Sword w/scabbard: U.S.N.

Object Number: 
1945.443ab
Date: 
ca. 1861
Medium: 
Steel, brass, fish skin; leather brass
Dimensions: 
Overall: 35 3/8 x 5 x 3 1/8 in. ( 89.9 x 12.7 x 7.9 cm )
Marks: 
stamped: on obverse of blade below hilt: "S" in shield-shaped depression and "12"(?) in circular depression etched: on obverse of blade: "USN" on flag etched: on reverse of blade: "USN" on banner
Description: 
Sword with slightly curved, single-edged steel blade with two fullers, one broad and one narrow, and naval insignia etched on obverse and reverse; brass hilt with grip covered in fish skin and wrapped with wire; 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 oak leaf and acorn border; dolphin head at end of knuckle-bow at juncture with pommel, and dophin head finial on quillon; leather scabbard with brass carrying ring mounts, which are cast in high relief and resemble knotted rope, and brass tip with drag with fish-like appearance similar to "dolphins" on hilt.
Gallery Label: 
According to the accession records, this sword belonged to the donor's father, John Henry Harris (1838-1894). Harris, a merchant seaman, was made an acting captain during the Civil War.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Isabel Harris Birmingham
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group