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Early U.S. Eagle Head "KETLAND" - "MEDICUS" Saber Ca 1805 Sword

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To view our collection of swords deaccessed from a museum which features the famous Flayderman-Medicus Ketland saber, click here!

To view our collection of rare and important silver hilted American swords and sabers, click here!

This Fine Relic Has Been Sold. Thank you!

EARLY U.S. EAGLE HEAD "KETLAND" SABER 
  Mounted Infantry Officer ~ Ca 1805


 

 
 
Presented is a very early example of an unmarked eagle head pommel saber. Its sharply curved blade's 1 5/16" width is wider then normal and its very long overall length of 36 3/4 inches when housed in the scabbard indicates it was for a mounted officer. One section of the gilding is decidedly American heraldic engraving comprised of a gilded American Shield, Flag, Cannon barrel and Oak leaves.
 
The original Ketland sword was part of the famous Philip Medicus Collection which was purchased by Norm Flayderman in 1955 and later sold off piecemeal. The Medicus sword was marked Ketland on the blade, but the eagle pommel, hilt, wedge shaped blade tang, bone reeding, knuckle guard, and blued and gilded decoration are matches to this example.
It is pictured on pages 106 and 107 of the "American Eagle Pommel Sword, The Early Years, 1794-1830" by Mowbray with an introduction by Flayderman
 
 
BRIEF HISTORY: William Ketland & Co. was active in Birmingham, England as a gun maker as early as 1780. The father and grandson, both William, had died by 1804 and the firm passed to a brother-in-law, Thomas Izon, who traded under the Ketland & Co., name until 1831 when operations ceased. Sword making by the firm dates from the earliest days of 1804 as part of Izon's success in dealing in the American Trade. He likely had help of family members, John and Thomas, living in Philadelphia and importers such as G. Upson in New York.
 
 
 

CONDITION:
The brass elements of the hilt have a dark patina of age. The blade is firm in the hilt. There are only a few remnants of the silver plate, mostly on the eagle's cheek, that covered the metalwork which indicates its infantry lineage. The saber's length is too long for anything, but a mounted officer. The very high quality and sharpness of the features of the eagle and the rest of the metalwork's handle design suggest that this sword was made from an original mold in the early days of production before the quality of later castings was diminished. The grips have a careful reeding, show no "rabbit furring" and may be of Ivory. The grip has a nice yellow patina. The bluing, gold gilding and silvering on the blade are about 90 percent present, but faded. The simple etched designs are of American Heraldry consisting of a gilded American Shield, Flag, Cannon barrel and Oak leaves with other sprayed foliage.
 
The blade's blued surface has areas of roughness of solidified rust which shows in the photos. The fighting edge is smooth and at one time sharp. It has a gilded stripe along the edge. Towards the polished portion, the blade has age spotting and some imperfections. The companion brass scabbard with two carrying rings has a flat drag, some minor dents and the remnants of a silver wash. It is in good condition. 
 
This is a rare example of an early Ketland eagle headed 1805 American sword 
 
        Detail of Ketland eagle head in book
                    Detail of eagle head
 
DIMENSIONS: Saber 35 3/4" long overall. 30 3/4" blade length
In scabbard 36 3/4"                                            Weight 2 1/4 lbs
Max width of blade 1 5/16"   Max thickness 1/4"
Fuller 5/8" W x 23 1/2" L
Bluing 14 7/8" L                
 
 
                    Close up of Ivory grip, knuckle guard and wedged shaped tang on pommel
                            American Shield, Flag, Cannon and Oak leaves
OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. A prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Unfortunately, shipping charges are not included in this offer and are non-refundable unless due to our error.

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