A Civil War officer's presentation saber with very rare telescopic scabbard
Slightly curved 32 1/2 inch blade etched with scrollwork and panoplies of arms and marked on the spine Manfre de Klingenthal Coulaix. Brass three bar hilt molded with floral panels. Shagreen and copper wire-wrapped grip. Rare nickeled iron telescoping scabbard with maker markings Jay & Cie/Brevette A Paris and engraved with presentation inscription Presented to M.P. Nolan/by F.J. Heckler May 20th, 1861. Condition: Blade showing scattered light spotting. Grip with minor losses to shagreen. Scabbard fine. See Illustration
Note: Michael P. Nolan was Lt. Colonel of the 50th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment. Literature: From American Military Equipage 1851-1872 by Frederick P. Todd, (quoting a contemporary newspaper): 'In 1860 a new type of telescopic scabbard was introduced into this country from Paris by Major H.S. Lansing, who presented a sword with this device to Colonel Ellsworth of the Chicago Zouaves, then touring the East, and another to Captain Shaler of the 7th Regiment, N.Y.S.M.' Ellsworth was carrying the sword when killed at Alexandria, Va. and (it) is now in Albany. The scabbard was divided in the center and when the sword was withdrawn it contracted to half it's usual length. The obvious advantage of avoiding a "long dangling nuisance" led New York State to approve it's use by both officers and mounted men of it's Militia, but the idea did not catch on. Only a few examples of the "telescopic" scabbard appear to have survived.
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