This very honest, field used enlisted man’s saber is an Ames Model 1833 contract dragoon specimen manufactured by the N. P. Ames cutlery firm of Springfield, Massachusetts. The regiment of US Dragoons organized on March 2, 1833 and a new pattern saber was authorized for their use. The new sidearm was similar to the British light cavalry saber of 1822.
This Ames single-edged blade is slightly curved with a heavy rounded quill back which runs its entire length. Maker’s address is thinly hand etched in script near the hilt on the obverse with “N. P. AMES / Cutler / Springfield / 1838 / J. H.” The dry-needle style of blade etching was used on these blades and the right foremost edges of the inscription are worn away. Reverse flat is etched with a thin “United States” in foliate just 2” up from the washer pad. Blade length is 34” long with a width of 1 1/8” and a 10” false edge.
The brass guard, modeled after the British 1822 pattern, has wood grips covered with black leather and fine, double-twist brass wire wound in seven turns around the grip. A brass ferrule at the blade end has raised bands. A convex-type brass backstrap tops the grips and expands into a cap for the modified bird’s head pommel. Pommel decorated with concentric rings. The half basket guard has two branches on the obverse side of the knucklebow and one small branch on the reverse side. Brass quillon with its disc style end turns toward the blade. The quillon disc is clearly stamped with “WS”(government inspector proof mark).
No original color remains on the steel scabbard. The flared or trumpet-style throat collar is missing but the large, fancy drag is tight to the scabbard body. The scabbard body has a medium gray patina overall and narrow ring bands with the original split rings. The rings and mounts are tight to the scabbard body. This sword is a fine specimen of American blade manufacture worthy of any military display or collection and no doubt saw action in the Mexican and Civil Wars.