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Old South Military Antiques

Confederate States Navy Sword
Item #: OS-7394

The exquisite sword shown here is known as the Dolphin Head, taking its name from the unusual design of the pommel. This sword, made by Robert Mole & Sons, is a pattern made especially for Confederate Naval officers. Mole’s mark is stamped clearly into the spine. It was one of the few that ran through the blockade into Charleston, South Carolina and it is clearly stamped on the ricasso Courtney & Tennent Charleston, S.C.

It was during the War Between the States that Courtney & Tennent supplied buttons, militaria and swords of various patterns to the Confederate Navy. Courtney & Tennent did not manufacture arms; instead they purchased military supplies wholesale from England and resold them at retail in Charleston, South Carolina. Though they did not make them, the swords that they sold to the Confederate Navy are readily identifiable by the Courtney & Tennent dealer’s mark stamped into their ricasso. The sword they sold to Confederate Naval Officers is as rare as, or rarer than, virtually any Confederate manufactured sword.

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 brass, the central of which is horizontally wound wire. The hilt retains nearly all of its heavy gilt.

The sword’s glistening bright blade is adorned with a brightly etched and chased Confederate First National Flag, overlain with an anchor. Sea flora, cotton bolls, crossed cannon and anchors all enrich the blade’s beauty. One of the clearest, most distinct, "COURTNEY & TENNENT over CHARLESTON S.C.” Confederate importer marks I have ever encountered is crisply stamped into the reverse of the ricasso. The obverse side of the ricasso contains a gilt proof mark, surrounded by an etched Star of David. The blade’s spine is deeply stamped with "Mole”, indicating its manufacture by Robert Mole & Sons of Birmingham. The sword is sheathed in its original scabbard. It too is a unique thing of beauty; the sword mounts are cast into the form of rope knots and the drag is formed of entwined sea serpents. The leather has been preserved virtually as perfect as the day it was made, only having normal crazing of the surface. The drag and mounts still retain large portions of their original gilt. It is strong enough to wear today.

This is a very good value for such a rare and extraordinary sword.
Not for Sale