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Object Name: Sword and scabbard
Date: ca. 1863
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Medium: Steel, brass, fish skin; steel, brass
Dimensions: Overall: 38 3/4 x 5 x 3 3/8 in. ( 98.4 x 12.7 x 8.6 cm )
Place made: Europe, Germany, Solegin
Description: Presentation sword with slightly curved, single-edged steel blade with two fullers, one broad and one narrow, and etched designs on obverse and reverse; brass half-basket hilt with openwork flower and scroll design on obverse side and quillon with globular finial with incised scroll motifs on flattened sides; grip covered in fish skin and wrapped with wire; helmet-shaped pommel with stamped and incised shield above leaf border centering a flower; blackened steel scabbard with brass mounts consisting of upper and middle bands, each with a single carrying ring, and tip with drag; upper mount has inscription engraved inside incised outline of a shield, and all mounts are incised and stamped with chevrons, stars, scalloped lines, straight lines, and small circles.
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Gertrude Volland and Mrs. Lucile Stitt
Object Number: 1962.36ab
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Marks: stamped: on reverse of blade below hilt: "W. / CLAUBERG" and "SOLINGEN" above and below a figure in armor engraved: on upper band of scabbard (obverse side): "William C. D. Gillespie / 116 Regt. N.Y.V. / from his / Father / Buffalo N.Y. / Aug 9/1863" etched: on obverse of blade: "E PLURIBUS / UNUM" on banner (part of eagle insignia) etched: on reverse of blade: "U. S."

Gallery Label:

This sword was presented August 9, 1863, to William C. D. Gillespie of the 116th Regiment, New York State Volunteers, by his father. On August 14, 1862, at the age of nineteen, Gillespie enrolled at Buffalo, N.Y., in the 116th Regiment of Infantry. He was discharged September 26, 1863, with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. The donors, who are sisters, acquired the sword from Mrs. George Gillespie, who had a family connection with the original owner.