Naval officer's sword and scabbard
Steel, bone, brass, enamel, gilding; leather, brass, gilding
Overall: 35 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 1 in. ( 90.2 x 13.3 x 2.5 cm )
Sword with slightly curved, single-edged steel blade with very broad fuller extending from hilt to point; blade is decorated on obverse and reverse with a fouled anchor, a circle of stars, and an oak leaf and acorn spray etched on a ground of gilding and blue enamel; gilded brass hilt with bone grip carved with scallops and cross-hatching; cross quillons with acorn finials; eagle's head pommel with backstrap extending to ferrule at base of grip; reverse P-type knuckle-bow with upper end inserted in eagle's open beak; leather scabbard with three brass mounts with engraved and stamped decoration; wide band at throat, which has a single carrying ring, is engraved with scrolling leaves and stamped with a circle of stars; middle band, also with a single carrying ring, is engraved with fouled anchor; tip engraved with oak leaf and acorn spray.
According to the accession records, this sword belonged to U.S. Navy Captain Richard Dale (1756-1826). This example is very similar to a type designated in 1841 as the only permissible model for naval officers; however, this does not mean that certain elements of this design and even swords completely of this pattern were not worn a few years prior to this time (see "The American Sword, 1775-1945," p. 159).
Gift of the Naval History Society
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.