Original U.S. War of 1812 Era Officer's Officer’s Saber Converted to Naval Dirk - marked Niagara 1813
Original Item: One of a Kind. The War of 1812 was a very strange War. The Americans invaded Canada, the British retaliated and burned the White House, Peace was declared and then the British lost the Battle of New Orleans because no one realized the War was over!
This is very possibly a unique item from the War of 1812, which was found in upper New York State in recent years. This Dirk started life as an American Officer's Saber with engraved and fire blued curved blade, with a U.S. Coat of Arms engraved on the blade. It comes with a substantial ivory/horn grip with gilt brass cross guard and ball pommel capped with what may have been a U.S. Navy "ANCHOR" button.
The cross guard has had a large gilt Lion's face in the center. The blade is now 10 inches in length, still retaining much blue and gilt engraving of patriotic motifs. The Dirk's overall length now is 15 inches, and most interestingly the blade has a BOWIE style “clip-point” blade tip. Clearly a very interesting hybrid from American Officer's Saber to a Naval Dirk with Bowie type blade.
The most compelling feature however is that the spine of the blade has been engraved with NIAGARA 1813. During 1813 the British based in Canada invaded the United States across the Great Lakes to capture FORT NIAGARA. In addition the fledgling U.S. Navy had an armed vessel patrolling the Great Lakes trying to deny access to the British Royal Navy. This all leaves multiple possibilities for the origin of this weapon.
Very possibly a battle damaged Officer's Saber pressed into service as a Naval Dirk with a Bowie tipped blade, seeing service with the U.S. Navy or even the Royal Navy. Worthy of research, in fine display condition!
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