US Eagle-head Infantry Officer’s Sword, ca. 1850


Out of stock


Featuring cast brass hilt of Widmann Eagle, Type VI form, with down-curved shell guard
decorated with stands of arms in relief; reverse scroll quillon; integral knuckle bow with
floral decoration in relief, attached to the underside of the closed-beak eagle-head
pommel. One-piece reeded bone grip with brass base ferrule. Straight 28 3/4″ single-
edged, likely German imported, blade with broad 2/3-length fuller, engraved with gold-filled
stands of arms and foliage and marked “HORSTMANN/& SONS” on the ricasso. Original
brass scabbard, engraved and embossed with foliate decoration and mounted with two
carry rings; the reverse with relief scroll bearing the words
“HORSTMANN/&/SONS/MAKERS/PHILAD”, and stamped number “423″. The
development and manufacture of this type sword has a rather interesting history. Frederick
William Widmann (178?-1848) was a German immigrant who came to Philadelphia in
1816. Already trained as a sword cutler, with connections to the Solingen blade market, he
set up shop in Philadelphia, and later forged a working alliance with the Philadelphia sword
cutler William H. Horstmann & Sons. Upon his death in 1848, Horstmann acquired
Widmann’s tools and fixtures and some, if not all, of his workers. Overall length 33 3/4″,
not including scabbard. Condition: hilt very good with fully intact bone grip; the blade with
numerous shallow edge nicks, retaining traces of the original gilding; scabbard with
numerous dents and about 4″ of the seam separated near the drag, but not affecting the fit
of the blade. An example with identical hilt and scabbard is pictured in Mowbray’s “The
American Eagle-Pommel Sword, The Early Years- 1794-1830″ on page 197.