Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1157: Etched Gilt Civil War Horstmann & Sons Officer's Sword

Auction Date: September 12, 2020

Ornate Presentation Quality Civil War U.S. Horstmann & Sons Officer's Sword with Relief Cast Silver Grip

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,500

Ornate Presentation Quality Civil War U.S. Horstmann & Sons Officer's Sword with Relief Cast Silver Grip

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 1122
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 148
Class: Other

This ornate, presentation quality, sword is patterned after the U.S. Model 1850 Foot Officer's sword and was made by Horstmann & Sons of Philadelphia. The slightly curved Gebruder Weyersberg made blade is approximately 31 inches long and beautifully etched and gilded about halfway up its length with stands of arms, "U.S.", floral motifs, and a "great seal" type eagle. The etching is continued on the spine of the blade with a leafy vine and "IRON PROOF". The right ricasso is marked "WH/HORSTMANN/& SONS/PHILADELPHIA" over the crowned king marking of Weyersberg. The openwork of the gilded guard is of oak leaves with intertwined "US" and the gilded pommel has a ring of small red gem stones surrounding a large one at the center. The high relief silver grip shows a representation of Liberty on the right and floral designs surrounding another red gem on the left. The gilt scabbard has high relief stands of arms and a Union soldier at the bottom, two hanging rings, and a drag. Swords of this quality are often seen inscribed to an officer of exceptional quality as a gift from the men they led or another officer, or an award for outstanding achievements. Though this sword lacks such an inscription, it was almost certainly such a presentation or gift.

Rating Definition:

Fine, the attractive blade shows mostly bright with a majority of the slightly thin gilding remaining and crisp etching. The hilt retains 90% plus of the original gilding and the silver grip shows an attractive antique patina. The replated scabbard is also fine, retaining most of the aforementioned finish and showing some light cleaning evidence and very light pitting under the plating. An exceptionally fine, presentation grade, officer's sword that would make an excellent addition to your Civil War collection!

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