1855M Confederate Civil War Sword, Virginia
Regiment Marked, Sold
In very good condition, a rare Confederate (Virginia Militia Regiment)
marked Solingen made British 1855 pattern pioneer's sawback sword,
marked to Courtney & Tennant, Charleston, S.C.
Confederate swords can be very confusing. This is almost certainly
a Prussian made British 1855 Pattern pioneer's sword, marked on
the hilt "98 REG N3 1857" (which are not British or Prussian
style markings) and "Courtney & Tennant, Charleston, S.C"
to the blade. The retailer Courtney & Tennant's 3 line stamp
on this sword is not the normal for that company's civil war swords;
normally the name Tennant is spelled "Tennent" (with an
"e") and appears over two lines. However, there was and
still is a lot of confusion over the correct spelling of their name
(just do an internet search and you will see both versions); it
seems either that the three line Tennant (with an "a")
stamp you see on this sword is earlier or was applied on their behalf
by the maker / agent as Prussian makers were prone to do.
Although this is a British pattern sword, it was made in Solingen,
Prussia (now Germany); we can tell from the overall construction
and slight peculiarities in form. It was probably made by W.R. Kirschbaum
who made a large number for the British (we compared this and official
British marked swords of the same pattern and they appear identical).
There is a single "W" stamp to the other side of the retailer's
mark, which may be for W.R. Kirschbaum, or for agents Werder or
Walscheid, both of whom sold to Confederate states.
Because it is a British pattern of sword and yet has no British
markings on it, we know it is not one having been falsely subsequently
marked. This is an authentic period 1855P sword with no removed
markings, but with American type markings and a known retailer's
The only 98th regiment we could find pertaining to the Confederate
states was the 98th Regiment Militia (Mecklenburg Co) of Virginia.
We believe the 1857 marking is the date, not a rack number, as it
seems unlikely the 98th Regiment would have a need for so many weapons
at that time. Therefore, given the dated regimental markings are
"98 REG N3 1857", pre-civil war, they make sense. Being
fair and accurate, the sword is therefore a pre-civil war sword
that we believe would have been part of the Confederate states armory
during the civil war itself.
The sword we bought at auction in the UK. How a Confederate sword
came to be there, we do not know, and the auctioneer had not idea
either as it came from a deceased's estate and nothing is known
of their connection to the American South. In any event, the sword
is 100% authentic and the markings are well aged. Although fake
/ reproduction 1860 US light cavalry swords and some others abound,
you will not find this British pattern sawback model on the faker's
list. So, although trying to source authentic CS swords is a minefield,
this one at least is clearly authentic.
The 24 1/2 inch blade is in very good condition, no removed stamps,
marked "Courtney & Tennant, Charleston, S.C" to one
side, a single "W" the other, firm in the hilt. The hilt
clearly aged but in very good shape; the guard marked "98 REG
N3 1857" and "C R". The scabbard aged but also in
very good shape. The sword sheathes and draws well.
Take a look around at what other Confederate civil war swords
sell for and then jump at this one, only £? (too late, now
sold). Please quote item reference number H93 (1020). Further /
large images available upon request.