Memphis Novelty Works

Confederate Sword


Description and Photograph




     This beautiful Confederate Cavalry Sword was manufactured by the Memphis Novelty Works, Thomas Leech & Co.

     Leech began the manufacture of all manor of weapons at Main and McCall Streets, Memphis, Tennessee in September of 1861.  Shortly thereafter, he was joined by Charles Rigdon.  Leech and Rigdon moved their manufactory to Columbus, Georgia in May of 1862 when Memphis fell to the Yankees.

     Thus, the highly desirable three-line address stamped into the quillon clearly shows the time and place of manufacture.  It had to be produced in Memphis, between September of 1861 when Leech went into the sword business, and May of 1862 when Memphis fell.

     The sword, in its original scabbard, shown here is in excellent condition.  The sword retains one hundred percent of its original leather grip and double, twisted brass wire wrap. 

     The guard has some loose play, but the grip and pommel remain tight.  The guard is stamped with the highly desirable “MEMPHIS NOVELTY WORKS THOs LEECH & Co.” maker mark in three lines.  The sword’s blade is in near new condition; it is smooth and semi- bright from ricasso to point.  It has two small nicks on one edge.  The throat washer is missing.  The sword is sheathed in its original and correct brass mounted scabbard.  The brass drag is missing and it is apparent that it was used that way, the owner simply folded over the tip of the metal to seal it.  The brass throat is original and tight as are the brass ring mounts and the iron rings.

     The scabbard’s iron is perfectly smooth with the exception of one small ding.  I spent much of my life working with metal, and I can see plainly that it required something moving fast and hard to put the small, perfectly round ding in the scabbard’s outer face, between the mounts.  I could not prove it, but I have no doubt whatsoever that a .36 caliber bullet struck the scabbard.

     This double edged cavalry officer’s model is one of the very rarest of  the Thomas Leech/ Memphis Novelty Works patterns,  there being less than 15 (conservatively) examples known to collectors.  This particular sword came out of a family in the north about two years ago and has never been in any collection.     The sword had its original sword knot on it when it was discovered and it is believed to be a genuine Memphis Novelty Works sword knot.  It is in perfect condition, the leather being strong and supple. 

     Where else can you buy a really nice maker marked Confederate sword for only $9,900.00?




We buy high quality Confederate items.