US Pipe Backed Sword Blade by Shannon, Miller, & Crane

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  • Item Category: Sports
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jun 15,2008
  • Channel: Online Auction
This is a very strange piece- I wish that it still had its hilt, as it is a true mystery. It is a US officer's sword blade, sized for a foot officer's sword, but with a pipe back blade. That would not be too unusual, except that it is marked by Shannon, Miller, & Crane, N.Y., a New York outfitter that began dealing under that name in 1867! The blade is unmounted, 34 inches long overall. It is single edged, with a pipe back, and the typical "false edge" of pipe backed blades. It is a little rough, but usable. T are nicks along the cutting edge, and a few patches of staining, with a tiny amount of pitting. However, the etching is all visible, and t is a US, a scroll with E Pluribus Unum, a Union shield, an eagle, a US banner, and another banner with a small US eagle.
Foot officer's swords became obsolete in the regulations of 1872, and the pipe back blade was already scarce by the Civil War in the US, so what was this blade used for? It seems likely that it was mounted prior to 1872, and the length would only have been appropriate for a foot officer's sword, unless it was on some kind of variant. In any case, it is interesting and attractive, although clearly having seen some use. T is a strong mark on the tang, that I suspect is by the blade maker. I cannot make them out, but have included a photo of them.
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