Posted 8 years ago
The 1840 Light Artillery Saber was copied from a French pattern and issued to light (mounted) artillery units. In addition to the single branch guard, the 1840 Artillery Saber also differs from the 1840 cavalry saber in that it has a more pronounced curve. This weapon would remain in the Army inventory for about 50 years.
During the American Civil war, over 300,000 swords of various types were imported, mainly from Solingen, Germany. Many of these had no maker marks, and this example doesn’t. One explanation was that some manufacturers were supplying both sides, and wanted to avoid embarrassment if their products were found in the hands of the enemy. It is true that some were supplying both sides, but I don’t know if that was a rationale for not marking. Some have said that markings omitted from swords indicate it was destined to be shipped to the South via blockade runners, and the manufacturer wanted no problem with the Union government. Frankly, I’ve seen too many unmarked swords for them all to be Confederate, so I doubt that story. The fact is that Solingen was manufacturing thousands of swords and shipping them to countries all over the world, and I believe many of them were shipped unmarked. Therefore, I am calling this an 1840 “style” artillery saber, and only saying that this pattern was imported and used in the Civil war. Although I believe the odds are that this one is Civil War, I can’t absolutely prove it.
The 32 inch blade is single edged with a broad fuller. Except for a rack number on the pommel and another on the finial, there are no markings. At some point the hilt got a coating of varnish, which is now mostly gone. The grip is shaped similar to the 1840 Cavalry Saber, and originally had wire wrapped leather. The leather has long since gone, but a couple wraps of the wire still remain near the pommel. The two ringed scabbard is iron and unfortunately missing the throat piece.