Original U.S. Civil War M1840 Heavy Cavalry Saber by Tiffany & Co. with Iron Hilt and German Blade

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a superb recent attic find! It is a fine curved U.S. Cavalry saber, retailed by Tiffany & Co of New York, and made with an imported blade from Solingen, Germany. This heavy Cavalry saber, known as the "wrist breaker," was designated the U.S. Model of 1840, and was widely used in the U.S. Civil War. It is in very nice honest matured condition. The markings are mostly clear and the rare iron hilt totally undamaged with a nice honest patina. 

The curved 36" blade's ricasso is marked on the on one side with the retailer information, which is mostly clear -


One the other side it is marked-

P. D. L.

"P.D.L" inside an oval of dots, is the maker marking for P. D. Lüneschloss, Fabrik blanker Waffen, located in the legendary blade-making city of Solingen. The company was founded in 1810 by Peter Daniel Lüneschloss, and existed well into the 20th century. During the 19th Century, they were one of Europe's leading Sword Makers of the period, and had a booming export business. Many blades were imported by Tiffany & Company of New York City and retailed bearing the "TIFFANY" signature. This sword conforms exactly to the M-1840 U.S. Heavy Cavalry pattern however the interesting difference is that the mounts are all steel rather than brass, a rare variation. The company also offered brass-mounted versions, which are much more common.

Standard features include a relatively straight wooden handle covered with a leather and wire grip, a hilt with three branches, and an unadorned rounded pommel cap and guard. The steel blade has flat back with narrow and wide fuller stopped at the ricasso, typical of the pattern. The blade is in very good condition, having been stored inside the scabbard for decades. The Tiffany hilt and pommel are iron, a unique option offered by of this retailer. Tiffany sold these swords to state or local militia units and federal officers for private purchase.

The saber comes with the original heavy all steel-curved scabbard complete with both mounting rings. Scabbard is in very good condition, with almost no dents and just a bit of light oxidation.

Offered in very nice untouched collector's condition, original Civil War Cavalry Swords are getting harder and harder to find every year!

The Model 1840 Cavalry Saber was based on the 1822 French hussar's sabre. It is typically 44" long with a 35" blade and weighs roughly 2.5 lbs. Brass-hilted examples have a ridge around the edge of the cross guard, but the rarer iron-hilted examples do not. The M1840 was designed for slashing and because of its heavy flat-backed blade was given the nickname "Old Wristbreaker." It was adopted due to the army's dissatisfaction with its predecessor the model 1833 dragoon saber, the first cavalry sword adopted by the US Army.

The iron-hilted M1833 was based on a Napoleonic-era British sword used by heavy cavalry and reputed to wrap "rubber like around a man's head and was only good for cutting butter". An ornate gilded version of this earlier sword was used by General Philip Sheridan during the Civil War; Sheridan had its sheath engraved with the battles he participated in. It was evident a replacement was needed so in 1838 the US Ordnance Dept bought British, French and Prussian swords and field-tested them. The troopers overwhelmingly preferred the French saber, and a copy of it was put into production in 1844. A total of 2000 was ordered and by 1846, 600 were in front line service.

The 1840 saber was used during the U.S.-Mexican War by US Cavalry. The main contractors were Ames of Cabotville, Horstmann, and Tiffany but due to the large number of swords required at least 1000 were made in Germany by S&K and imported. Some troopers used Prussian sabers as an alternative, which in contrast to the M1840 had straight blades.

When production ceased in 1858 over 23,700 were made. During the US Civil War it continued to be issued to Union Cavalry as in the early years it was more readily available than the M1860. George B McClellan carried one at the front, keeping his regulation officer's sword for full dress occasions. Many were also used by the Confederacy including General Nathan Bedford Forrest who had both edges of his sword sharpened to increase combat effectiveness.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal, Amazon & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles