American
Silver Hilt Eagle Head Saber
Documented Ca 1805

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AMERICAN SILVER HILT DOCUMENTED EAGLE HEAD SABER
Ca 1805

Presented is a very rare example of a Silver Hilt, eagle
head saber that is 35 7/8“ long with a checked bone grip, knuckle bow guard, and a blued blade with gold embellishments
marked Berger Paris. Clearly, this sword was used in combat as shown by the scars up and down the blade.

The
pommel is fitted with a distinctively American made,eagle head with heavily chiseled features that are in sharp detail with
a prominent turned down beak which continues into the backstrap. The tang comes through the top of the head. The head is hollow,
and has a central seam at the front of the beak showing it was made in two pieces. It is heavier in weight than most
Philadelphia eagle heads. The entire hilt has stood the test of time with only minor flaws and marks of age in the silver
smithing. There is no scabbard.

 

 

Pictured is the sword being oferred. The resemblance to the one below is remarkable
in detail

 

This eagle head is an exact twin to the one pictured
on page 239 of “Silver Mounted Swords, The Lattimer Family Collection“ by Daniel D. Hartzler as shown below.

This style eagle head as illustrated in “Silver Mounted Swords“
by Hartzler, Pg 239

 

 

Here is what author
Hartzler reports Evan Lattimer saying:

Fig. 402   Backstrap piece with etching done in lines in close proximity. The
beak is tuned down and smooth with a broad band that connects to the forehead. The feather decoration is done with multiple
parallel wavy lines with much shading.  The backstrap is four-sided and tapers drastically below its mid section. The
reverse P knuckle bow originates under the lower beak and tapers nicely on each side. The ivory grips are superbly checkered
in overall high relief.  The 1″ wide, curved blade has a single broad, shallow fuller and is etched on the obverse with
a fern, a shield with two spears and a halberd, plus more fern. The bluing ends in curled back leaves. The reverse
side has similar etching with a flag and all the etching is gold gilt over the bluing.  Hilt is 5″. Total length
is 41″.  Evan Lattimer

 

The joint
can be seen at the front of the beak. Note the imperfections on the  knuckle bow

 

 

Tang through the center pommel 
 Berger over Paris Imprint

 

 

THE GRIP is carved from a solid piece of bone and has a warm patina
of age. It is tight in the hilt, and secure in the simple ferule and eagle pommel. The checkered carving
and the band adjoining the eagle’s neck are the same as pictured on page 239 of the Lattimer eagle of this design.
The hilt is 4
1/2″ The grip is 3 1/4″ L x 7/8″ T x 1 1/4″ W

 

There are other close examples
of this eagle in Peterson’s “The American Sword 1775-1945“,

 

THE BLADE’S MARKINGS: The maker of the blade, A. Berger is
a little known, but well respected sword maker, who operated in Paris, France
in
the early years of the Nineteenth Century. There are three references to him in The “American Eagle-Pommel Sword” by E. Andrew
Mowbray and there are copies of Berger’s advertisements which say he was associated with F. Backes successor to F. Delacour
& Backes that appeared in French papers.

ON
THE OBVERSE:
The blue blade is embellished with remaining gilding on the obverse with a fern, an American shield,
two spears and a quiver of arrows, and then a second design which is all ferns and floral. Both these engravings remain.
Just above the Ricasso, with the gilding lost,are two crossed flags with a cannon and florals at their base and under
“WARRANTED”.

ON THE REVERSE:  Berger over Paris is imprinted on the ricasso, and above that
is the same two crossed flags with a cannon and florals. Above and partially gilded is a design of two crossed spears which
is difficult to see because of rust. And above, a simple floral design.



Blue gilded blade with America Heraldic symbols and combat
scars
THE BLADE’S DIMENSIONS & CONDITION: The 1 1/8“ wide blade has a large single fuller
3/4″ wide and 20“ long ending 9”behind the tip. The blade’s edge is sharp for its entire length,
and the false edge is sharp to the fuller. The length of the blade shows six significant scars of combat
and other small nicks. There are patches of rust on both sides and roughness.
 


Close-ups
of Gilded Heraldic Symbology. Top is from reverse side.
REFERENCES:

Silver Mounted Swords, The Lattimer
Family Collection by Daniel D. Hartzler
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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