Confederate States

Navy Sword

Number

Description and Photograph

Price

 


     The exquisite sword shown here is commonly known as the Dolphin Head, taking its name from the unusual design of the pommel, though the head is a sea serpent.  The design is attributed to Commander George T. Sinclair, CSN, who presented his design while in England on special service for the Confederate Government.  The design features the insignia of the Confederate Navy, a fouled anchor superimposed on crossed cannon and flanked by tobacco leaves and cotton bolls.  This pattern sword was supplied by two different firms: Courtney & Tennent and Firmin & Son’s.  Both are works of art, but the Firmin is just ever so slightly more finished than the Courtney & Tennent. 

     While rarity is one reason for its desirability, the swords unequaled beauty is what makes nearly all Confederate sword aficionados long to add one to their collection.  From its unique dolphin head shaped pommel, which extends its scaled neck down to a ferule at the base of its shagreen covered grip, to its basket emblazoned with the fouled anchor symbol of the Confederate navy, it is a thing of beauty.  Its grip is wound with three strands of copper, the central of which is horizontally wound wire.  The hilt retains most of its heavy gilt.  

     The sword’s glistening bright blade is adorned with a brightly etched and chased Confederate Naval Jack, circa 1863-65.  Tobacco leaves and cotton bolls, symbols of the South’s peaceful agrarian life as well as symbols of strife: the crossed cannon and fouled anchor, enrich the lustrous blade’s beauty. 

     The sword is sheathed in its original scabbard.  It too is a unique thing of beauty; the sword mounts are cast in the form of knots and the drag is formed of entwined serpents.  Both finely chased after casting.  The leather has been preserved virtually as perfect as the day it was made. 

     The wear to the gilt demonstrates that the sword saw extensive service, yet its owner took very good care of it and it hardly has a ding or scratch in its surface.  In the ensuing years the blade has been protected and still retains its original luster and frosty etching.    

   

 

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