Haiman Field & Staff
|Description and Photograph||
Columbus, Georgia sword makers Louis and Elias Haiman operated the largest sword manufactory within the Southern Confederacy. They rented the top floor of a building at the corner of Thomas and Short Streets, right beside the Haiman Armory. Here they set up the Confederate States Sword Factory. They produced more cavalry swords for the Confederacy than all the other manufacturers combined. They also made some of the finest officer’s swords of the Confederate era, though in very limited number. The officer’s swords were made not for the Confederacy, but for the retail trade to Confederate officers. They were etched by a local Columbus jeweler by the name of Spear, or a man named Kinsel. The Haiman’s sold their officer’s sword at a street level showroom on Broad Street. The company advertised “at reasonable prices for officers and sergeants, finished in the best quality for sale at the Confederate states Sword factory of Columbus, GA. We can furnish officers swords with belts for $25 or $22 if four were ordered in one lot. Our swords are tested according the rules laid down by the Manual of War.”
The company also produced brass belt plates and cartridge boxes, leather bayonet mountings, camp stove parts, shotgun bayonets, rifle bayonets, wagon covers, revolvers (they had a contract for 10,000, but very few were produced), mess plates and tin cups.
With the exception of their enlisted cavalry sword, which is relatively common, Haiman swords are extremely rare and beautiful. The artistry and quality of their etching is second to none.
This field & staff officer’s pattern by Haiman is one of the most desirable of all Confederate swords, because of the prominent CS in the counterguard and the elegance of the design. This is a beautiful example of their work. The condition is stellar; it is one of, if not the best Haiman blades known. The hilt remains tight and the grip wrap and double twist brass wire are one hundred percent complete and in beautiful condition. The bright blade is in virtually the same condition as when it left Haiman’s factory, with the exception of some small amount of rust staining at the tip. The etching features the highly desirable Latin motto, “Deo Vindice” which translates to God will Vindicate/Judge. The blade is profusely decorated with flags, cannon, swords, bayonets, shields, horns and drums in panoply’s of war, and it is the only known example that is etched from ricasso to point, normally they stop eight or ten inches from the tip. The etching is done in relief, with a stippled background. After etching, the artist did extensive chasing to highlight the detail. The Haiman brass mounted, iron scabbard is near perfection and would be perfection but for the nicks near the drag from sword play! The mellow brass on the guard and scabbard mounts are the perfectly beautiful tone so desired by collectors.