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MODEL 1840 HEAVY CAVALRY SABER w/ SCABBARD – 1845 dated AMES –ONE OF ONLY 600 DELIVERED THAT YEAR - BLADE AND SCABBARD IN EXCELLENT CONDITION:  This very nice Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Enlisted Man’s Saber, not only bears a very desirable early date of 1845, but is a rare survivor of the lot of only 600 Model 1840 sabres delivered by Ames that year.  Given the date, it is highly likely that this blade was carried south in the prosecution of Mr. Polk’s War with Mexico.   

Manufactured by the Ames Sword Company and so marked on the ricasso of the blade with legible stampings as clear as the day they were struck, “N.P. Ames, Cabotville, 1845” and on the reverse. “US" and the inspector's initials "JH”.  The pommel cap is legibly inspected, “WAT” for Capt. William Anderson Thornton and “NWP” for Nahum Patch.  What are likely soldier applied initials, "MW", are hand etched into the main bow of the guard - the soldier's effort to identify his sabre.   

The blade surface is very smooth and overall bright and clean, with minor, light scattered discoloration commensurate with the age of this sabre.  The edge has a few very minor nicks, again in character with the age and long service life of this sabre.  The most significant of these nicks are shown below in the photographs – typical of the edge wear that occurred in service and not the result of abuse or mishandling, nor do they detract from the overall appearance of the blade.  The tip of the blade has retained the original profile and length.   

The leather covering on the grip is tight, and the surface of the leather is smooth with little wear, and no crazing or flaking.  The wire wrap is present and tight, and the leather washer is present between the blade and the guard.   

The scabbard is full form, with a complete throat, both carrying rings, a solid seam with no splits, a drag in the original shape with no excessive wear, and has an overall naturally aged smooth brown color.  The upper ring is struck with an inspector's initial signifying the scabbard had been accepted.  The surface of the scabbard is overall smooth with few isolated patches of very light pitting, but none that are particularly noticeable.    

Manufactured in the year immediately before the onset of the Mexican War, this scarce first year of production Ames Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Sabre is very evocative of that early expansion era, the active campaigning of the Mounted Rifles and Dragoons on the Frontier, and the occupation of the areas of the Southwest then recently ceded to the United States. Not a “hothouse rose” that waited out the conflicts of our Nation’s growth in a supply depot, this blade is one that certainly witnessed history of a scope than we can only imagine.  The desirable maker, the early date of manufacture and the very nice condition all combine to present this saber as a very historic and desirable acquisition.  These early dated specimens do not surface often, and once retired from the market into a collection, it will once again lie quietly for many years to come.  (0116)  $2750

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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