Nathan Starr 1812 Contract Cavalry Saber

Nathan Starr Model 1812 Contract Calvary Saber – Used in War of 1812

Antique 200 year old sword from War of 1812 | A Nathan Starr Model 1812 contract saber used by the calvary | Sword is marked “HHP” | Condition / Notes: This antique saber is in remarkably good condition with some signs of age and handling consistent with age. The 34″ curved clip point blade marked at the ricasso “P / HHP / N. STARR” [ (proved) / HHP (Henry H. Perkin) / N.STARR].  Hilt has an iron “P”-guard, back strap and dove’s head pommel; wooden grooved grip.

Description
Additional information
  • Antique 200 year old sword from War of 1812 | A Nathan Starr Model 1812 contract saber used by the calvary (Dragoons) | Sword is marked “HHP” | Condition / Notes: This antique saber is in remarkably good condition with some signs of age and handling consistent with age. The 34″ curved clip point blade marked at the ricasso “P / HHP / N. STARR” [ (proved) / HHP (Henry H. Perkin) / N.STARR].  Hilt has an iron “P”-guard, back strap and dove’s head pommel; wooden grooved grip.

    The leading sword maker in America from 1798 to 1830 was Connecticut’s Nathan Starr of Middletown and his firm produced the military edged weapon presented here. This hefty cavalry saber is a no-nonsense enlisted man’s edged weapon and one of over 5,000 such pieces made under the Starr contract of 1812-1813.

    The Saber follows a modified design criterion specified on January 11, 1813 that incorporated a sharper curve to the blade, a pronounced angle to the hilt and a wider opening between grips and knucklebow. Knucklebow exhibits the reverse-P pattern and is pierced near the pommel for a sword knot. Saber specimen features a hefty iron hilt matched to a 34” long, curved, single-edged, and a non-fullered steel blade with a pronounced clipped point. The pleasing, robust blade measures almost 2” wide with a ¼” thick back and is unadulterated by any etchings or engravings save the maker’s stamp on the obverse ricasso. Stamping reads “P (proved) / HHP (Henry H. Perkin) / N.STARR” in sharp, crisp marks. Blade, still sharp and strong, exhibits areas of light pockmarking. Blade specimen has acquired scattered areas of light and dark oxidation.

    Grips are wood, ribbed and shaped to fit the hand. This American-made, iron-hilted, enlisted horseman’s saber is a fine specimen of early Americana edged weaponry and a great collectible.

    Notable Historical Notes:  Nathan Starr of Middletown Connecticut entered into a contract with the U.S. Government on March 14, 1812. This order for Horseman’s sabers was as follows:

    “….Nathan Starr shall and will manufacture, and deliver….five thousand horseman’s swords, which shall be good, effective, and fit for military service…..to the pattern sword made by Rose”

    The original contract cost was $6 per saber.

    The first 1,000 included leather scabbards and were inspected by Charles Williams. The balance, 4,000, were of the “Improved” version to include iron scabbards.

    This specimen is marked N.Starr for the manufacturer, U.S. for United States, V. for viewed (inspection proof mark), and CW for the inspector, Charles Williams. The following is a narrative of the inspection, use, and deployment of said Saber.

    October 19, 1812
    From Commanding General Irvine to Colonel Burn, 2nd Regiment Light Dragoons.
    “I expect to receive sever hundred sabers…………and have ordered the inspector to report them to me……………ordered to Albany for your regiment”

    October 19, 1812
    From Commanding General Irvine to Deputy Commissary
    “Four companies of Dragoons are halted on their march for the lines, for want of sabers”.

    November 7, 1812
    From Commanding General Irvine to Inspector Charles Williams
    “Mr. Starr will have 200 sabers finished in a day or 2. They must be inspected immediately being greatly wanted for the service”.

    December 1, 1812
    From Commanding General Irvine to Deputy Commissary
    “….I request that you will have the 300 forwarded to Albany addressed to the Military Storekeeper and marked on the box containing them For Colonel Burns Regiment Light Dragoons”.

    March 15, 1813
    From Nathan Starr to Commanding General Irvine
    “….delivered…..storekeeper at Albany…this parcel makes up one thousand of the leather scabbards………the iron scabbard sabers are in forwardness….”

    Colonel Burn Regiment of light Dragoons deployed from Albany to the Niagara Frontier and the Campaign against Fort George on the 25th of May, 1813. This action resulted in the Battle of Stony Creek on the 5th of June, 1813.

    Based on the above stated documentation, and the inspection records that follow, it can be presumed that this specimen Model 1812 Horseman’s Saber did see considerable service during the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier.

    Inspection Records of Charles Williams
    300 of the Leather Scabbard inspected November 4, 1812
    400 of the Leather Scabbard inspected December 30, 1812
    300 of the Leather Scabbard inspected March 6, 1813

    Total inspected by Charles Williams = 1,000 of the Leather Scabbard. This specimen is certainly of the first 1,000 produced.
    * Mr. Charles Williams is not found again in the records of inspection with the Nathan Starr arms maker other than N.C.O. swords during the years of 1812-1813

    Reference
    Hicks, James E., Major, Nathan Starr, Arms Maker 1776 – 1845, The Restoration Press, 1976

  • Weight

    15lb.

    Height

    35"

    Width

    5"

    Depth

    2"

    Weight

    15lb.

    Height

    35"

    Width

    5"

    Depth

    2"

    Artist / Maker

    Nathan Starr

    Date

    1812, 19th Century

    Medium

    Iron, Steel, Wood

    Kind

    Collectibles, Ephemera, Memorabilia, Militaria, Weapons