Old South Military Antiques

Columbus Naval Iron Works Cutlass in its Tarred Canvas Scabbard
Item #: OS-7052

The Confederate Naval cutlass shown here was made at the Columbus, Georgia Naval Iron Works. The S guard of this twenty-four inch cutlass is made of iron. Others are sometimes made of brass. The wasp-wasted blade is alike on all of them. The blade remains nearly as bright as when it was made; this is not the result of cleaning; it simply remains bright. The wooden grip is secured by having the blade’s tang peened over a large copper cent, this too is typical for the maker. I suppose they figured it would cost more than a cent to make the washer so they used what they had. The iron S guard is also as tight as the day it was made; the only play is in the iron ferule at the base of the grip; it will spin freely. The grip has the year 1864 carved into its side, and though it has been sold by a main line dealer in the past, it is in my opinion spurious. Some idiot carved it trying to make a War era weapon, War era. Fortunately, the scabbard is more valuable than the sword. It is in very good condition. It is missing a little bit of the tip, and there are some short slits in the side, made by the cutlass itself.

These swords were originally intended to be used by Naval boarding parties. The idea being that when two ships engaged in close quarters combat, the attacking party would leap from their own ship onto the enemy ship. The cutlass would then be used in hand to hand combat, but more importantly they could hack through the enemy ships rigging, thereby disabling the ship. By the time of the War Between the States, rifled cannons made boarding parties obsolete just as the rifled musket had made smooth bore musket tactics obsolete. Though obsolete, cutlasses were standard equipment on Confederate ships.

This was sold by the previous dealer for $7,500.00 with no disclosure of the spurious carving, you can now buy it for $5,400.00.

Price $5,400.00 USD