This old 1840 Cavalry saber has seen better days but what makes it interesting because we have an original ambrotype of it and its original owner during the Civil War. A man from Kansas walked into the Tulsa gun show last Fall with this sword. It didn't strike me at first as anything important as it was an unmarked (mostly likely a Civil War import from Europe) and the handle had lost most of its original leather and wire wrap. He said it came from his wife's side of the family through a recent inheritance and that she had absolutely no interest in it. It didn't strike me as anything special and was just about to hand it back when I realized the stack of paperwork he had set down on my table was her family's provenance. That's when the photograph of the soldier holding it jumped out at me. The documents consist of other old photos from the 1850s-1920s, the Will of the patriarch, Alexander Cuthbertson, a Scottish immigrant farmer, along with, various letters, postcards, and family bible passed down from his offspring. This was identified to me as Alexander Cuthbertson's sword however, this appears not to be the case...because we have his will stating he died on April 17, 1860. Alexander had lots of kids but most were too young to have served during the Civil War. Several other documents pertain his son Robert Cuthbertson...but he would have been only about 15 when the war began...so not him. We went back through the 1850 census and found Alexander had two older sons named James (DOB circa 1833) and William (DOB circa 1836). He also had an older daughter who possibly could have married a Cavalryman. I'm sure someone could figure this out who likes research and a little extra time on their hands.
The sword is in fair condition....missing scabbard and most of the grip leather. The blade has scattered closet rust but should clean up nicely. No signs of pitting. The brass guard is intact with no cracks or damage. The photo is in very good condition but needs to be fastened into its original gutta percha case. Label inside case is marked "Genuine Union Case Improved...etc.... S Peck & Co." Comes with a whole pile of photos, family bible, will, letters, etc. This is the first Civil War item we've ever had with it shown during its period of use in an original photograph.