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SPRINGFIELD ARMORY SABRE RICASSO STAMP – “SA ORDNANCE BOMB” STAMP USED ON THE BLADES OF THE 1905-1906 EXPERIMENTAL CAVALRY SABRES AND THE MODEL 1913 ENLISTED CAVALRY SABRES – GUARANTEED ORIGINAL ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT STAMP WITH PROVENANCE – VERY HISTORICAL ONE-OF-A-KIND ARTIFACT:  One of very few historic pieces that survived the closing of the National Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts, this Ordnance Department Sabre Blade Stamp was recovered from the refuse pile where so many of the patterns, gauges, and tools were discarded without any consideration of their historical significance.   

When the US Army closed the armory and the property was transferred to the city of Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the National Park Service, none of those entities expressed any interest in preserving the material culture of the armory, and the bulk of those pieces were perfunctorily consigned to a scrap heap destined for destruction.  This episode was nothing less than a “perfect storm”, occurring during an era of our nation’s history when the military was regarded with distain, and in a location situated in the epicenter of one of our country’s greatest concentrations of anti-gun sentiment.  Little, if any, thought was given to preserving intact the most significant keystone in the history of America’s firearm production, and the cavalier manner in which these artifacts were treated leaves little doubt about the attitude held by the people involved towards firearms and our military history.  This shortsightedness represented a genuine loss to the community of scholars and collectors, and was nothing short of a crying shame, but it was done nonetheless.   

Fortunately, a very few pieces survived due to the awareness of the last Captain of Ordnance stationed at the Springfield Armory, R. Stephen Dorsey.  Obtained directly from his collection, this stamp, featuring the letters “SA” for Springfield Armory, and the Ordnance Department Flaming Bomb, was applied to the obverse ricasso of the blades on the 1905-1905 Experimental Sabres and the Model 1913 Enlisted Cavalry Sabres produced at the Springfield Armory.   

Measuring 3 ¼” long and ¾” square, a mortise in one of the side flats indicates the stamp was designed to fit into a press used to impress the stamp into the blade.  The face of the stamp, in addition to the “SA” and Ordnance Bomb, bears evidence of what was a date originally integral to the stamp, but which was ground off in order that the stamp could be used in production beyond that first year.  The characters on the face of the stamp are in excellent condition, showing no disfiguring, and the body of the stamp is in likewise excellent condition with sharp edges and clean surfaces.  Most importantly, this stamp is accompanied by a letter of provenance written by Mr. Dorsey on Springfield Armory letterhead detailing his acquisition of the stamp, as well as two pages of photographs of the stamp which have been signed by Mr. Dorsey in order to firmly establish the link between his letter and this particular stamp.   

This is a rare offering of a unique piece of Springfield Armory memorabilia, and one that will be a crown jewel in any collection of Springfield swords and sabres.  The importance of this stamp rises well above the association with a particular era or model of edged weapon, and will be appropriate displayed with Springfield arms from any period of the National Armory’s history.  (0811)  $650



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