An extremely RARE sword in Superb condition.
Anybody trying to research Mexican swords, or any other weaponry used by the Mexican Army of this era, will be most frustrated in finding very little to go by. The pattern of this sword is closest to that of the British 1821 pattern light cavalry trooper’s sword; iron hilted with three branch guard, with iron scabbard – two ring mounts, and drag.
A good number of blades of these British swords were contracted with German sword makers, well adapt at producing quality blades, and in particular, those quill back blades with fine etching for officer’s swords of the same pattern. The maker of this Mexican blade is “P.D.L.” (P.D. Luneschloss, Solingen).
Our American sword maker “N.P. Ames” used this popular blade pattern on the Model 1833 Dragoon Saber, which also followed very closely to the British ’22 Pattern. I would seem that the greatest period of use for the quill back blade was in the 1820s through the 1840s. The Ames ’33 saber discontinued its federal contract saber by 1840.
The Mexican Army saw it’s greatest build-up from the 1820s through the mid 1840s. After that conflict, the Mexican government was in chaos with political and economic troubles, which would eventually lead to France intervening in 1860, so It is doubtful that any great arms procurement were made by the Mexican Government in this time following 1848.
I cite this extract from Mexican-American War 1846-1868, by Ron Field, Brassey’s (UK) Ltd., 1997; page 111, “The armament situation in Mexico was also poor on the eve of war with the United States. On hand at the end of 1845 in the arsenal at Mexico City were 635 cannon, 25, 789 muskets, 8155 swords, 100,000 artillery projectiles, and 400,000 musket balls. Before independence from Spain, Mexico had a factory producing muskets and pistols of superior quality. The machinery still existed as late as 1834, but was no longer in use. Thus the Mexican army was mainly equipped with guns and accouterments imported from Europe, most of which were obsolescent discards…….These weapons were part of a huge number of British weapons purchased by the Mexican government between 1830 and 1843…..”
I used this information to show the deplorable condition of the Mexican army before the war with the U.S. It could stand to reason, that officer’s privately purchased items such as weapons of all sorts, were probably those purchased prior to the war. It could very well be the case that the saber here in question could be as early as the 1830s.
As for the sword offered here, there can be no way positively to state its date of manufacture, but clearly, all characteristics taken into consideration have to place that period between 1821- 1840. This could very well have been a sword used, and then captured during the early Texas Republic- Alamo days.
This sword is iron hilted, and has a scabbard of iron as well. The hilt has a three-branch guard with a folding counter-guard, atypical in style of most officer swords of the period, and also has an iron pommel cap that extends down to the ferrell just about the base of the guard (with a shell decoration used top and bottom of grip area). The hilt is wrapped with sharkskin, and 2 double twisted strands (different size) of wire are used.
A 35 inch curved blade is similar to the Ames Dragoon saber, with quill back extending from hilt, culminating into a false edge for the remaining 9 inches of the blade. Both side of the blade are finely etched with panoplies of arms, enter pursed with floral design. Each side has the Mexican eagle with wings extending upward, with the snake rising above, while captured in the eagle’s beak. The eagle is perched on crudely fashioned cactus. On such a fine work of etching the maker, has engraved his “P.D.L.” in cursive just above the ricasso in place of the usual oval cartouche. The condition of the blade is phenomenal!, with only very light wear to etching, and frosting, and a few nicks on the blade edge. The patina on the iron hilt, and scabbard are untouched. The sharkskin grip shows the most wear, along with some pulls on the wire wrap, but overall is still very good and better. The length may indicate use by a cavalry officer.
I believe it would be fair to claim that improving on this rare sword would be a challenge. Whether it be dated to the Texas Independence – Alamo period, or the Mexican War, certainly is it a most desirable piece.
USPS Priority $25.00