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Object Name: Naval officer's sword and scabbard
Date: 1900-1950
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Medium: Steel, brass, other metal, textile, paint, gilding; leather, brass, gilding
Dimensions: Overall: 35 x 5 x 2 7/8 in. ( 88.9 x 12.7 x 7.3 cm )
Place made: North America, U.S.A., New York
Description: Sword with straight, double-edged steel blade with three-quarter length fuller and naval insignia and decorative motifs etched on obverse and reverse; blade is diamond-shaped in cross section; gilded brass counter-guard with openwork oak leaf and acorn motif on obverse with "USN" molded in relief on underside; grip appears to be of metal, with molded ridges and surface texture similar to fish skin, painted white and wrapped with twisted wire; helmet-shaped pommel with eagle framed by thirteen stars on top and oak leaf and acorn border centering a flower below; dolphin head at end of knuckle-bow joining pommel, and dolphin head finial on quillon; tassel with coils made of gold metallic thread on long strip of gold metallic cloth tape tied to knuckle-bow; black leather scabbard with gilded brass carrying ring mounts, which are cast in high relief and resemble knotted rope, and gilded brass drag with fish-like appearance similar to "dolphins" on hilt.
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Frederic Griffith
Object Number: 1953.332ab
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Marks: etched: on reverse side of blade below hilt: "ARMY & / NAVY STORE / Co. / NEW YORK / N.Y."

Gallery Label:

This example represents a type of sword adopted for use by the Department of the Navy in 1852 and worn, with only very minor variations, for as long as swords continued to be part of the uniform of the U.S. Navy. This sword appears to be either a very late example of the official sword or a twentieth-century reproduction.