Old South Military Antiques

Confederate Model Virginia Manufactory Sword
Item #: OS-7560






  This is the plate used with the sword, it is not included

Beginning in 1804, the Virginia Manufactory located in Richmond, Virginia manufactured rifles, muskets, pistols and swords for the state of Virginia. The manufactory fell into disuse after 1822 and was not revived until January of 1861 when war seemed eminent.

During the years between 1804 and 1821, the manufactory produced three styles of Cavalry Sabres. The First Model with a huge 40.5 inch blade, used a square nut capstan; the Second Model had a similar blade, but a peened bird’s head pommel, and a Third Model with the same guard as the Second, but a shorter 36 inch long blade. The Third Model was introduced in 1808 and with some interruption, continued until 1821.

As originally made these swords were carried on an over the shoulder cross belt with frog attachment. By 1860, cross belts had been largely replaced by sword belts equipped with hangers, whenever possible. As a consequence, Virginia contracted with James T. Ames of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts in 1860 to have the blades of 1000 Third Model Virginia cavalry swords slimmed to a light cavalry sword and re-sheathed in a custom made iron scabbard with brass mounts. Fortunately, Ames was prompt and had the swords finished and returned to Virginia prior to the blockade cutting off commerce between the two countries. Virginia purchased sword belts to go with these swords from Emerson Gaylord, also of Chicopee, to go with the swords. These belts carried the cast Virginia State Seal plates.

Swords were in short supply and high demand; many Cavalry units went to war unarmed. The finely finished Third Model Swords like that shown here were issued to the 1st Virginia Cavalry and saw hard service under Jeb Stuart.

The sword’s condition is stellar! The leather grip wrap found on this sword pattern is virtually always gone, so while this example does not have an absolutely perfect grip, it would likely take many, many years of searching to find a better one, if at all possible. The wire wrap is missing, but with the exception of a few small chips of leather missing the grip is entirely complete and remains strong and tight. The lighter areas shown in the pictures are merely scuffs. The guard also remains tight; the blade is bright and beautiful. The scabbard is virtually perfect; without repair or flaw, not even a single ding mars its surface, and it still retains nearly all of its black japan.

Because of the Ames alteration for Virginia just as the War was approaching, this is positively identified as a primary Confederate weapon.

Price $6,300.00 USD