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U.S. Model 1840 Style Cavalry Sabers

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highlander999's loves1 of 2U.S. Model 1840 Style Light Artillery SaberU.S. Model 1840 Style Light Artillery Saber
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (310 items)

    The U.S. 1840 Cavalry Saber, nicknamed the “old wrist breaker”, was copied from a French Hussar’s Sword. It was superseded by the model 1860 saber, but was still prominent at the start of the American Civil War. Thousands of these swords were imported during the war, as these may have been. Unfortunately, since these swords were shipped all over the world, I’m only saying these are 1840 “style” cavalry sabers. Both sword blades have two fullers, the usual wide fuller in the middle, but also a thin one at the top. Both are 1 ¼ inch wide and between 35 ½ and 35 5/8” long.

    The one with the leather bound grip is totally unmarked, as were many import swords during the Civil War. The brass has gotten a coat of lacquer and the areas that appear milky in the photo are where the lacquer has worn away. A few swords in my collection have been dressed up with lacquer. I presume it was for an honor guard, veteran’s parades, or maybe just to look nice over a mantel. The leather bound grip has more wear than the photo implies, and seems original. I still have the price tag from the seller, who wrote “…No markings/Confederate import?/From Virginia.” Uh huh.

    The one with the bare wood grip bears the maker’s mark of C&J (Clemen & Jung) at the base of the blade. C&J of Solingen was a company that sold swords to Union dealers during the war. There are no other markings. The guard is a bit different, with a pronounced ridge around the edge, pointier shape and a prominent pommel capstan. When I bought it someone had amateurishly glued some leather to wood to make it look better. It didn’t. I removed it but the glue still shows. Originally, a piece of string would have been wrapped around the wood with a space between each wrap. The leather would have gone over the wood and string, then a brass wire would have been wrapped over the leather between the underlying wraps of string to give the grip its hills and valleys. This sword came with a two ring iron scabbard missing the throat.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      Are you saying that string was simply wound is a spiral around smooth wood & no spiral groove in the wood? Damn I wasted a lot of time making a repro to hang on the wall!!! LMAO!! I had a battlefield pickup (Knew the man who picked it up) CW cavalry sabre that had no sign of ever having been leather wrapped & had groves in the wood like rings & not spiral. The blade was broken approx. in the middle. It was a battle with approx. 1,500 on each side & the Confederates won. The story of the man checked out that he had gone to the battle site (Atlanta campaign) with his father when he was 5-6 yrs old. Scott saw it at the Richmond show a couple of yrs ago.
    2. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      I've found several examples of swords with spirals cut into the wood like the sword I posted last week, and with smooth with string wrapped under the leather. Sometimes the leather is deteriorated away to the point where you can see the string. I don't know method of manufacture is older, but both ways of wrapping seem to have been used mid-19th century.

      I have an 1850 foot officer's style sword without any leather that looks as if it never had any. the grooves are cut very cleanly and well finished. The whole handle looks nicely oiled and polished. So yes, I think not all grips were covered.
    3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 9 years ago
      Thanks for the love Militarist, fortapache, pw-collector, blunder, filmnet, Manikin, CindB, scott, surfdub66, aghcollect, Jewels and SEAN68.

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