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TWO BIG STRAIGHT SWORDS OF A DIFFERENT ILK!

 

     This is Part Two of a 2 part posting.  Last week was Part One - Sword 1. It featured what is believed to be a militia staff officer's sword (variant) of the Mexican War period (1845-1850). This week we are featuring the second of these unusual large straight swords. I could not find it or a similar U.S. blade in any of my sword books nor do I remember seeing another like it at any shows featuring antique U.S. military swords. As stated in Part 1, not all U.S. swords can be found in books.  There are always those specimens that languish in closets, museum storage spaces, on dealer's tables or in private collections that have no names and/or no absolute known time of manufacture or usage. Some are beautiful, others are not so beautiful. Last week's sword was somewhat attractive, but this week's item is pretty much of a plain Jane. However, it does have one thing that last week's sword did not. It has a name. The name "W. H. Horstmann & Co" on the obverse and "New York" on the reverse ricasso. To try and identify it I went through several books and based on swords with the exact name in the exact script format, I'm assuming it to be a very early Horstmann mounted infantry militia officer's sword from the period of 1841 -1845.  If anyone has any other information on this sword, I would welcome your comments.

 


 

PART TWO - SWORD  2

 

MOUNTED INFANTRY MILITIA OFFICER'S SWORD  (VARIANT) 1841-1845

MOUNTED INFANTRY MILITIA OFFICER'S SWORD  (VARIANT) 1841-1845

 

"W. H. HORSTMANN & CO."

"W. H. HORSTMANN & CO."

 

" NEW YORK"

"NEW YORK"

 


 

     This reverse P guard sword is 38-3/4" overall with a blade length of 34". The straight blade is single edged  to within 5-5/8"+/- of the point where it becomes a doubled edged blade that tapers somewhat radically to a center point.  At the hilt it is 1-7/32" wide with a thickness of 5/16". The broad fuller extends 27-1/2" to within 6-1/2" of the point. The blade etching extends to approximately 13" above the name panel. The etching pattern, consisting of floral scrolling with a more or less centered military trophy motif, is the same on both sides of the blade. There is no bluing. The etchings are in the white. The forte (top of the blade) is etched with a leaf design. No makers mark can be found on the blade.

 

SWORD POINT BACK TO FULLER

SWORD POINT BACK TO FULLER

 

CLOSE UP OF SWORD POINT

CLOSE UP OF SWORD POINT

 

TOP OF BLADE (FORTE) ENGRAVING

TOP OF BLADE (FORTE) ENGRAVING

 

LOWER ENGRAVING - OBVERSE

LOWER ENGRAVING - OBVERSE

 

LOWER ENGRAVING - REVERSE

LOWER ENGRAVING - REVERSE

 

MILITARY  TROPHY  ENGRAVING - OBVERSE

MILITARY  TROPHY  ENGRAVING - OBVERSE

 

MILITARY  TROPHY  ENGRAVING - REVERSE

MILITARY  TROPHY  ENGRAVING - REVERSE

 

UPPER ENGRAVING - REVERSE

UPPER ENGRAVING - REVERSE

 


 

     The 4-11/16" iron hilt has langents 3/4" long and 15/16" wide at the top. The reverse P form iron knuckle bow is pierced for a sword knot. It extends out about 3" from the grip at it's widest point. The grips are wood, covered by black leather and are wound with 2 strands of twisted copper wire. The iron back strap extends to the bird's head pommel. The 1-5/8" long quillon terminates above the blade in a disc finial. There are no surface decorations anywhere on the hilt. The black undecorated metal scabbard has two ring mounts. The upper ring mount is 2-7/8" on center from the scabbard throat. The lower ring mount is 7-5/8" on center from the upper mount. The rings have an outside diameter of 1-1/8". A small drag is at the tip.

 

OBVERSE VIEW OF HILT

OBVERSE VIEW OF HILT

 

REVERSE VIEW OF HILT

REVERSE VIEW OF HILT

 

TOP OF POMMEL VIEW

TOP OF POMMEL VIEW

 

SCABBARD RING MOUNTS

SCABBARD RING MOUNTS

 

SCABBARD DRAG

 SCABBARD DRAG

 


 

     Here is a picture of last week's "Sword Of A Different Ilk":

 

MILITIA STAFF OFFICER'S SWORD (VARIANT) 1840-1850

   MILITIA STAFF OFFICER'S SWORD (VARIANT) 1840-1850

 


 

     Again, no reference books were brought into play for this weeks posting as none of my books referenced this sword. It was obviously a sword with limited production.

 

     My son and webmaster, Reed Radcliffe, gets the credit for posting this entry and for the design and maintenance of this web page.

 

     Dave Radcliffe