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Early Militaria Collections

28 September 2022 | starting at 10:00 EDT

Early Militaria Collections presents property from two principal collections; the William Rose Colonial and Revolutionary War Arms Collection and Fine Eagle Pommel Swords from the Robert Byrne Collection. Selections from the Rose Collection include nearly fifty British, French, Germanic, and American swords and pistols from the 17th and 18th century representing many of the types of armaments carried by the soldiers who fought in America prior to 1800.

The Robert Byrne Collection of Fine Eagle Pommel Swords presents over fifty fine and rare swords carefully collected over forty years. Mr. Byrne's passion for swords began as a child when he received his first swords from his father, a naval officer, who himself collected them as a child in China before WWII. His father fueled Mr. Byrne's interest in swords by regularly bringing a sword home as a present from his numerous voyages to the Far East, Latin America, and such. He received his first real sword, a Model 1860 Light Cavalry Sabre, when a young Army officer as a gift from a senior officer hoping to encourage him to make the Army a career.

As Robert's collecting interests developed he was drawn to eagle pommel swords being struck by their "artistic" dimension versus raw military utility. Plus, he was impressed with their singular individuality with respect to small, but significant differences in pommel details, langet design, blade dimensions and decoration, and scabbard decoration. He has been particularly keen to find identified swords, which are rare - and exact swords illustrated in Andrew Mowbray's seminal book on the subject, which are also rare. A number of each type are included in this auction. Further, he always valued swords with their original scabbards and most examples in his collection retain that important element. The collection includes fine examples of artillery, infantry, and cavalry officer's swords, spanning the 1790s to the 1840s. Many of Byrne's swords are offered here for the first time in thirty to forty years.

In addition to the Rose and Byrne Collections, important 18th and 19th century arms from collections and estates across New England and New York round out the sale. In this auction bidders will find interesting early martial pistols, presentation swords, rare Revolutionary War muskets, rare Colt revolvers, and unusual combination arms.

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