Kraft, Goldsmith & Kraft

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Description and Photograph

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     In 1861, Henry Kraft, a jeweler, his brother Peter, a gunsmith, and one of their employees, Major Maurice Goldsmith, formed Kraft, Goldsmith & Kraft military outfitters.  The Columbia, South Carolina firm was a militaria retailer and manufacturer.  All current published works list Lipman Goldsmith as a partner, but recent research has shown that he was merely a clerk for the company at the beginning of the War, and that he was working in Baltimore, Maryland by 1863.

     The company is known for producing some of the finest swords in the Confederacy.  They are best known for their field and staff officer’s swords.  The company is known to have manufactured presentation spurs for Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill, several presentation swords for Lieutenant General Wade Hampton and a presentation cavalry officer’s sword to be presented to Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart.

     The sword shown here is the company’s field and staff pattern.  This pattern and indeed all models of Kraft, Goldschmidt & Kraft swords are rare.  The company’s field and staff swords are the largest of the Confederate field officer swords.  The grip and basket are so large that it suggests that it was intended that the sword be wielded with two hands like those used by knights in medieval times.

     The sword’s basket is highly decorated with a prominent CS cast into its face, surrounded by oak leaves and acorns.  The basket’s knuckle bow terminates with the head of a sea serpent.  The guard remains tight and is perfect, even retaining small amounts of gilt.  The pommel is decorated with both oak and laurel leaves.  The grip wrap is original and 100% complete.  The sword’s original sword knot remains and is soft, strong and pliable.  The etched blade still retains its original luster.  The obverse of the blade is etched with a prominent K, G & K at the ricasso.  As you move out the blade, you come to a leaf and flower pattern that terminates at a shield mounting an axe crossed with a spear and pennant.  Crossed cannon are etched above the shield and arms.  The etching continues with an ivy leaf pattern before the panel ends in a spear point.

     The reverse is as profusely etched as the obverse.  It starts with the rising sun of the Confederacy etched onto the ricasso.  “SC” is engraved into the sun, and South Carolina’s capitol, “Columbia” is engraved just below.  As you move up the blade, the etching continues with foliage and comes to a prominent “CS”, placed so that it reads correctly when the sword is held aloft.  The etched panel is filled with a vine pattern and terminates in a spear point.  All of the prominent images etched onto the blade are chased to bring out the detail.

     Not only is the sword stunning, its original, brass mounted Kraft, Goldschmidt, & Kraft scabbard is also a thing of beauty, retaining most of its original browning.  It is solid and dent free with the exception of one light ding, shown in the images.  All of the brass mountings are original and in excellent condition. 

     This is the best example of this rare sword that I have ever seen and may be the best extant.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!  

 

 

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