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MODEL 1833 US ARMY DRAGOON SABER w/ SCABBARD – DATED AMES 1837 w/ “UNITED STATES” ENGRAVED ON THE BLADE:  This very historic US Army Dragoon Model 1833 Saber is highlighted by the engraved inscription on the blade “UNITED STATES” over a floral banner, and retains a very legible, engraved maker’s mark: “N. P. AMES, CUTLER, SPRINGFIELD, 1837”.  The engraving is still legible, enhancing the value of this Model 1833 Saber as the engraving on these blades was very shallow when it was originally applied and due to wear and cleaning through the years, the characters are often completely worn away.   

In addition to the maker’s mark, the saber has all of the correct inspector stamps present and fully legible on the components.  Both the blade - stamped immediately above the guard and below the date, and on the quillon disk, are stamped “TW”, indicating they were inspected by Thomas Warner.  The face of the guard is inspected “HKC” and “ORD”, for Major Henry Knox Craig, the final Ordnance Department Inspector who accepted the finished saber.   

The blade is beautifully bright, particularly in light of the obvious use to which this sabre was subjected.  There is no heavy pitting and only a few scattered darkened spots on the surface.  The majority of the blade surface still retains a smooth, bright, shiny surface.  The blade is full length at 34” and has not been sharpened out of profile or shortened.     

The guard has a very nice naturally aged patina, and is full form with no misshaping or breaks, and the leather washer is present.  The guard assembly is attached to tang with the correct, original spanner nut, and it does not appear to have ever been removed.   The leather covering the grip has mostly worn away, suggesting this sabre was definitely carried by a mounted soldier in the field, and not one that remained behind in garrison.  Likewise, the wire wrap is no longer present, equally subject to breaking away when subjected to use.   

The original steel scabbard appears in every way to be original to this sabre and it fits the sabre with a minimal amount of play.  Both of the correct split rings are present and full form.  The drag is correctly stamped with the inspector initials “WS” on one side and "ORD" on the other.  The scabbard is generally smooth, with some light to medium pitting evenly present over all the surfaces as can be seen in the photographs below.  The seams are all tight with no holes or splits.  The scabbard has the characteristic dent on both sides, approximately one third of the way up from the drag.  The Model 1833 Sabre tended to rattle in the scabbard, not only a nuisance, but a serious determent when in the field.  A significant number of these sabres seem to have the same set of dents, or crimps if you will, in the same general area of the scabbard.  While these scabbards were well known for their light-weight construction, and tendency to be dented, bent or broken in service, given the frequency in which these crimps show up in the same location on the scabbard, it is possible this was intentionally done by the soldiers as an accepted practice in order to trap the blade in the scabbard and reduce the rattling noise.  

In spite of the obvious signs of issue and use, this Model 1833 Dragoon Saber still presents as a very attractive historical saber from the early days of the nation when the US Army maintained a very limited mounted force, and due to limited production and a relatively low survival rate, examples of this saber are quite scarce.  Even with the evidence of wear, this specimen is priced well under its full potential and it will be a pleasure to own.  (0220) $975



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