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A Special Silver Eagle Head Spadroon Ca 1791
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Rare Solomon Jackson Silver Eagle Head Spadroon 1791

This Very Rare Documented Sword Has Been Sold. Thank you!

A SPECIAL SILVER EAGLE HEAD SPADROON Ca 1791 - 1810

Solomon Jackson Spadroon and scabbard image

      The Solomon Jackson Eagle

Discussed and illustrated in Mowbray's, The "American Eagle-Pommel Sword"!
 
 
 
DIMENSIONS: Length overall  37"      Length of blade 31 1/2"           Width 1"             Thickness 1/4"
The hilt is 5 1/2"    The grip is 3 7/8" L x 1" W x 7/8" T    Weight Saber 1 lb 6 oz     Weight  scabbard NA

Presented is a very rare example of an officer's heavily plated Silver eagle head  spadroon type straight sword with a unique pierced guard having a spread crested eagle in the center. Mowbray attributes this and others in this style to the little known cutler, Solomon Jackson of Birmingham, England. It follows their practice of using silver wash or silver gilding over brass on this style sword, all of which he dates to Ca 1810.

The plating on this sword is so heavily applied that it looks like a true Silver hilt.  But careful inspection under a powerful magnifier shows a slight loss of silver in a few places with brass underneath. The loss of silver where only the slightest trace of brass is showing is on the hilt at the high point of the cross guard where it sat at the wearer's hip, at the flat sided ferrule above the guard, and on the obverse on the face of the quillion. Similar traces of silver loss are found on the reverse of the mounts. Overall, there is about 99% of the silver plating remaining so that under normal circumstances and light, this sword will appear to be a true Silver hilt.
 
THE PIERCED GUARD: The pierced eagle in the guard has a banner consisting of five round beads above it, and four other on one side and five on the other. This treatment is discussed in detail in The "American Eagle-Pommel Sword" by E. Andrew Mowbray, who refers to the beads as representing stars and concluded that they have no significance in dating the swords. We are not so sure of that.  We agree that after some point adding stars becomes physically impossible and maybe the correct cutoff point is 15.
 
 

Picture of pierced guard with crested spread eagle


 
That said, setting Mowbray's conclusion aside, Vermont was the 14th State admitted into the Union on March 15, 1791. There are also six stars on the blade in one group and 8 stars in the other totaling 14 which makes us believe this sword is celebrating that event, and was made shortly after 1791.
 
Solomon Jackson is known to have made a number of different variations of this design with a pierced crested spread eagle appearing as langet and on the cross guard. This sword exactly follows the examples in his book which include two examples that were 28 inches in length and were classified as artillery or naval swords. The added length of this sword suggests it was for a cavalry or mounted artillery officer.
 
illustrations in book image
Two Solomon Jackson swords illustrated in Mowbray's . Right is a Naval Officer's
 

DESCRIPTION:

The pommel is fitted with an eagle head that was originally incised in sharp detail with the tang coming through a round rim at the top of the head. There is a little looseness of the hilt at the pommel and guard ends and at the simple unadorned ferrule The bone reeded grip swells in the center and the reeds conform to the curve.The sword has a sturdy stirrup guard and its original scabbard, but the scabbard is broken in half at the mid point.  The scabbard, except for the break which may be glued together for display, is in good condition. The mounts are embellished on the obverse with a simple design, and plain on the reverse. They have their original carrying rings. The blade has a single fuller for its entire length and tapers from 3/4 inch at the hilt. It has not been sharpened, and has about 97 percent of its blue niter and gold gilt remaining which has faded. Except for some light rust at the riccasso and widely scattered small spots of light rust elsewhere, and a few nicks towards the point, it is in in very good condition. Unfortunately, there is no known provenance which can trace the history of this sword. This type sword is thoroughly discussed in Sections 13, 14, and 15, pages 108 through 112 of  The "American Eagle-Pommel Sword" by E. Andrew Mowbray
 
righteagle pommel hilt left hand image
Showing Obverse and reverse of Silver hilt Naval Officer's spadroon with pierced spread eagle guard
 
 
 
Close-up of Philadelphia silver eagle head sold in 2009 image
 Philadelphia style silver hilt eagle head sold in 2009 
close-up of eagle head pommel image
 Close-up of eagle head pommel of this spadroon   
    
 Same eagle guard as illustrated in Mowbray's image
   Page 109 in Mowbray's showing the same pierced guard, but with 15 stars on the band and blade.
 
 
 



The bluing and gilt on the blade is in good condition. There is scattered spots of rust, but nothing major
 
 
THE SCABBARD: The black leather scabbard is cleanly broken in the center and could be glued back together. The silver plated mounts have some dents and discoloration. The metalwork has been reattached and pinned at some later time and there is old hand stitching for four inches above the drag. There is an approximately 3/8 inch piece of leather missing from the very end. The scabbard is otherwise complete with its silver mountings, excluding the tip, all of which are engraved on the obverse side only. The leather body shows cracking and crazing overall, but the stitching is all present and tight. 
 
scabbard has two suspension rings, but is broken in middle image
 The scabbard has two suspension rings and a long drag.. Unfortunately, it is broken at the center
 
 
REFERENCES:

The American Eagle-Pommel Sword by E. Andrew Mowbray
The American Sword, 1775-1945, by Harold E. Peterson
Swords & Blades of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann

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