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A HENRY SAUERBIER
PRESENTATION GRADE
CIVIL WAR SABER

 

OBVERSE VIEW OF A  H. SAUERBIER PRESENTATION GRADE SABER IN SCABBARD

OBVERSE VIEW OF A  H. SAUERBIER PRESENTATION GRADE SABER IN SCABBARD

 


 

Henry Sauerbier;  Edged Tool Maker, Sword Maker, Blade Maker & Cutler

 

     On August 15, 1861, H. Sauerbier received a contract from the government for 100 Infantry officer's swords. It is believed that these swords all have iron scabbards with tooth-leaf designed brass scabbard mounts and a small petite "U.S." cast into the brass guard. Most do not bear the maker's name.

 

     Henry Sauerbier was a cutler/ edged tool maker who in 1848 took over a business started by John H. Crawford in Newark, New Jersey. In 1851, Aaron Crawford  had this firm in his own name and formed Crawford, Brown & Sauerbier. This firm was dissolved in 1853 and in 1855 Henry Sauerbier & Company started manufacturing saddle, harness and shoemakers tools. His early tools were marked: H. SAUERBIER.  Around 1870 tools became marked: H. SAUERBIER & SONS. Henry died in 1874 and from 1875 to 1887 the business name was H. SAUERBIER'S SONS.

 

     During the war, he also made a variation of the M1840 cavalry swords as well as non-regulation cavalry enlisted and officer's swords plus M1850 foot officer swords, and M1860 staff and field officer's swords. He is noted for making very unusual presentation swords with picture, soldier-head and precious stone pommels. He utilized silver and pewter hilts and as well as silver and pewter decorations on the hilts and scabbards on these swords. He also sold swords to several other retailers, including Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, in addition to selling blades to many silversmiths.

 

     A great example of one of his presentation grade swords is photo detailed in this posting.

 

REVERSE VIEW OF SABER OUT OF SCABBARD

REVERSE VIEW OF SABER OUT OF SCABBARD

 

     Due to the make up of this sword, it is heavier than most. It weighs 4-1/2 pounds in the scabbard with the sword itself being 2-3/4 pounds and the scabbard, 1-3/4 pounds. The overall length of the sword is 39-1/2" with the blade being 34-1/4" long and 1-5/16" wide by 3/8" thick at the hilt.

 


 

THE SCABBARD

 

     The upper incised brass ring holder band is 4-5/8" long on the obverse. It is heavily incised with a sweeping leaf design punctuated with small acorns and oval panels with rope like borders above and below the carrying ring. The upper inlayed oval panel is a pewter 5 pointed star. The lower oval panel appears to be a pewter cannon barrel in the firing stage overlaid by a leafy design. The ring holding band is 5-1/2" on center from the scabbard throat.

 

OBVERSE VIEW OF  UPPER BAND / CARRYING RING

OBVERSE VIEW OF  UPPER BAND / CARRYING RING

 

     The middle or lower incised ring holder band is 4-1/2" long on the obverse. It is positioned 7-3/4" on center from the the upper ring holding band. The incised design is similar to that of the upper band but with the upper inlayed oval rope framed panel containing a silvered "U.S" within a pewter wreath and the lower panel having a pewter cannon barrel overlaid with a scroll. There are two lines of lettering on the scroll. The top line is illegible. The bottom line is "UNION".

 

OBVERSE VIEW OF  MIDDLE  LOWER  BAND / CARRYING RING

OBVERSE VIEW OF  MIDDLE  LOWER  BAND / CARRYING RING

 

     The brass drag is 4-1/2" long.  It too is heavily incised with the leaf and acorn design. A single rope framed oval panel contains a floral or leaf design.

 

OBVERSE VIEW OF  DRAG

OBVERSE VIEW OF  DRAG

 

     The blued steel scabbard is engraved with a 9-1/4" long floral, leaf and ribbon design between the lower carrying ring band and the drag. Within the ribbon, in block lettering  is "E PLURIBUS UNUM".

 

SCABBARD ENGRAVING - OBVERSE

SCABBARD ENGRAVING - OBVERSE

 

     Reverse view of the the throat, carrying ring bands and drag. Note the modified heart cutouts on the carrying rings and the elongated shield cutout on the drag.

 

REVERSE VIEW OF THROAT & CARRYING RINGS

 

REVERSE VIEW OF DRAG

 

REVERSE VIEW OF THROAT, CARRYING RINGS & DRAG

 


 

THE HILT

 

     The hilt has a pewter grip wound with 1 twisted strand of wire centered between two plain strands.

