Here's my latest acquisition, a pre-1915 version of the USMC M1875 officer’s mameluke. Pre-1915 versions of this sword are quite hard to find. I’ve been looking for a decent example for several years. I presume this scarcity is due to the small size of the Marine Corps at this time. At the turn of the century there were fewer than 300 Marine on active duty at any given time.
My sword was sold by F. J. Heiberger, a prominent Washington, D.C. military outfitter, and was likely made by Ames. It is etched with the name J. M. Salladay. James McClay Salladay (1878 - 1957) was the son of a Chicago-based Government inspector who was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1899. He served in a variety of overseas and domestic assignments including the Dominican Republic, Phillipimes, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. He was also a company commander with the Marine Guards at the American Legation in China. While in the Philippines in 1908 he apparently contracted a recurring disease, probably malaria, which plagued him intermittently throughout his career and probably led to his relatively early retirement as a Lieutenant colonel in 1920.
It was a bit pricy – I paid $1000 for it. I honestly don’t know if I paid too much for it or not. As I said, these don’t come on the market very often, so I don’t really have any comparables by which to judge. If any forum members have pre-1915 examples, I’d appreciate seeing their pictures.