Original U.S. WWI US Navy Rare & Unissued M1917 Cutlass With Original Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Towards the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century, the US Navy was about to retire its 50 year old mainstay naval cutlass, the M1860, first developed and used for the Civil War. Just as it did for all of its naval cutlasses, the US Navy went out to seek the best current design of cutlass the world had to offer at that time and chose to pattern its new model M1917 after the Dutch Netherlands Klewang Cutlass model M1898-M1911.

Once the basic design decision was made, the Navy added a few enhancements such as the japanned steel hilt with a full half basket cup like its predecessor the M1850, (as opposed to the Klewang's open half cup or the M1860's brass cup), and an all wood squarish cross-hatched grip. But apart from that there is little essential distinctive difference between the US Navy's new M1917 and the Dutch Klewang M1911.

The US Navy then went to its mainstay cutlass maker the Ames Corporation who amazingly though politely declined the contract for no officially known reason. The US Navy was intent on replacing the aging M1860 cutlass, so they decided to manufacture it themselves in one of its armories. This was the first time that the US Navy manufactured its own cutlass and it is believed that the production took place at the Navy Yard either in New York or Boston. Records are scant regarding who and where and even how many of the M1917 cutlasses were actually made.

Along with the distinctive clipped point, full half basket cup, and wooden cross-hatched grip the only other identifying mark on this cutlass are the large initials U.S.N. found on the obverse ricasso.

Additionally, it is not even known whether the M1917 naval cutlass was even issued to the fleet. There are no records of this specific cutlass being issued, inventoried, or part of any ships armament. There are no period photographs of either sailor or marine carrying this particular model of cutlass, even though there are period photographs of the M1860 being used in the 1930's during some of the Boxer uprisings and unrest.

This example is in exceptional condition, one of the best we have seen! This Cutlass and scabbard is in unissued, near excellent condition and retains 80 percent of all of the original blackened finish. There are some areas on the leather scabbard where the finish has rubbed off from years of storage, but it is still in incredible condition.

You will more than likely never have this opportunity again, so act fast before it’s too late! This Cutlass comes more than ready for display.

Blade Length: 25”
Grip Length: 4 ¾”
Total Length: 29 ¾”
Scabbard Length: 25 ¼”

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