 

OBVERSE VIEW OF HILT

OBVERSE VIEW OF HILT

 

     The half-basket sweeping incised brass guard protects the hand in it's entirety. On the bottom of the guard is a single engraved flower with 5 petals. A larger more heavily incised flower with leaves is located on the top of the quillon and on the face of the hilt.

 

BOTTOM VIEW OF FULL HILT

 

BOTTOM VIEW OF GUARD

 

TOP VIEW OF QUILLON ENGRAVING

 

BOTTOM VIEW OF FULL HILT AND GUARD - TOP VIEW OF QUILLON ENGRAVING

 

     There is a very stylized entwined U.S. on the top of the pommel within a rope type bordered oval. On the face of the upper hilt is a pewter shield with ribbon within another rope bordered oval. On the ribbon is the word "UNION".

 

VIEW OF POMMEL TOP

VIEW OF POMMEL TOP

 

FACE OF UPPER HILT

FACE OF UPPER HILT

 


 

THE BLADE

 

     The curved blade has a 30" long wide fuller extending from 3/8" above the guard to 3-1/2" from the point. Their is also a median ridge or second narrow fuller along the top of the blade starting 11-1/2" from the hilt and extending 14" to within 8-3/4" of the point. The modest false edge is 5-1/2" in length. The largely frosted blade is profusely etched on the obverse with a lower panel of flags and a stand of arms, a middle panel of an eagle, shield, American flag, cannon and implements including spears and pikes, with floral and leaf etching between and above the panels. The reverse has the maker's name and city at the bottom; "H. Saurbier/NEWARK/N.J.",  panels of a cannon firing scene with artillery men reminiscent of an earlier time and a stylized "U.S." with floral and leaf etchings between and above. In the lower floral and leaf panel, what appears to be a perched eagle is in evidence. The back of the blade has 25 small etched frosted panels with 13 of them containing a design of 4 dots in each and 12 having a single dot. The panels and dots step down in size as they progress from the higher to the lower back of the saber blade.

 

 
Stand of Arms
Stand of Arms

 

Floral & Leaf  Engraving
Floral & Leaf  Engraving

 

Eagle, Shield, Flag, Etc.
Eagle, Shield, Flag, Etc.

 


Floral, Leaf & Scroll Engraving

 

ETCHINGS  - OBVERSE OF BLADE

 


 

OBVERSE RICASSO

 

REVERSE RICASSO

 

ETCHINGS  - OBVERSE & REVERSE RICASSO
"H. Sauerbier / NEWARK / N. J."

 


 

Note Perching Eagle - Above Right
Note Perching Eagle - Above Right

 

Stylized "U. S."
Stylized "U. S."

 

Artillery Engraving
Artillery Engraving

 

Floral & Leaf Engraving
Floral & Leaf Engraving

 

Top Of Blade Etching
Top Of Blade Etching

 

ETCHINGS  - REVERSE AND TOP  OF BLADE

 


 

OTHER - MISCELLANEOUS

 

     Following is a list of patents awarded to Henry Sauerbier:

 

U.S. Patent No. 00024494, Dated June 21, 1859, "Tool for Planing and Finishing the Edges of Boot and Shoe Soles", Henry Sauerbier, of Newark, New Jersey.

 

U.S. Patent No. 00067313, Dated July 30, 1867, "Improved Shave for Boots and Shoes", Albert E. Johnson, of Oxford, Massachusetts.

 

U.S. Patent No. 00069490, Dated October 1, 1867, "Improved Shoe Knife", Henry Sauerbier, of Newark, New Jersey.

 

U.S. Patent No. 00221866, Dated November 18, 1879, "Improvement in Leather-Splitting Machines", Henry Sauerbier and Julius Sauerbier, of Newark, New Jersey.

 

U.S. Patent No. 00221867, Dated November 18, 1879, "Improvement in Leather-Splitting Machines", Henry Sauerbier and Julius Sauerbier, of Newark, New Jersey.

 

U.S. Patent No. 00221868, Dated November 18, 1879, "Improvement in Rein-Rounding Machines", Henry Sauerbier and Julius Sauerbier, of Newark, New Jersey.

 


 

     Reference information for this posting came from  "The American Sword 1775 - 1945" by Harold L. Peterson, "American Swords And Sword Makers" by Richard H. Bezdek, "Dictionary Of American Military Goods Dealers And Makers 1785 - 1915" by Bruce S. Bazelon and William F. McGuinn, and miscellaneous information found on the World Wide Web.

 

     All photographs are originals of mine. Any assumptions or errors in this posting are my responsibility also. The webmaster is my son, Reed Radcliffe.  He somehow transforms the data I send to him into a presentable package for your viewing pleasure. We both sincerely hope that you enjoyed your visit with us.

 

Dave Radcliffe