Naval officer's sword and scabbard

Object Number: 
1936.460ab
Date: 
ca. 1854
Medium: 
Steel, brass, fish skin, gilding; leather, brass, gilding
Dimensions: 
Overall: 34 x 5 x 3 1/8 in. ( 86.4 x 12.7 x 7.9 cm )
Marks: 
etched: on obverse of blade below hilt: "Ames Mfg. Co. / Chicopee / Mass." etched: on reverse of blade: "U.S.N." engraved: on side of pommel: "S. F. Blum, Ob. Apr. 27, 1854. / J. C. P. / J. Y. M. B." stamped: on throat of scabbard (reverse side): "AMES
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; gilded brass hilt with grip covered in fish skin and wrapped with twisted wire; oval counter-guard with openwork oak leaf and acorn design on obverse with "USN" molded in relief on underside; helmet-shaped pommel with eagle in oval frame studded with thirteen stars molded on top, and engraved inscription and oak leaf and acorn border on side opposite knuckle-bow; dolphin head at end of knuckle-bow joining pommel, and dolphin head finial on quillon; 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.
Gallery Label: 
According to the accession records, this sword belonged to Dr. James C. Palmer, fleet surgeon for Admiral Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay (August 5, 1864). The sword was presented to Palmer after the death of Lieutenant Simon F. Blunt.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Colonel A. Kenny C. Palmer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group