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M 1852 Navy Officers Sword Horstmann & Sons Ca 1880

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M 1852 NAVAL OFFICERS SWORD HORSTMANN CA 1880

 

This Fine Sword Has Been Sold.
Thank you!

U.S. NAVY OFFICER'S SWORD MODEL 1852
Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia Ca 1880
 

 
M1852 displayed over its scabbard image
 

This is a rare example of a 19th Century M1852 Naval officer's sword of a pedigreed American maker. It is a special find. 

DIMENSION SUMMARY: Blade: 7/8 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick, 28 inches long
Hilt 5 3/4 inches long. Length overall 33 1/2 inches. In scabbard 34 inches.                  Primary Fuller 20 3/4” x 3/4“  Weight sword in scabbard 2 Lbs 14 oz   Net 1 lb 14 oz   Sword Knot 38 grams or 1.22 Troy ounces of Gold.

The antique gold bullion high ranking officer sword knot is not included.

Presented is a very rare, high quality, M1852 Naval Officer's sword that was made prior to 1883 by the famous German Solingen swordmaker, Weyersberg to Horstmann's order. It has a slightly curved pipeback blade with two fullers, which was common to the Navy's M 1841 eagle pommel sword design, and was carried forward by Horstmann in this model sword. This sets the Horstmann swords apart from most others. The design on this sword's blade is described in detail below.

THE BLADE is 28 inches long by 7/8 inches wide and is 1/4 inch thick on the spine which is marked IRON PROOF and elsewhere covered in flora. The primary fuller is 7/16 inch wide and runs 20 3/4 inches over which is a 1/8 inch wide fuller that runs 17 1/2 inches. It is etched over 15 1/2 inches of its length. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the Weyersberg king's head which was used until 1883 when that company merged with Kirschbaum. Above the obverse ricasso and as part of the design is etched horizontally, Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia, on three lines.

Originally, it was polished with a frosted design, but the polishing has faded with age. It is now a light grey with only mild spotting, light handling marks, and strong etching. The cutting edge is unsharpened and without nicks. The faded red washer appears original. 

Horstmann& Sons, Philadelphia imprint on ricasso image
Obverse engraved with shield with fouled anchor ad then pikes the center flying a USN pennant image
IRON PROOF on spine image
Frosted blade follows with Horstmann name above ricasso followed by naval symbols and arms. IRON PROOF on spine.
 


Right above the Horstmann name is a swirl of leaves 2 3/4 inch long, culminating in a rectangular design with a double border within which is a fouled anchor with American shield on its shaft. Above that is an ellipse with thirteen stars with no name. Next is a group of arms with pikes and battle axes topped by a pennant with USN.. The design ends with a sunburst.

On the blade's reverse is a geometric band 1 1/2 inch long of alternating swirls and double lines. Above that is a large 2 1/4 inch American eagle facing left perched on a ship's cannon barrel. Next is a large fowled anchor shown in 3/4 view from the left. Then comes an ornate border and USN. The design continues with a square knot with an acorn at the lower end, and then a series of oak leaves with the three strand line passing through and ending with another acorn at the bitter end, and lastly a sunburst. Considering its age and service, the blade is in very good condition.
 

M 1852 Resverse hilt image
Arrow points to the Weyersberg crown image frosted blade with the Weyersberg crown on the ricasso image
 Frosted blade follows late 19th Century convention.on reverse. Arrow points to Weyersberg crown which helps date it.
 

THE HILT: is 5 3/4 inches long ending in an engraved pommel with an end cap of a left facing eagle indicating foreign manufacture which is surrounded by ten stars with the tang protruding though its chest. The number of stars in the official 1852 design is 13. The grip is wrapped in white shark skin (shargreen) with fourteen turns of double twisted copper wire. The half basket guard is per the pattern with forward facing sea serpent quillion flowing into a pierced guard with floral oak leaves acorns and USN emblazoned on the obverse and the oak leaves and acorns repeated on the reverse. The lower hand guard terminates in an ornate sea serpent. It is slotted for a sword knot or portapee which is added when the sword is worn.  Most of the gold wash remains with some minor stains. The shark skin wrap is in excellent condition.
 

Front of M1852 guard image
Back of M1852 guard image></td>
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                USN and oak leafs on front guard and oak leaves on the back. Sharkskin grip is and wrap is excellent
 
 
Serpent is fully cast on both sides image
Stitching on scabbars is tight andunbroken image
  The serpent is cast on both sides. Heavy brass square knots and tight and unbroken stitching on near perfect scabbard.
 

THE SCABBARD: is 28 1/2 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide at the throat. It is made of leather as called for by the 1852 Regulations.  It has heavily chased figure eight knots on its upper mounts each having a suspension ring. The leather is in very good condition with all stitching tight. There is some light scuffing on the inner side. Most of the gold wash is gone. The sea serpent on the drag is mounted with the head on the side with the rings. The serpent design is cast on both sides. Length overall when the sword is housed, 34 inches. 


The only difference between the original Model 1852 sword design shown on the left, and that authorized today, is that in some today, materials such as plastic instead of fish and ray skin, and lower quality metalwork are being used. Not so with this sword which is of exceptional quality and conforms with the original specifications as follows:

* From 1 1/8 inches to about 1 inch after 1872

* To about 3/4 to 7/8 inch in the later 19th Century,

* To 5/8 inch in today's Navy.

The regulation of 1852 had the eagle on the pommel facing right when viewed from behind. The use of the officer's sword was suspended on 15 October 1942 and was not authorized officially again until 1954. Source Naval Historical and Heritage Command.

 

 

 

HORSTMANN NAMES, DATES & LOCATIONS: 

W.H. Horstmann & Sons                     Horstmann Bros. & Allien
NY - 1852-77                                       Phila - 1843 to 1863

W.H. Horstmann & Co                        Horstmann/Philadelphia
1893-1935                                              Phila 1859 - 1863
                                                                 NY - 1850-52
 

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