Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 193: Silver Plated American Eagle Head Officer's Sword with Scabbard

Auction Date: May 3, 2019

American Eagle Head Officer's Sword with Exceptional Detailed Pommel

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $5,500

American Eagle Head Officer's Sword with Exceptional Detailed Pommel

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Gauge:
Barrel:
Finish:
Grip:
Stock:
Item Views: 816
Item Interest: Average
Catalog Page: 113
Class: Other
Description:

Manufactured by an unknown smith, the overall configuration suggests a late 1700s/early 1800s British cavalry sword, which itself served as the model for American cavalry and mounted artillery swords of the 1800s. Overall length is 39 5/8 inches, with a 33 3/4 inch curved single fuller blade, featuring traces of a niter blue field on the lower half and gold accented wire etching of patriotic and martial motifs. The left side features the words "Honour/and my/country" in a laurel wreath, and a winged caduceus with crossed flags and cannons. The traditional symbol of the Greek deity Hermes and generally an emblem of trade and messengers, the caduceus became an accidental substitute for the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol of medicine, especially in American military circles, appearing on official uniforms about the 1850s and later made the official symbol of the U.S. Army Medical Department in 1902. The hilt is silver finished brass, with sunrise motifs on the short languets, sculpted guard, wire wrapped leather grip, and a well detailed "screaming eagle" pommel. The scabbard is silver finished brass in construction, with floral motifs on the suspension bands and a short drag.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The bright and blued areas of the blade have turned a mixed gray, with about half of the gilt finish, some light edge nicks, and mild spotting. The hilt retains strong traces of the original silver, with a mixed aged patina overall, some wear/shrinkage of the leather, and mild handling marks. The sculpted detail in the eagle is exceptional, with a bit of bright rubbing on top of the eagle's head. The scabbard retains traces of the original silver, with an especially well aged patina around the suspension bands, evidence of old, light polishing and some minor dings and scratches.



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