This rare U.S. Model 1860 cavalry saber with scabbard is in excellent condition was manufactured by J. E. Bleckmann in Solingen, Prussia, which eventually became a part of Germany. Though not yet proven, it is widely believed by sword collectors that Bleckmann was under contract with the highly regarded American Sword and Saber maker, Ames Manufacturing Co. of Chickopee, MA, in order to complete that company's 1861 contract for sabers with the U.S. Government.
The overall measurement of the entire sword in scabbard is approximately 39-3/4 inches, with a blade length of approximately 33-1/4 inches that fits snugly into the scabbard. One side of the ricasso is stamped “NJ” for the troops of New Jersey, with the other side stamped with the Bow and Arrow Bleckmann Company logo with the letters “B” & “M” stamped inside the bow. The leather washer remains in place below the hand guard. The blade is smooth with a dull silvery aged patina, which is correct for a blade that has been kept in a scabbard. The standard 1860 brass hilt or hand guard, with two branches, has a very slight bit of movement from side to side. It is smooth with an even mellow brass patina. The brass pommel cap is fixed in place, has not been tampered with, and its patina matches the guard. The leather and twisted brass wire wrapped grip, with swell, is securely in place. The original steel scabbard is complete with an overall grey patina that shows some brown spotting. It shows use in that the rings have some minor thinning and one side of the scabbard has a very minor dent about 11 inches from the bottom of the scabbard's drag. If you are looking for a high quality Civil War period cavalry saber with scabbard then this example will be an excellent addition to any Civil War edged weapon or general relic collection.
The following is an excerpt from "Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers" by John H. Thillmann
"Scarcity and the Ames Connection"
"Bleckmann sabers are reasonably scarce on the collectors' market and when found typically show considerable wear. It has been long speculated by sword collectors that Ames imported Bleckmann sabers during the Civil War in 1861; primarily, it is supposed, because the Ames model 1860 fits the Bleckmann scabbard and vice versa, although there is other evidence as well. Most sabers of the manufacturer do not easily fit another's scabbards because of the many variations in blade size and curvature and throat opening. Based upon evidence contained in the report of the Congressional Commission on Ordnance and Ordnance Stores (1862), it is now firmly believed that Ames imported Bleckmann sabers to meet contract demands. The Bleckmann sabers were ordered in two groups of 5,000 the first in July 1861 and the second in October. Varying size lots were received between October 1861 and mid 1862. Found in the correspondence between Ames and the Ordnance Department and the Ordnance Board is the fact that there were 50 cavalry officers' sabers in the first group of imports. This information has never been reported or even speculated upon by students of arms or collectors of swords."
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