Original U.S. Army Officer's M1860 Named Presentation Dress Sword dated 1881 by F. Seliger & Son with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is the standard U.S. Army Officer's Dress or Parade Sword Model 1860, as first issued during the Civil War. The design was popular, and retained for decades afterwards as the standard officer's dress sword. This is definitely an upmarket customized example, with an ornate hilt and brass scabbard with highly adorned fittings. Intended for presentation, it was definitely meant to impress.
The blade is etched on both sides one side with a somewhat long presentation dedication:
Thomas F. Sheehan
BY HIS FRIEND
Robert B. Moss
DECEMBER 30, 1881
F. SELIGER & SON
Like all "Military Outfitters" F. Seliger & Son offered numerous private purchase items for officers, which they would then customize as ordered. This looks to be possibly a New Years gift, or something similar. Definitely an excellent research opportunity!
The rear of the blade is stamped with the trademark of the German blade maker: SCHNITZLER / A & A / SOLINGEN. It was very common for military outfitters to order blades from Europe, and especially from Solingen, Germany, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. The imported blades were then mounted and customized in the workshops of the retailer.
The sword measures 36 1/4" overall, and the hilt and very ornate "shell" Guard are of bronze/brass alloy and the grip is wire bound sharkskin. Overall the guard is loose on the tang, though the grip is not. The guard has a lovely federal eagle design, typical of this pattern. The inner guard folds away, as to avoid sticking out to far when worn.
The brass mounted brass scabbard is magnificent, and most likely originally had a plated body, possibly silver, which has now worn away. The fittings are all highly ornate, with embossed stands of arms, foliate designs, and other ornamentations.
Condition is very good, with a great look and patina. The hilt has a lovely brass patina, and the grip is in very good condition. The blade has the darkening behind the etching somewhat worn from cleaning, but it is still fully visible when viewed at an angle. The scabbard also looks great, and has just a few dents and bends in the body.
A magnificent example, ready to research and display!
Blade length: 30”
Overall length: 36 1/4”
Handguard: 4 1/4”W x 6”L
Scabbard length: 31 1/4"
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