This is a very nice example of the British Pattern 1853 Enlisted Dragoon Saber, often referred to by collectors as an Enfield Cavalry Saber. This pattern of saber was the standard saber used by British Enlisted cavalrymen and dragoons. Many thousands of these sabers were imported into the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The Confederate Government purchased some of these sabers, the individual Confederate States purchased some and some were purchased simply on speculation by arms dealers and blockade runners looking to make some fast money. The most desirable of the Pattern 1853 Sabers are the ones with the mark of the largest English supplier to the Confederacy, S Isaac & Campbell. These sabers are simply stamped ISAAC & CO on the spine of the blade. The only marking that is more desirable is the presence of a state of Georgia G ownership mark on the ricasso of the sword, as well as on the scabbard. The British utilized this pattern of saber until well after the Civil War era, and post-Civil War P-1853 sabers are often encountered on the market. While the pattern of the saber is unchanged, the post-war scabbards have shorter, rounder mounts for the hanger suspension rings, while the war time scabbards have taller, more pointed mounts for the rings. The sabers used by the British Military and their various colonial forces are typically well marked with acceptance marks and often unit marks as well. The sabers produced for export to the Confederacy were mostly unmarked (with the exceptions noted above), and never bear British military marks at all. Some of the sabers do bear a makers mark on the spine of the blade, like the mark of Robert Mole of Birmingham, but marked sabers are certainly the exception and not the rule for Civil War imports. While the saber was generally considered an obsolete cavalry weapon by the middle of the Civil War, the Confederacy did continue to buy them and import them, right up to the end. According the records maintained by Captain John M Payne of the CS Ordnance Bureau, between July 17, 1863 and January 12, 1865, 34 cases of cavalry swords/sabers were imported into the port of Wilmington, NC. This is just a small snapshot of imported sabers that entered the Confederacy through a single port during 18 months of fighting, at a time when fewer and fewer blockade runners were making it to Confederate ports without being captured.
The British Pattern 1853 Enlisted Dragoon Saber offered here is in about VERY GOOD+ to NEAR FINE overall condition. The saber is full length and retains its original scabbard. The blade retains about 85%+ of its original polish, and shows only small scattered patches of minor age discoloration and light oxidation. The saber is entirely unmarked, and is a classic example of the most often encountered variant of these potentially Confederate used sabers. The throat washer at the blade/guard juncture is missing and has been gone for a very long time. The iron guard and mounts show a thick brown patina over all of their surfaces. The pressed leather grip panels are in FINE condition and show minimal shrinkage and only light wear and minor surface scuffs. These leather grips are typically encountered in much rougher condition. The scabbard is in VERY GOOD good condition overall and is complete. It is the correct, Civil War era pattern, with the tall, pointed suspension ring mounts. The original throat is in place as well. The sheet iron scabbard shows an even, smooth brown patina over the upper half of the scabbard, that becomes splotchy and uneven towards the drag, with some patches of light oxidation present as well. The scabbard does have a couple of dents on the lower portion, near the drag, on one side and a single dent on the other side.
Overall this is a much better condition example of the British Pattern 1853 Enlisted Dragoon Saber than is normally encountered on the market today. The saber has a very attractive blade that is quite brilliant, lovely condition leather grips and a nice complete scabbard. These sabers have been getting scarcer on the market over the past few years, as the appreciation for their southern use and association has increased. If you collection Civil War imported arms, English arms or simply like all things Pattern 1853, this saber will be a nice accompaniment to your P-1853 Enfield Rifle musket or any other Enfield pattern arms of the mid-19th Century. I have also priced this example well under where you normally see these on the market.SOLD