Safe/Haven Update

Due to a private event, the exhibition Safe/Haven will be closed to visitors from 2–5 pm on Friday, May 14.

Sword and scabbard

Object Number: 
1962.22ab
Date: 
1860-1890
Medium: 
Steel, wood, fish skin; steel
Dimensions: 
Overall: 39 1/4 x 5 in. ( 99.7 x 12.7 cm )
Marks: 
stamped: on obverse of blade, within circular depression on ricasso: "PRO" (?) stamped: on reverse of blade on ricasso: "F HÖRSTER / [HAMBURG?]" stamped: on underside of counter-guard (obverse side), above eagle: "E / PLURIBUS / UNUM"
Description: 
Sword with slightly curved, single-edged steel blade with fuller that runs from ricasso to within 12 inches of point; steel half-basket hilt with American eagle and initials "US" incorporated into openwork on obverse side and short broad quillon with scroll design; grip covered in yellow fish skin and wrapped with wire; oval pommel with backstrap that extends to ferrule at base of grip; burnished steel scabbard with two carrying rings and slightly asymmetrical drag.
Gallery Label: 
This sword belonged to New Yorker David J. Pilsworth (1841-1895). Pilsworth served as a private in Co. I of the 44th N.Y. State Volunteers from Oct. 12, 1861, to Dec. 14, 1863. On Dec. 15, 1863, he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant, 20th Regt., U.S. Colored Troops. He was discharged as Captain of the 20th Regt., U.S. Colored Troops, Co. D, on Oct. 7, 1865. He may have acquired this sword after the war, during his tenure as Lt.-Col. of a veterans' group.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Frederick Leishman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group