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Richards, Upson & Co. New York Eagle Pommel ca. 1807
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Eagle pommel short saber. Swords and sabers of this general pattern were imported by US retailers from Birmingham makers from the mid-1790s right up to the War of 1812, though after the Chesapeake Leopard Affair of 1807 and rising tensions with Britain, there was rather less said about it.
This short saber measures 34 inches overall and has a 28 1/4 inch blade with a wide central fuller. The point and edge are very good. The metal is a smooth dark gray and deep pewter with some traces of the faded blue that covered the upper third of the blade and there are some faint traces of the gilding that filled the dry-point etched floral and military motifs that are faintly visible. On the inboard side above the ricasso the firm name "Richards, Upson & Co." is partly visible in one banner and their location "New York" is visible in another banner below.
The grip is horn with vertical reeding, a deep brown and in very good condition. The eagle head is of the "Bolton-Upson" discussed by Mowbray in Chapter 11. The Richards, Upson & Co. marking dates 1808 to 1816, the dissolution of the firm, but the open slotted guard, the channeled exterior of the knuckleguard and the shell design on the inside tip of the counterguard are early forms and argue for an early date for the sword.
The brass has an untouched mellow patina. Just traces of the leather pad at blade shoulder are visible but the hilt is tight and there is no sign of re-peening to the tip of the blade tang.
A nice American eagle pommel of the early Republic.
Shipping $20. NY addresses add sales tax.