Roby Co Civil War M1850 Foot Officers Sword, “1861” Etched Blade/Broken Scabbard For Sale

Roby Co Civil War M1850 Foot Officers Sword, “1861” Etched Blade/Broken Scabbard
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Roby Co Civil War M1850 Foot Officers Sword, “1861” Etched Blade/Broken Scabbard:

This is a Roby Sword Co Civil War Model 1850 Foot Officers Sword. It has a Double Etched Blade and a Broken Scabbard. The blade has 1861 on it in a ring of laurels. It’s also marked Liberty and Justice. It is missing the shark skin handle wrap. The scabbard is broken into three pieces and has a very faint, impossible to read, ID mark on the top fitting. It also has a repair just below the middle fitting. Please see my photos for a better idea of the state of the item. Please let me know if you have any questions or want more pictures!

In April 1850 the U.S. Army adopted the 1850 Foot Officers' Sword as a standard for all Foot Officers in the Infantry, Artillery and Riflemen. With this pattern, distinctions in mountings by rank became the norm rather than among the arms of service. This model was used until 1872, when the more frail 1860 Staff and Field Officers' Sword became regulation. The Model 1850 Foot Officers Sword was the sword most commonly used by US officers from the rank of Major on down in the Infantry and Artillery regiments. There is some variation, as the officers received pay allowances by which they would purchase their swords. The flash of the blade when drawn commanded respect and authority to the man wielding it. Many Confederate officers retained and wielded their US Army officer swords during the war.

As with a number of his contemporaries, Christopher Roby began a sword manufacturing career by making edged tools. Roby scythes and machetes were in particular demand in the southern and border states, but by 1861 the embargo on trade with secessionist states caused a marked decline in sales. As early a s April 1862, local uniform outfitters proudly advertised the sale of "Chelmsford" swords by C. Roby. In addition to swords made by other manufacturers, military "volunteers" were offered a wide selection of Roby weapons that would have included N.C.O., Musician, Horse Artillery, and Cavalry swords for enlisted personnel; a Foot Infantry Officer sword, model 1850; and large bowie-knives with inspiring brass, eagle-head pommels. Roby had been raised a Master Mason in 1862 and continued his masonic affiliation as an active member of Mount Horeb, Royal Arch Chapter in Lowell, Massachusetts. As a sword manufacturer and staunch Freemason, it is small wonder that numerous Masonic swords, having Roby markings, turn up in the Chelmsford / Lowell/ Worcester area.

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