|Description and Photograph||
It was brought to my attention that some viewers could not see the detail of the sword strike that I described, so I have posted a closer image of it. I believe all can see it now. See below.
Thomas, Griswold & Company swords are found with several different company markings and with no markings at all. This is true for both the company’s artillery and cavalry officer’s swords. The company manufactured swords to sell at retail on the New Orleans market and wholesale to retailers such as Hayden & Whilden of Charleston, South Carolina. The latter were stamped with Hayden and Whilden’s name and address. It is also known that Thomas, Griswold & Company made swords for the Confederate and various Southern state governments.
The following is pure speculation, but it seems reasonable to me that the swords made for the retail market were marked with the full firm name and address. The swords marked with only the initials were for sale to the Confederate government and the unmarked were sold wholesale to other military outfitters such as Hayden & Whilden of Charleston, South Carolina.
The Thomas, Griswold cavalry officer’s sword shown here has the most desirable of the markings, the full “Thomas, Griswold & Co. New Orleans” stamp at the ricasso. This marking supports the above theory because Confederate officer’s had to purchase their own weapons, and this is a cavalry officer’s sword. The stamping has been double stamped giving it an almost 3-D effect. The sword retains virtually all of its original leather wrap including the glossy surface. The double twisted, brass wire is tight and one hundred percent complete. The brass guard is tight and retains traces of gilt. The grip and guard could not be improved upon; it is simply beautiful.
I often chuckle when I see blades that were obviously chewed up by kids playing “swords” with them euphemistically described as “battle scars” and I do not think I have ever claimed a beat up edge as the wonderful effects of Confederates cracking Yankee skulls. So I am hesitant to describe the nicks on this blade’s edge as “battle scars” but I will explain my reasons for thinking that they are, and let you decide. Most of the nicks are relatively deep, which by itself is not definitive because some kid could have been swinging too hard, but look at the nick about seven inches behind the point. You can see (when viewed from the right) the mark where it buried itself halfway, literally halfway through the opposing sword. I do not think this could have been done while playing. That is my opinion, as I said; feel free to make your own judgement. Other than this damage (whether desirable or not is also debatable) the blade is beautiful from ricasso to point and still remains semi bright and it remains that way from having been well cared for since the War, not from having been scoured since.
The sword is still sheathed in its original, full brass scabbard. It is virtually perfect as made with the exception of a couple of dents in the lower half, which are shown and the extensive wear on the rings and mounts. I have taken pictures of the mounts to show the extreme wear on both the top and bottom mount. It is truly remarkable that a sword that exhibits so very much natural wear should have survived in such excellent condition, but thankfully, it did!