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.
Arms and Armour
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