U.S. NAVAL OFFICER’S
Model 1852 Dress Sword With Belt
Named to Birge Swift Thompson
DIMENSIONS: Blade: 3/4 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick, 32 inches
long, Handle 5 1/2 inches long. Length overall 38 1/4 inches. In scabbard 38 1/4 inches.
>Fuller 21″ x 1/2“
Weight sword 2 Lbs 13 1/4 oz
CONDITION: The leather scabbard has been renewed, and like the sword, is in fine condition. The metal work on the grip, pommel, cross guard, and scabbard are exceptional with sharp and even edges. The two strands of wire wrap over the ray skin cover of the grip tightly. Most of the gilding seems to be worn away due to repeated polishing now replaced with a pleasing patina of age. This sword speaks of the quality of a bygone era.
The design on the blade is nickel plated over an acid etched design and is pristine and shows in Near New Condition overall.
There are thirteen wraps on the ray grip in good condition. The single fuller is 16 1/2″. There are 16 stars on the blade along with the Coast Guard symbols, and 14 on the pommel.
Engraved Detail on Blade
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 except that the blade was decreased in width 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.