Ames Civil War M 1860
Naval Cutlass & Scabbard

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Ames Civil War Service 1860 Naval Cutlass Dated 1862 & Scabbard

Ames M 1860 Civil War Servce Cutlass image

Presented
is an Ames Civil War M1860 cutlass
dated 1862 with its original scabbard. This is a big plus since many found with these weapons are reproductions.
This one has the rarely seen Star imprint on the final rivet which adds to its importance. Like many swords that
were actually used in combat, the wire wrap and leather grip have been removed leaving the wood hilt exposed.
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MARKINGS:
The blade is correctly marked on the verso with the Ames scroll, but it has been mostly worn off and very faint. 
On the obverse ricasso, the blade is marked
USN/ D.R. (the inspectors mark)/1862  on three lines. The Ames serial number 25 M 54 is stamped on the inside
of the upper quillion. The inspector’s mark D.R. also appears on the top of the pommel above the tang.

Correct markings on the ricasso image

USN/D.R./1862 on 3 lines of the obverse ricasso

CONDITION
OF GUARD=left>=left>=left>
: The knuckle bow has a flange that accepts an elliptical guard which
acts as a hand shield. The curved hand shield is riveted to the flange and forms a solid half basket guard. The leather
covering over the wood grip, and wire wrap have been removed. There are small dents on the guards face and it has a pleasing greenish
brown patina of age.

M 1860 cutlass obverse hilt image
M 1860 cutlass obverse hilt image

Wire wrap and leather removed from grip

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Markings on the inner guard image

Ames Serial Number 54

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Start imprint on large rivet image

 Rare Star imprint on large rivet

SCABBARD & BLADE CONDITION: In addition to what has been described elsewhere, the
blade and all individual parts are tight and correct. The blade is sharp with nicks for the first one third of its length and
has a mottled Silver Grey finish with dark spotting. The scabbard is complete and has 39 proper rivets down its
length ending with a oversize rivet at the end that has a five pointed star imprint. It is colored black with brown leather
underneath on the front and brown leather on the back.

The blade
is sharp and there are numerous nicks down one third of its edge from the rounded tip. All these are evidence this cutlass
has seen use in combat.

SEction of bladeshowing condition and nicks image
Reverse side of Ames M 1860 cutlass and scabbard image

Top: Condition of blade showing nicks Bottom: Reverse of cutlass showing rivets and coloring

DIMENSIONS: Cutlass
32″ long overall. 25 3/4″ blade length

Max width of blade 1 3/8″ Max thickness
1/4″

Fuller 3/4″ W x 19″ L Weight 1
lbs 15 oz

This is a worthwhile example
of an Ames, Civil War Service Cutlass and will be appreciated by those who value historic weapons!

BRIEF
HISTORY Ames Mfg. Co.:
The Ames Manufacturing Company, Chicopee, Massachusetts, was founded in 1832 by James Tyler
Ames and his brother, Nathan Peabody Ames. The company manufactured small tools, cotton machinery, swords, cannons, and did
casting of bells. They started production of military contract swords in 1832 with the M1832 foot artillery sword, and ended
with the M1906 cavalry saber in 1906. Ames produced more swords for the American military than any other company before or
since, totaling over 200,000 swords in service by the end of the Civil War. In that time, at least ten different manufacturing
marks were used on the swords. A little knowledge of the company history helps place a date range for when each stamp was
used. When the company started producing swords it was led by Nathan P. Ames, and most marks reflected that fact. In 1847,
Nathan died and left the company to his brother James. The markings on the blades were immediately changed from N.P. Ames
to Ames Mfg. Co. In 1848, the town of Cabotville was incorporated into Chicopee, Massachusetts, and the marks were once again
changed to reflect this. Blades dated as late as 1850 may still bear the Cabotville stamp, as the old dies were probably used
until they were worn out. In a much reduced state, they are still in business today. Mostly,
from an essay by sword expert, Michael McWatters

 

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