US M1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD BY AMES, SASH, INSIGNIA, & DOCUMENTS BELONGING TO CAPTAIN THATCHER BARNES OF THE ALVISO RIFLES OF CALIFORNIA

 

Spring 2024 Premier Firearms & Militaria Auction

June 7th, 8th, 9th, & 10th, 2024
This auction will feature an outstanding collection of items spanning multiple categories including Modern, Military, Sporting, & Antique firearms & militaria! Below is just a small grouping of select highlights from the massive offering to be featured in this upcoming sale!

 

US M1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD BY AMES, SASH, INSIGNIA, & DOCUMENTS BELONGING TO CAPTAIN THATCHER BARNES OF THE ALVISO RIFLES OF CALIFORNIA

02-21233-1

A superb grouping belonging to Captain Thatcher Barnes, who served in the California National Guard attached to the Alviso rifles and the San Jose Zouaves. Thatcher had service after the Civil War and quite likely before the conflict. The exceptional Ames sword is an “1851” dated example of an M1850 foot officer’s sword. The sword blade and hilt are both federally inspected. The overall length of the sword is 37 1/4″ with an etched blade that is 30 1/2″ long. The blade has a single wide fuller with a secondary fuller near the spine. Etching over the first 18” of the blade includes a spread-wing eagle, a large “U.S.”, along with sprays of arms and foliate decoration. The etched mark near the ricasso reads “Ames Mfg Co Chicopee Mass.”. The ricasso is stamped “1851” on one side and “US RPR” on the other. Heavily gilded brass hilt with an intricately pierced guard and embellished downturned quillon. Oak leaf decorated pommel and fluted knuckle bow. The pommel has an inspection stamp at the top that reads “J.W.R” & “B”. The grip is gold wire-wrapped sharkskin. Scabbard is gilded brass mounted black leather. Scabbard is marked on the top mount “AMES MFG. CO. CHICOPEE MASS”. The drag is stamped “B”. Included with this beautiful edged weapon is Captain Barnes’s bullion infantry hat insignia for the 5th Battalion of Infantry of the 2nd Brigade, known as the Alviso Rifles, along with one of his captain’s shoulder straps. Also accompanying the sword is Captain Barnes’s maroon officer’s sash, a framed State of California Commission, dated 1864, signed by the Governor, Secretary of State, and Adjutant General. Rounding out this impressive lot is an 1870 California Certificate of Service noting Barnes’s 7 consecutive years of service, a Military Service Certificate, and a photograph of Barnes later in life. A truly exceptional group highlighted by an exceptional sword. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: documentation attesting to the provenance of the group, including information on Barnes’s service and the service of California in the Civil War. Copies of period documents relating to Captain Thatcher Barnes’s service. CONDITION: blade shows nearly complete original factory polish with slight scabbard wear. Etching is crisp and brilliant. Hilt retains 95% of its original heavy gilded finish. Grip is undamaged with a small separation at the sharkskin seam due to drying. Scabbard is exceptionally solid with only the most minor flexing. Gilding on the mounts is better than 95%. Hat insignia and shoulder strap show light overall wear with no notable damage. Sash retains vivid color and shows only light wear. Documents are well preserved and easily read.

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