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US MODEL 1880 HUNTING KNIFE WITH THE VERY SCARCE SHORT LEATHER LOOP SCABBARD:  Encountered with considerably less frequency than the earlier Varney Scabbards, these short loop scabbards for the M1880 Hunting Knife were ordered to be manufactured at Watervliet Arsenal in 1883 by Gen. Benet, Chief of Ordnance.  The short loop scabbards, intended to be worn on the leather waist belts under the woven cartridge belts, were manufactured with a 2 ½” belt loop and such is the case with this specimen.  These short loop scabbards remained in service only a short time, first being replaced with scabbard with a longer belt loop in 1888, and by the familiar brass belt hook which by mid-1888 was being manufactured on an experimental basis and which would ultimately replace the leather belt loop altogether.  The final adoption of the brass hook attachment resulted in many of these leather loop scabbards being modified to accept the brass hook by removing the leather loop.  Hence, not many of these early scabbards have survived this modification or the passage of time.  

This specimen has survived in very presentable condition and both knife and scabbard are very attractive.  The knife features a light oak grip with no splits and only a minor spot of wear at one point on the edge of the pommel.  The blade is full form, showing no signs of sharpening and no nicks or dings in the edge.  The blade is overall bright with a few scattered dark spots of surface age coloring with no pitting.  The brass hilt has a nice even patina and a clear legible “US SPRINGFIELD” and serial number “3082”.  The scabbard is solid with all seams intact and no flexing or weakness in the belt loop.  The leather surface of the belt loop and front of the scabbard is smooth and bright, and the reverse of the body of the scabbard shows only minor crazing.  The reverse of the belt loop is stamped with the numeral “2”, possibly an inspector’s or piece worker’s stamp.   

These leather loop scabbards present an important link in the evolution of the M1880 Hunting Knife and this specimen will be a significant addition to your collection of US Army Indian Wars era edged weapons.  (0302) $1250



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