U.S. NAVAL OFFICER’S SWORDS Model 1852
Except for changes in materials, the only difference between the Model
1852 sword and that authorized today is that the blade width was decreased from 1 1/8 inches to about 1 inch after 1872 and
then to about 3/4 inch in the later 19th Century, and finally to 5/8 inch in today’s Navy. The regulations of 1852
had the eagle on the pommel facing right. The use of the officer’s sword was suspended on 15 October 1942 and was not authorized
officially again until 1954. Source Naval Historical Center.
Sold, a gift to a Serving U.S. Naval
Officer. Thank you!
I. POST 1892 Mystery
Sword, Made U.S.A. over Star of Damascus, nothing on reverse. Original leather scabbard. Sword knot, not included:
3/4″ wide, 3/16 inch thick, 30 1/2 inches long, Handle 5 1/4 inches long. Length overall 35 3/4 inches. In
scabbard 37 inches. Weight 2 1/2 pounds
Thirteen wraps of four strand wire on the white painted fish
skin covered handle. Single 20 1/2 inch fuller. 13 stars in oval. This was the number of stars in the 1852 design. The scabbard
bands are stamped with the number “17” indicating the year of manufacture.
Design on blade is acid etched. All in like new condition with almost all gilding and lacquer in place. This sword
was never personalized and the designated area is ready to be engraved. By treaty signed in
1892, the country of origin began to appear on blades. The bands and drag are embellished with a zig-zag
design and the top two stamped “17”. There is a single screw holding each. The gilding on the top knot is tarnished.
The leather is complete and in like new condition with all the stitching intact. The dolphin on the drag
is mounted with its head on the side away from the hangers per official design. The eagle on the pommel faces left surrounded
by 13 stars.
Handle four strands of twisted wire, 13 turns
Extra sprig of oak leafs front
The most distinguishing features of this sword compared to the other
two are the sprig of extra oak leaves on the front of the guard and on the back of the guard. These are not authorized in
the 1852 regulations nor do they appear on most Navy sword guards.
Mystery sword extra leafs front & back
1908 Lilley & Harding swords no extra leafs
THE MYSTERY SWORD: On the top of the blade next to
the hilt is stamped “Made in USA” above an etched Star of Damascus, but no maker is given on the reverse. It is in near new
condition, and at 2 1/2 pounds is one pound heaver than the other two. The scabbard is also wider and thicker. Everything
looks more massive and of much higher quality. It appears recently made except for Ames who denies knowledge of it, no one
has been making swords in this country for years, and then only with imported blades. There are two other significant differences.
In addition to the country of origin, the first is that etched on the blade is an oval of
thirteen stars as was called for by the official design. The other two swords have the same oval, but the
count is sixteen stars.
The other unusual difference is that on the front and back of the guard is a small sprig or
branch of leafs. It is blank metal in the same place of the other two.
The mystery sword is shown with a gold bullion
sword knot which dates from the time that real gold thread was in use and not Mylar. It is not included.
below has been sold. Thank You!
II. Commodore Oscar Smith, USNA
Class 1908, Sword by A.P. Lilley Co., New York, N.Y., Star of Damascus and bronze “Proven” cartouche on reverse.
Original leather scabbard:
DIMENSIONS: Blade: 5/8 inch wide, 3/16 inch thick,
28 3/4 inches long, Handle 5 1/4 inches long. Length overall 34 1/4 inches. In scabbard 35 inches. Weight
1 1/2 pounds.
Twelve wraps of two strand wire on the ray covered handle. Single
21 1/2 fuller. 16 stars in oval.
Design on blade appears to be tooled or stamped with plating over. Very slight pitting at the very end. Personalized
to Oscar Smith, Jr., ’08 (USNA Class of 1908). Just above the top scabbard mount band are the initials in
script “OSJr”. The bands and drag are embellished with fancy designs including a large fowled anchor on the upper reverse.
There is a single rivet holding each. The leather is complete with its surface showing some wear in the lower section.
Stitching is intact. The dolphin on the drag is mounted with its head to the side of the hangers. All the brass work
has a rich patina of age. The eagle on the pommel faces left surrounded by 13 stars.
THE OFFICER: Oscar Smith attained the rank of commodore
in World War Two. A commodore is the equivalent of a brigadier, one star, general. In 1944 he was put in charge of secret
guided missle and drone research.
For a detailed listing on this
important WW II officer and his sword see: http://www.landandseacollection.com/id427.html