Old South Military Antiques

Halfmann & Taylor Confederate General Staff Sword
Item #: OS-6958







The General Officer’s Sword shown here was made in England expressly for the Confederate States of America. It was made on the British Model 1822 officer sword pattern with the standard iron basket and infantry horn motif. Because the sword was purchased by the Confederacy, the London maker cut out the engraved infantry horn that was centrally located in the basket and soldered in an iron disc engraved with the Confederate droop winged eagle, emblazoned with CSA across its breast and surmounted by the eleven stars of the Confederate States. The blade was beautifully etched with the Confederate "droop winged” Eagle, again with CSA across its breast, and surmounted by eleven stars, representing eleven Confederate States. The firm name and address, Halfmann & Taylor Montgomery Alabama & London are etched into the ricasso.

Little is known about the Montgomery, Alabamabased military goods dealers known as Halfmann & Taylor. Taylor’s identity is lost to history. Ethelbert Halfmann was a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania clothier in the 1850s, before coming to Montgomery, Alabama in 1856. His tailoring and clothier business prospered in Montgomery so he closed his Philadelphiastore in 1858. When the War Between the States erupted he sided with the South. He traveled to Europe to purchase clothing and military goods for the Confederacy. The manufacture of the sword shown here must have been arranged at that time. Swords and buttons bearing Halfmann & Taylor’s firm name are the only known surviving tangible result of his trip to Europe. His military outfitting foray came to an end only a few months after it began; he died in Havana in January of 1863 while trying to make arrangements to run the blockade.

The swords that Halfmann had custom made in London, Englandare some of the most aesthetically appealing of the Confederate era. The swords made for Halfmann & Taylor in London started out as British Model 1822 officer’s swords with the standard iron basket. The Londonmaker cut out the engraved infantry horn that was centrally located in the basket and soldered in an iron disc engraved with the Confederate droop winged eagle surmounted by eleven stars.

This General Staff model is exceedingly rare; by my experience, rarer even than the English made Confederate Naval Officers’ swords. The sword is completely original and unaltered. The shagreen grip is complete and solid with the exception of the small chips shown in the images. The wire wrap is complete and tight. The exquisitely engraved guard is perfect; the blade’s etchings bright and bold. The original scabbard is perfect.

Price $22,000.00 USD