Super Rare Confederate Dolphin Head Naval Officer's Sword/Scabbard. Firmin & Sons
A really excellent & rare Confederate Naval Officer's Dolphin Head sword & scabbard. These swords were retailed out to Confederate Naval Officers by Firmin & Sons. London. The sword is in really excellent used condition & this sword is the only Dolphin head which has the Confederate 2nd National flag etched on the blade at this time.. This dolphin head, sea serpent modif gilt brass hilt with solid guard & folding counterguard with hole to attach to stud on brass scabbard throat. The front of the guard is cut with a fouled anchor with a pair of crossed cannons surrounded by cotton plants & tobacco leaves. The pommel cap sea serpent has a scale back strap. The wood grip is covered in ray skin or sharkskin & 7 wraps of triple strand wire in which the centered wire is coiled & the other two wires are plain. The sword blade is 30.25" single edged, with spear point. Ricasso is etched with Firmin & Sons 153 Strand & 13 Conduit st London. The blade is deeply etched with scrolls & vines leading to the crossed cannons over fouled anchor leading up to Cotton plants. The other side of the blade has a 6 pointed star with Proved disc. The disc on this blade is missing. Blade has foliage & vines leading to a Confederate 2nd National flag surrounding an anchor & going on to more cotton plants. The etchings on this sword are very deep & may have never had frosting. This Dolphin Head sword is the only sword, at this time out there, to have the Confederate 2nd National flag etched on the blade. The brass mounted Leather scabbard has on the mounts Knotted ropes Motifs & on the brass drag are two intertwined Snakes. The brass throat on the scabbard has Firmin & Sons 157 Strand & 13 Conduit St. London. The leather on scabbard is sewned along the back & blackened. Scabbard is in great used condition. These Confederate Dophin Head swords were patterned after the British M1827 Naval Officer's swords. The sword design was attributed George T. Sinclair of the Confederate Navy. These swords were made by Robert Mole of Birmingham & also retailed but not made by Firmin & Sons Retailer. What Maker or Makers of these for Firmin are not for sure known at this time. One of the makers was probably Wilkinson Sword who made swords with a lot of the characteristics of this sword. The main difference in the Mole & Firmin swords is the presentation of the C S National flag. This sword has the 2nd National flag not previously to have appeared on these swords. The Confederate 2nd National flag didn't appear in the Confederacy until May 1863 so this sword was made late 1863-1864. The Mole made Dolphin Head swords are slightly more common than the Firmin swords. The blade etchings on this sword are almost complete & all etchings are visible. There is small area o surface oxidation & some very small nicks along the edge of the blade. There are some areas where traces of the original gilding are intact. The grip wrapping is in good used condition. This is the only example of the sword with a 2nd National flag etched on the blade. This could indicate evolution of the sword or as a custom made sword for some Confederate Naval Officer.