Original U.S. War of 1812 Era Contract Model 1812 Cavalry Saber by Nathan Starr
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a nice War of 1812 period Contract Model 1812 Cavalry Saber with scabbard, made by Nathan Starr of Middletown, Connecticut. Starr was the leading sword maker in America from 1798 to 1830, and his firm produced a variety of military edged weapons, which followed the evolution of early U.S. cavalry Sabers. As changes were requested over the period, new models were made, and new contracts issued to Starr, who remained the choice manufacturer up until the Model 1826 Naval cutlass.
This hefty cavalry saber is a no-nonsense enlisted man’s edged weapon and one of such pieces made under the Starr contract, which was superseded his later contract from 1813. The Saber follows a modified design criterion that incorporated a slight curve to the blade, a pronounced angle to the hilt and a wider opening between grips and hand guard, which exhibits the reverse-P pattern. It has a slot near the pommel for a sword knot or leather grip strap.
This example features a hefty iron hilt, with a very good condition original leather covered ribbed wooden grip. It even still has the original wrapping but is missing the buffer. This is mated to a 33 3/4” long curved unfullered single-edged blade. The blade is curved right out of the hilt, so it has a pronounced forward bow, and the tip has a very pronounced clip point. The blade is about 1 3/8" wide, getting slightly wider at the transition to the point.
The base of the blade still retains its crisp maker and inspection markings on both sides:
This indicates that it was proved "P" by inspector Henry H. Perkin, a known inspector of these swords during the contract production run. There is unfortunately no way to accurately date the sword, as the contract was not delivered in full until 1817, and no records were kept of when each inspector was working.
The blade is still mostly sharp, and exhibits staining and some light pitting, as expected of a sword of this age. There are some runner marks, but overall it has a great look of a service used blade that is over 200 years in age. The matching scabbard is in similar condition, and was painted long ago to prevent rust. The original hanger loops are still present, however there are some significant dents to the scabbard body. These do not interfere with sheathing the blade.
These swords saw much use in U.S. conflicts in the first half of the 19th century, and many were even used during the Civil war. A great example of an early American sword pattern, by the pre-eminent maker of that period. If you are a collector of Early Americana, this is for you!
Blade Length: 33 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edge w/ Fuller
Overall length: 39“
Guard dimensions: 5 3/4" width x 5” length
Scabbard length: 34 7/8”
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