An important and historic figural hilt presentation sword given to Major General Ambrose E. Burnside by the United States Sanitary Commission
New York Metropolitan Fair, April 22, 1864
Straight 33 1/2 inch fullered blade, the 21 inch gilt lower section with etched and engraved panels in-the-white; one side with scrollwork and panoplies of arms and banners flanking an extensive battle scene; the other with scrollwork and panoplies, U.S. and Federal eagle with E Pluribus Unum riband. Gilt spine etched with meander and marked Iron Proof. Ricasso marked Clauberg with his mark on one side and Schuyler, Hartley/& Graham/New York on the reverse. Gilt bronze hilt comprising: large, downcurving shell finely molded with a wharf scene featuring a brick lighthouse, sailing ships and a steam ship, all above an E Pluribus Unum riband and laurel wreath and enclosed at the sides by sheafs and above with an anchor and two dolphins in full relief, reverse of shell engraved F. Delacour & Backes/a Paris; quillon block molded with foliage, the front with vacant escutcheon surmounted by an embattled tower, the back with escutcheon engraved with the General's monogram AEB; knucklebow with the central figure of a merbaby, the lower section entwined by his bifurcated tail, the upper section with rope; pommel molded with scrolls, the front with Federal shield, the whole surmounted by an embattled tower; figural hilt, an allegorical group of three maidens in neo-classical dress, one holding a caduceus, the second a sheaf of wheat and the third with a dolphin to one side and a tiller or oar to the other; at their feet a dolphin. Silvered scabbard, the pierced, gilt brass mounts molded with scrollwork and panoplies of arms a la antique and engraved with presentation panel Presented to/Major Genl A.E. Burnside/by his friends through the/Metropoliton (sic) Fair/in aid of the/United States Sanitary Commission/New York, April 22nd 1864/'By Courage and Faith'."
Condition: Excellent. Blade showing some scattered minor spotting and light wear to gilding at ricasso. Hilt and scabbard mounts excellent and retaining much of the gilt finish, the quillon missing.