Sword, scabbard and tassel
Steel, brass, gilding, leather, twine; steel, brass, gilding
Overall: 39 5/8 x 6 x 1 in. ( 100.6 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm )
etched: on obverse of blade near hilt: "THE / M.C. LILLEY / & CO / 13 W 30th ST. / NEW YORK" etched: on obverse of blade near center: "E. PLURIBUS / UNUM" on banner (part of eagle insignia) stamped: on obverse of blade near hilt: "GERMANY" stamped: on
Sword with curved, single-edged steel blade with fuller extending from hilt to within about 11 inches of point and etched designs on obverse and reverse; gilded brass stirrup hilt with reverse P-type knuckle-bow and curved quillon with disk finial; grip covered with leather and wrapped with twisted wire; bird's head pommel with backstrap extending to ferrule at base of grip; leather tassel on cord attached to knuckle-bow; matte-surfaced steel scabbard with gilded brass mounts, including upper and middle bands, each with a single carrying ring, and tip with drag.
The donor claimed that this sword belonged to Major Alvin Chauncey Graves (1835-1862), who was killed in the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn), Arkansas, March 7-8, 1862. As M. C. Lilley & Co. is not listed as a dealer in military goods in the New York City Directory until 1899, it is more likely that the sword dates from around the turn of the century.
Gift of John A. Graves
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.