grosses Coat” in Talbot County, Maryland, Tilghman was educated at an academy in Easton, became a midshipman on October 27, 1830, and passed midshipman on June 4, 1836. He was commissioned lieutenant on September 8, 1841, serving at that rank until resigning on April 23, 1861, declining to serve against his native state according to Hartzler’s notes, and did not serve against the U.S. He died in Talbot County, Maryland, on September 19, 1867, age 56. His ship assignments include: 1831, the Warren and the John Adams; 1834, the Constitution; 1835, detached to the naval school; 1837, the Independence; 1842, the Vandalia; 1843, the Yorktown and the Plymouth; 1845, the Columbus and the Congress (on which he served until January 1849). Aside from blockade duty, the fleet sent out landing forces of sailors and marines on several occasions. Tilghman’s Men of Mark biography mentions the conquest of California, but also the capture of Guaymas (Sonora), Mazatlan, and LaPaz in Baja California, though without details. Upon return from the Pacific, he was assigned to the receiving ship at Baltimore and the Germantown. In July 1851, he was given command of the Preble; April 1855 ordered to the Cyane and then to the Potomac, and then given command of the Fulton. From December 1857 to June 1860, he commanded the Perry on the Brazilian Station during the Paraguayan War, and was then placed on waiting orders, submitting his resignation May 13, 1861, dating April 23. Tilghman’s swords are quite attractive, and merit that of a career naval officer. (A) The first of 3 swords is Tilghman’s circa 1830s eagle head pommel naval officer’s sword. The sword features a straight blade with single, wide fuller, and terminates with a spearpoint. The blade is decorated for about half its length with a beautiful panel that is fire blued with alternating etched portions. The fire blued portions feature beautiful stands of arms topped with liberty caps, and elegant scrollwork, all of which is gold washed. The etched panels featured equally attractive scrolls and floral motifs. No visible maker mark. Flat oval crossguard which terminates with a beautiful serpent quillon. 7-bead P-shaped knucklebow which connects to the base of the eagle head pommel, just under the beak. Pommel is adorned with a flowered capstan. The pommel and lower ferrule secure a fluted bone grip. The sword is complete with its leather scabbard that features brass mounts that are line engraved and beautifully scalloped. The upper mount features a flower stud. Middle and upper mount each accommodate a carry ring. CONDITION: The blade exhibits a light gray patina with scattered areas of freckling throughout its length. Evidence of a leather washer at guard. Hilt exhibits a pleasing honey patina with scattered light blemishes. Hilt is loose and produces a slight wobble. Pommel is offset. Scabbard is in 3 pieces with loose mounts with flaking leather. (B) The second sword is Tilghman’s 1841 pattern naval officer’s sword. The sword features a thin blade with rounded spine and slight curve. The blade is adorned with nicely etched naval, patriotic, and foliate motifs. Reverse is etched “United States Navy” in a star vignette. Very nice guard with folding languets, with the obverse decorated with nicely cast and chased oak leaves and acorns. Folding counterguard is plain. Very nice acorn cross quillons and stirrup shaped knucklebow that connects to the eagle head under the beak. 6-pointed star capstan on top of the eagle head. The plumage of the eagle head forms into a backstrap that connects to a lower ferrule which secures the fluted and decorated ivory grip. The sword is complete with its leather scabbard that features brass mounts. A fouled anchor adorns the obverse of the middle mount with lush oak leaves and acorns ornamenting the drag. Upper mount features a stud with cross design. Each mount is nicely scalloped and engraved around the edges. Upper and middle mount each accommodate a carry ring. CONDITION: The blade exhibits a weighty patina which is more prevalent towards the tip. Etched designs are slightly muted but legible. Both folding guards function properly. Hilt exhibits a pleasing mustard patina with areas of verdigris evident in the deeply cast areas. Ivory grip exhibits 2 significant cracks with a few small hairline cracks. Scabbard is pliable and exhibits scattered creases and light cracks throughout its length. Seam is open in some areas. Mounts exhibit handling wear and a matching patina to the hilt. There are moderate traces of original gilding on the mounts, which remain secured to the scabbard. Drag is slightly loose. Light dents on mounts. (D) The third sword and final sword worn by Tilghman is his Model 1852 naval officer’s sword. The sword is beautiful and reflects the professional craftsmanship of Ames Manufacturing Company, who produced this sword. The blade is elegant and features a handsomely decorated frosted panel for most of its length. The ricasso is marked “1852” on the obverse and the decorations begin with the neatly etched maker mark “Ames Mfg, Co / Chicopee / Mass.”. Following the maker mark is a lush palmette, an anchor adorned with a patriotic shield, a star vignette, ending with a stand of arms complete with polearms and bunting before the panel terminates. The reverse ricasso is marked “P / R.B.H.” and the decorations begin with a federal eagle, perched on a cannon just below radiating sun rays which lead to a fouled anchor, banner with the letters “U.S.N.”, ending with a fouled oak tree branch, lush with leaves and acorns. The guard is neatly cast and chased and features thick oak leaves and acorns with a banner that reads “USN” resting nicely on the foliage. The guard terminates with a fierce serpent drag and morphs into the knucklebow which forms into a serpent before it connects to the pommel. The pommel is decorated with oak leaves and acorns and features a cap adorned with an eagle contained in a star vignette. The grip is of wood, wrapped in high quality sharkskin and grooved in order to accommodate the double twisted brass wire. The sword is complete with its leather scabbard that features nicely gilded brass mounts. The mounts feature line engraving with the upper and middle mount featuring fouled bands that each accommodate a carry ring. Upper mount is appropriately marked “AMES MFG. CO. / CHICOPEE / MASS”. Attractive serpent drag. CONDITION: The blade remains bright with scattered blemishes that do not detract from the vibrant decorations. The hilt exhibits a generous amount of original gilding with scattered blemishes from handling and age. Grip exhibits 1 crack in the sharkskin wrap. Tight brass wire. The scabbard remains sturdy with scattered creases and cracks, which do not penetrate all the way through. Scattered scuffs throughout. Mounts also retain a nice amount of original gilding and remain firmly secured to the scabbard body. This is an excellent group of swords and are accompanied by a folder containing notes from the Hartzler collection as well as a few pages of research which attribute these swords to Tilghman.
Blade Length
(A) 30" (B) 27 - 7/8" (C) 29"
Overall Length
(A) 35 - 1/2" (B) 33 - 1/4" (C) 35"
Folder of Research
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $6,600.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items