Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2023
U.S. M1850 VERY HIGH GRADE STAFF & FIELD OFFICER’S SWORD PRESENTED TO LIEUTENANT AUGUSTUS H. BEECHER OF THE 137TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS WHO WAS SEVERELY WOUNDED AT GETTYSBURG.
Overall length: 39 1/2″. Blade length: 32″.
Blade has a single wide fuller with a single narrow 13 1/2″ fuller below the spine. The blade is etched over half its length with numerous patriotic and foliate motifs including the bust of an eagle at the terminus of the etching on both sides. Other etchings include a spray of arms with a ribbon that reads, “DEEDS, NOT WORDS”, American flags and shields, mortars and mortar balls, an eagle surrounded by 21 stars, a large “U.S” and a spray of classical arms topped by a Roman standard. There is also a 6 1/2″ panel on one side with the words, “One Flag . One Country”. The ricasso is stamped, “W. CLAUGBERG (knight) SOLINGEN”. Heavily gilded brass hilt with an exquisite half basket guard featuring a 2 sided depiction of an eagle attacking a snake flanked by the letters, ” U S ” on a field of acanthus leaves. The inside of the guard opposite the eagle and snake is engraved with a foliate motif. Exceptionally fancy quillon with leaves encompassing a sphere. Knuckle bow is adorned with more acanthus leaves where it joins the highly embellished pommel. The front of the pommel depicts a nearly fully formed head of a goddess wearing a Phrygian cap with laurel and a star. The pommel nut appears to be a fully formed pineapple with an acanthus leaf base. The certifiably antique ivory grip has a leaf motif around the upper and lower borders with the center face being fully carved with a large spray of American arms, flags, a large shield and an eagle in flight. The heavily silver plated scabbard is embellished with foliate decoration throughout.
An added panel between the scabbard rings reads, “Presented to Lieut. A. H. Beecher by Co. G. 137th N.Y. Vol. 1862”. Iron drag with the remains of silver plating. Lt. Augustus Beecher had an excellent service record throughout the war and was wounded 3 times. He joined the 137th New York Volunteers as a 1st Lieutenant at the age of 23. He fought in numerous battles throughout the war and was severely wounded in the left side of his face on July 3rd. It was noted that casualties for the 137th at Gettysburg were higher than any other regiment in the Corps. In December of 1863, Beecher was promoted to Captain and served honorably until the end of the war. After recovering from his wounds at Gettysburg, he participated in many battles around Atlanta and was with Sherman during his March to the Sea. This presentation saber must stand as one of the most visually appealing in form and embellishment of all sabers of this type. The remarkable bravery and resilience of this Gettysburg wounded officer is the stuff of legend.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: a large, 3 ringed binder full of information about the sword, Lt. Beecher and the 137th New York Volunteer Infantry.