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US M1832 Foot Artillery Sword by Ames

£125.00
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US M1832 Foot Artillery Sword by Ames 26
US M1832 Foot Artillery Sword by Ames 3
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Description

Leaf-shaped spear pointed blade with two short, narrow fullers and single long fuller, solid cast brass hilt, brass grip with fishscale texture and three steel rivets, oval brass pommel. No scabbard. Blade 18 7/8 inches (47.9cm) in length, the sword 24 7/8 inches (63.4cm) overall.

The ricasso of the blade is stamped on one side with the manufacturer’s mark of an eagle and ‘N.P. AMES CABOTVILLE’ indicating the Ames Sword Company which was based at Cabotville, Massachusetts between 1837 and 1848. The ricasso on the other side is stamped with ‘NWP’, the inspector’s mark of Nahum W. Patch, a civilian inspector of contract arms from 1831 to 1849. This mark is repeated on one side of the hilt while the other side is stamped with ‘W.A.T.’, the inspector’s mark of William Anderson Thornton, US Armory Inspector from 1840-1866. Putting these marks together this sword must date from 1840-48. The pommel is cast on both sides with a bald eagle, a shield upon its chest, holding a palm frond and arrows, which is derived from the Great Seal of the United States.

Sidearms with the form of a neoclassical ‘gladius’ appear to have originated with Napoleon’s love for all things Roman, and the French 1771 ‘Eagle Head’ Artillery sword. A series of very similar-looking short swords were subsequently designed, including the French 1816 & 1831 Artillery, the US Model 1832 Foot Artillery, the Swiss 1842 Pioneer’s, the Russian 1848 Pioneer’s and the British 1855 Land Transport. Being short and heavy they were not particularly useful for combat, so remained either ceremonial items or in the role of a machete for various field tasks such as clearing brush.

The blade has significant pitting overall but is still robust. There are no nicks or chips to the blade’s edge but it has been impacted by the pitting. The tip is worn. The brass hilt has an aged patina and some small dents. The steel rivets have a black patina.

 

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