December 10, 2019 Edged Weapon, Armor & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/10/2019
Exceedingly rare 1840 Pattern US Engineer 1840 officer's sword. The small and elite Corps of Engineers drew top graduates from West Point. There were only 39 Engineer Officers at the time of this sword's production. They played a key role in the country's security in building forts and public projects, mapping the country's westward expansion, etc. This pattern was adopted for the corps shortly after the topographical department was split off into a separate organization (until 1863). Both organizations were small and their swords are correspondingly rare, with only a few known to exist. This sword used a triangular epee style blade reminiscent of a European small sword, but uses a quintessentially American motif for the gilt brass hilt: a coiled rattlesnake winds around the grip, its head at the pommel and tail with rattles at the base, resting inside the counterguard. Knuckle bow is flat, with floral motifs at top and bottom with star at center having clouds with Roman legion style thunderbolts jumping out above and below. Folding plain counterguard on reverse. Obverse with raised Engineer castle at center, 26 stars at left, large single star at right that unwinds in a floral spray along the lower edge. Blade is hollow ground, etched with floral motifs for twenty inches in each channel. "N.P. Ames / Cutler / Springfield" at base of reverse channel, with "U.S. Corps of Engineers" etched in reverse channel, with trophy arms and US flag above, and American eagle with ribbon under stars and sunburst before finial leafy vine. Black leather scabbard with gilt brass mounts. CONDITION: Excellent. Lots of original gilt to the hilt with just minor wear to gilt on grip and some rubbing to high points of scroll on counterguard. Blade is bright, etching is very visible. Frosting is thin, but present. A few grey spots including two in area of corps etching, but the designation is still clear and fully legible. Black leather scabbard solid with good finish. Rings and stud present. Rubbing to edges of upper mount showing dark brass beneath. Small similar spots on middle mount. An extremely scarce sword in extremely good condition. (SR). PROVENANCE: From the Collection of George M. Rapport.
Blade Length
31 - 3/4"
Overall Length
37 - 1/2"
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $7,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $10,200.00
Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
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