M1841 U.S. Naval Officer Regulation Hilt & Scabbard

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M1841 Naval Officers sword displayed over its scabbard image


As seen in
the table below which measures the size of the Navy’s Officer Corps, this is an extremely rare example of a 19th Century
M1841 Naval officer’s Regulation hilt and scabbard. There are very few of these outside of museums such as at the
US Naval Academy in public hands. Therefore, it presents a very special opportunity for the discerning buyer.



1820 1830 1841
537 615 940

wide, 1/4 inch thick, 28 1/4 inches long
Hilt 5 1/2 inches long. Length overall 33 1/4 inches. In scabbard 33 1/2 inches.                  Fuller 20
1/4” x 5/8“              Weight sword
in scabbard 
2 Lbs 6 oz   Sword Net 1 lb 12 oz

Presented is an elegant sword that was made by an an unknown smith, with a dramatic
hilt and graceful scabbard that conforms to the 1841 design regulations. These were the first U.S. Navy swords to come with
a clear illustration of what the sword and scabbard should look like. There are numerous variations because there was much
latitude taken in how the Regulation was interpreted by the British suppliers and the few American cutlers providing
them. The slightly curved, blue niter blade follows a different design which dates from the more general 1830 Regulations
or earlier, which only called for a vaguely defined “cut and thrust sword, yellow mounted”.


This combination works beautifully and provides a historical insight to the changes in naval officers swords. While
it contains design elements from different Navy sword regulations, it is clearly of the highest quality craftsmanship.

Shown at the right is the illustration
from “Regulations for the Uniform and Dress of the Navy of the United States, 1841” which accompanied the regulations
stating; The swords to be cut and thrust, the blade to be not less than twenty six inches long, and not less than one inch
wide at the hilt. The belt must be made with a frog, so as to wear the sword perpendicular, grip to be of white, scabbard
to be of black leather, mountings to be of yellow gilt. All to be according to the illustration above.

M1841 Obverse hilt image
Reverse side of M1841 hilt image
 The Obverse M 1841 hilt shown above the reverse hilt. Both guards of equal size
and similar design.

33 1/4 inches
in overall length, 17 1/2 inches of the blade are niter blued with gold gilt washed vines, fowled anchor on the obverse,
and an American eagle with E. Pluribus Unim within a banner inscribed on the reverse. Both sides of the 3 inch by 1 3/4 inch, gilted
brass hinged guards are of equal size and are decorated with with two acorns and six oak leaves per the Regulation design.
The gold feathers from the eagle’s head pommel go down the full length of the back strap. The antique ivory grip has been
carved in an eagle’s breast feather pattern that begins with the neck and ends at a ferrule with a single band mounted
above the cross guard that has an acorn on either end. 

The resulting hilt
shows an imposing eagle with a white ivory layered feathered breast. The head is regal with a fierce look and commanding

M1841 Obverse blade showing spread American eagle image
Reverse side of M1841 blade showing fouled anchor image
 The Obverse M 1841 blade section American eagle shown above the reverse
blade section fouled anchor.

The 28 1/4 inch black leather scabbard is of the M 1841 prescribed design
and carefully follows the drawing. It was crafted with the same attention to detail and its brass hardware has been
engraved with 12 stars in an ellipse that surround a prominent frog on the throat band with a carrying ring. The center
3 1/4 inch band has a second carrying ring with a large 1 3/4 inch fouled anchor with scalloped edges and engraved waves
and swirls.  The long 5 1/4 inch lower band has an engraved climbing vine with six alternating leaves and acorns. The
upper end is finished like the central mount and the drag is a simple band. The work on the reverse brass is elegantly
simple lines.

Obverse of M1841 Naval officers scabbard image

Together, they are a piece that makes quite a striking impression and was
a prized possession in a Flag Officer’s collection of fine edged weapons. It is an excellent addition to any
accomplished edged weapons collection.

M141 sword shown in scabbard image
M1841 sword image
shown in scabbard over a picture of the sword

The blade shows patches of pitting and blackening concentrated along the edges and spine with
a few light handling marks.
90% of the original blue and gold gilt finish remain and have only lightened with age. The counter-guards are stuck in
the closed position. There is a small crack present in the inside rear knuckle guard. The carved
ivory grip shows some mild cracks and chips beneath the head, but is firmly ensconced in the hilt. Overall, the hilt
is very good with aged brass visible on the high points and mild handling marks. The scabbard, for its age, is in excellent
condition with only mild cracks and scuffs and a tight seam down the center back. There are a few dents and scratches
on the hardware.

PROVENANCE: From the collection
of a civil minded Los Angles native who was a UCLA, and Harvard School of Management graduate and successful
business executive with a major California utility. He had a simultaneous dual career as an Army Reservist
who first served three years in the enlisted ranks and retired 39 years later as a major general. In civilian life,
in addition to a successful business career, he also found time to serve on a planning commission, and library board of trustees
and numerous veterans associations. His principal Army command positions were as
63″ United States Army Reserve Command and
as the Deputy
Commanding General Headquarters, FORCES COMMAND, Atlanta, Georgia. He was also

a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. The deceased had a passion, not for fire arms
as would be expected, but for edged weapons and had a large collection. This sword was one of his most prized possessions.
He passed away in 2011 at age 74. His full biography will accompany the sword along with a color picture showing his
promotion to major general.

M1841 scabbard image
  The near perfect scabbard showing all of the regulation details


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