This wonderful and incredibly rare 1833 Dragoon Saber has resided in an old Wisconsin collection for many years and was purchased by Dave Taylor of Sylvania, Ohio in March 2008. It is truly unique in terms of its scabbard design…the only known specimen to have a brass trimmed steel scabbard.
It is ostensibly an officer’s pattern 1833 Dragoon Saber. The blade is the standard officer’s model with acid etched designs and legend “United States Dragoons”. The condition is stellar.
Most interesting is the scabbard. It is a standard enlisted steel scabbard complete with the proper inspectors’ marks. However, it is additionally decorated with an application of thin brass foil around the ring mounts and on the drag, thus giving the sheath the fancy officer’s appearance. The inspector who viewed this was Henry Knox Craig who worked 1835 through 1837.
The handle and guard are the standard enlisted pattern… plain brass (no gilt), and standard leather covered grip with dragoon wire wrap. The enlisted guards are 1% longer than the officer's gilt guards... and the washer-rivet securing the tang in the pommel is recessed 1/8" to allow for this 1% differential. The presence of the enlisted grip and guard allow for some interesting theories to present themselves.
Questions to ponder…….
1. Was this a special production piece for an NCO in the 1t US Dragoons ?
This might explain the enlisted hilt and officer’s blade and fancified scabbard. A sword with enlisted and officer features.
2. Was this a special order for one specific officer?
This is also possible as the ordnance department did not purchase the officer’ swords. The officers ordered them individually and Ames is known to have produced special orders on other patterns of officer’s swords. Is it possible that this was a prototype ??? Did one worker in the Ames factory produce it on a whim ?
In any event this is arguably the rarest of the M1833 Dragoon Sabers extant. Price $28,000.00
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