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HORSTMANN 1st Issue M 1852 Naval Officers Sword Near Mint

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To view our current inventory of an original Ames M1852 sword, one of the original 500 made, and other swords, weapons and accourterments, click here!

This Fine Sword Has Been Sold.
Thank you!
 
U.S. NAVY OFFICER'S SWORD EARLY MODEL 1852
Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia
 
 


The Horstmann M1852 is shown above RADM Samuel Robbins Brown's, USNA 1931, 3/4 inch wide sword to show the change in size over the intervening years. 
The Brown sword is available for sale. Go:  http://landandseacollection.com/id770.html
Presented is a very rare Horstmann M1852 sword that was made about the time the 1852 regulations were adopted on 8 March 1852. It has a slightly curved pipe back blade with two fullers which was common to the Navy's M 1841 eagle pommel sword design and carried forward by Horstmann. Other than for this, the design on this sword's blade and that of Ames, and the official Navy diagram are near identical as is is described in detail below.

The Navy gave a first and only order to Ames Manufacturing for 500 swords in April, 1852. These were delivered in full by January, 1853. After that, officers were required to buy their own swords which holds true today for the same slightly modified design. From inception, until the Civil War, Horstmann and Ames were the only suppliers of M 1852 swords. They were made in small numbers since there were only about 1,230 naval officers in service at that time. It is reported that by 1860, the number of officers had decreased to about 1150. Since we know that Ames produced the first 500 to meet part of these requirements, it is fair to assume that only about 650 more swords were required to meet the needs of the service until the Civil War commenced following which the officer ranks grew to about 6760 by 1865.

THE BLADE is 29 1/2 inches long by 1 9/64 inches wide while the standard is 1 1/8. It is 1/4 inch thick on the spine. The primary fuller is 11/16 inch wide and runs 22 3/4 inches over which is centered a 1/8 inch wide fuller that runs 11 1/4 inches.

It's polished and frosted design follows the pattern of the official regulations and the 500 made by Ames in 1852-53. It is unsharpened and has a few nicks along the cutting edge. Considering its age and service, it is in very good condition with only mild spotting, light handling marks, and strong etching on the blade. The faded red washer appears original.

The design on its blade is quite different from Horstmann and other swords made during the Civil War period.



                  Frosted blade follows official 1852 pattern on reverse


On the blade's reverse side, the name Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia, is imprinted on three lines. Right above it is a geometric band 7/8th inch long of alternating swirls and double lines on a 15 degree angle. Above that is a large 1 3/4 inch American eagle facing left perched on a ship's cannon and carriage. Next is a large fowled anchor shown in 3/4 view from the left. Then a 2 3/8 inch area dedicated to the officer's name surrounded by an ornate border. The design ends 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.



                  Frosted blade follows official 1852 pattern on reverse


The obverse is plain by comparison. The ricasso is unmarked with the 7/8 inch band repeated as before, then a 2 5/8 inch elongated series of oak leafs above which is a fowled anchor with American crest centered that is surrounded by a border with inward rounded corners. Next a thirteen star ellipse and finally six crossed pikes with a pole with a flag marked USN centered measuring 4 3/4 inches.

THE HILT: is 5 1/4 inches long ending in an engraved pommel with an end cap of a right facing eagle surrounded by thirteen 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 fish skin having thirteen turns of double twisted wire with a single stand on each side making a three band. 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 leafs 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 on the hilt except at the pommel end. The fish skin wrap has  two worn spots on the top at the ninth and the tenth wrap and there is minor shrinkage where it joins together at the bottom. Neither of these are particularly noticeable.


                USN and oak leafs on front guard
                            Oak leafs on rear guard

       Maker's imprint on reverse ricasso
                 Pommel end cap and tang

THE SCABBARD: is 30 inches long by 1 1/2 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 and cracking over a very minor nature. Most of the gold wash is gone. The sea serpent on the drag is mounted with the head on the side away from the rings as per the regulations. On the original M 1852 swords, the serpents had the design cast only on the obverse with the reverse blank as does this.



DIMENSION SUMMARY: Blade: 1 9/64 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick, 29 1/2 inches long
Hilt 5 1/4 inches long. Length overall 35 inches. In scabbard 35 1/2 inches.                  Primary Fuller 22 1/2” x 5/8“  Weight sword in scabbard 2 Lbs 14 oz   Net 1 lb 14 oz   Sword Knot 38 grams or 1.22 Troy ounces of Silver.

 

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 that conforms with the original specifications as follows:

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

* To about 3/4 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        Reverse hilt
                       Obverse hilt
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

OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE 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. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are  included in this offer if the error is due to our fault

International buyers welcome, but must inquire first. You are responsible for knowing your country's import laws concerning antique edged weapons. We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Africa, Nova Scotia, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean

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This is a rare example of a first issue M1852 Naval officer's sword of a pedigreed American maker. It is a special find.