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Muley Gil

1859 USMC sword

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About 14 years ago, I bought a sword off of eBay. The seller stated it was an Marine officer's sword from the 1859-1875 era. It has the USMC etching on the left side and W H Horstmann & Sons, Philadelphia on the right side. Engraving on both sides-scroll work, shield, E Pluribus Unum. There is no visible date stamp. I have seen pictures of the 1850 Foot & Staff officer's sword that had the USMC and a serial number stamping. There are a few traces of gold gilt present. There was no scabbard.

I would like to put an approximate date on it. If I had my druthers, it would have belonged to a Marine officer who resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Marine Corps. :D

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Photos would sure help 


I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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Photographs would help us determine the approximate date of the sword.

 


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Third nomination for photos, please!


donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

 

 

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It is the middle sword in the second picture.

I'll try and take some newer pics.

sword4.jpg

sword5.jpg

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You have a M1859 Sergeant's sword.  It was copied from the M1850 foot officer sword, but had a number of differences.  The hilt was plain brass where as the officers version was gilt; the grip was leather where as  officer version was usually was shark skin; and the blade was initially plain polished steel whereas the officer blade was etched.  (The etching on the officers' blade was the same as the Army version and did not include any reference to the Marines.)   The scabbard was also quite different with two mount instead of three, i.e. a throat with a frog stud and the drag.   At some point a change was made and the plain steel blades were etched with decorations to included the initials "U.S.M.C." in the central panel.  The conventional date for the adoption the "U.S.M.C." is 1875, but this is almost certainly too late.  These wide-bladed M1859 swords continue in service until replaced with a narrow-bladed sword with a different etching  pattern after WWI.

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There is still some gilt visible; most of it has worn off.  The grip is sharkskin.

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I'll have to take some new pictures. I was mistaken about the handle. It is leather, not sharkskin. The blade is etched on both sides.

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Does the decoration on the pommel show of oak leaves or laurel?  Oak leaves were use during the war, laurel were later.

Pommel Decoration.JPG

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