Extremely ornate Civil War presented Officer Sword, superb!


1 in stock


This is as fine of an example as known of a heavy silver plated, engraved and heavily decorated sword as crafted by Ball, Black & Company after being manufactured by Collins & Company of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1862. This fine presentation officer’s sword and ornate and inscribed scabbard was presented to Capt. Spencer W. Richardson of the 44th Massachusetts Volunteers who served initially in New Bern, NC.
The right side of the scabbard is inscribed “Presented by the Members & Friends of the/MERCANTILE LIBRARY ASSN/of Boston/To Capt. Spencer W. Richardson/Co. E/44th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers raised under/the auspices of the Association.”
The association ran a subscription library and hosted lecture series which included notable figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Ward Beecher among many others.

Spencer Welles Richardson enlisted in the 44th Massachusetts Militia for nine months as Captain of Company E in August 1862. The regiment served with the 18th Corps in the Department of North Carolina and mustered out in June 1863. Richardson was reported to have been shot twice in the arm while leading his men during the Battle of Washington, NC in April 1863.

The fine scabbard has a pair of goats holding the upper two suspension rings, a bestial ornament just below, bald eagle accent by the lower ring, laurel accent further down, a profile of Athena on an accent down near the drag, and scrollwork drag. The body of the scabbard is silver plated and has a stand of arms up top, the inscription surrounded by scrollwork, a representation of Columbia, and additional scrollwork. The sword has a 31 inch lightly curved blade with floral, geometric, and patriotic etching along most of the length on both sides, “12” marked on the base of the spine, and “BALL, BLACK/&Co/N.Y.” etched above the left ricasso which is stamped “COLLINS & CO/HARTFORD/CONN. 1862” The hilt has a silver plated guard and pommel with a lion head on the finial, female face on the pommel with snakes coming down from her blowing hair and wrapping around her neck (Medusa or one of her Gorgonian sisters), and floral scrollwork. The grip is brass wire wrapped shark skin.

Overall, this extremely rare and fine art grade edged weapon exhibits a deep natural aged patina on the silver, light gray patina and some spots of extremely minor pitting along the blade, light scratches and marks throughout, affixed laurels on the scabbard and general mild handling/use wear. Pure museum and investment grade overall.

Capt. Spencer Welles Richardson

Residence Boston MA; a 28 year-old Clerk.Enlisted on 8/22/1862 as a Captain.

On 9/12/1862 he was commissioned into “E” Co. Massachusetts 44th Volunteer Infantry. He was Mustered Out on 6/18/1863 at Readville, MA

Other Information:
born in Princeton, MA; Member of GAR Post # 68 (Benjamin Stone, Jr.) in Dorchester, MA; died 9/18/1914

(Son: William Cumston Richardson) After the War he lived in Boston, MA

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