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Thread: US 1832 Foot Artillery - wrong side of the pond

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Smile US 1832 Foot Artillery - wrong side of the pond

    Recently picked up what I believe to be a rather worn and battered US 1832 Foot Artillery short sword, common in the US I'm sure but I have not seen many this side of the pond.

    Catalogue description:
    American Civil War Period Gladius Short Sword. 18inch double edged blade widening in the centre, tripple short fullersto both sides. Forte with faint maker and dated '1834'. One piececast brass crossguard with bulbous ends, fish scale grip and ballpommel with American eagle. Contained in its brass mounted leatherscabbard. Blade with pitting and slightly loose.

    My stats:

    Weight, sword:2lb 4oz (1.03kg), with scabbard: 2lb 13 oz (1.27kg)
    Lengthoverall: 24'' (61cm) Blade:18''(45.5cm)
    POB: 2.5'' (6cm)
    Profiletaper: 1.73'' (44.1mm)at ricasso, blade then narrows to1.51'' (38.4mm) and then widens again to 1.67'' (42.6mm) atmid blade, 1.32'' (33.6mm) 2 inches from tip.
    Distal taper 0.3'' (7.8mm) at ricasso, 0.22'' (5.7mm) at mid blade, 0.15''(3.9mm) 2 inches from tip.

    Blade seems to be 1 inch under regulation so I suspect the tip has been re-ground.

    The markings are N??? over STATE (suspect UNITED STATES) over 1834 on ricasso. ( I would have thought this would make it too early to be classed as Civil War period.) S. Huse over Newburyport underside of cross-guard. JM underside one side ofquillion, J.A?B. (J.A.J.B.) James A J Bradford, Army Inspector underthe other. Eagle both sides of pommel. Would expect AMES mark on oneside of ricasso but too worn to make anything out. Other exampleshave M under one of the quillions, thought to stand for Commonwealthof Massachusetts not sure why this sword has JM?
    I think that the scabbards for these swords were made in France.
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    The journey not the destination

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    HI Guy,

    The Huse foundry marked swords are few and far between, as are the very early Ames foundry swords. A agood brief for them here.
    http://armscollectors.com/mgs/2_ames...ords_pt__1.htm

    The scabbards were never sublet to/from the French but rather the French 1816 and similar glaives will have scabbards of the same dimensions.

    JM for Justin Murphy (1834-1835 foot artillery&dragoon swords) per Hickox's 1992 book.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; why the US didn't adopt the more lithe French 1831 infantry glaive definitely points to fascine work over combat

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Thanks Glen. I undertook a bit of a search for Justin Murphy and came up with the document pictured from American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States ..., Part 5, Volume 2 UnitedStates. Congress
    -January 1, 1834
    I note from your link that Dave Radcliffe mentions French made scabbards, perhaps that is where the information I got originally came from.
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    The journey not the destination

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Radcliffe mentions that particular scabbard due to the anchor mark and French or European manufacture, not that it was common to the US 1832.

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