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The approve presentation sword offered of $330,000 in ~ auction. The was originally presented to the Union basic when he take it command that the Federal military in 1864. (Butterfield image)

Editor’s note: The following appeared in the July/August 1990 execution ofBLADE magazine. Keep in mind that the record-setting price is now outdated. Read an ext from the archives v this collection.

You are watching: How much is a civil war sword worth

The worth of a sword owned by a United says president depends an initial on whether the item’s provenance deserve to be confirmed. Popular of the chairman can likewise play a role. The much more popular, or at least well known, the president, the greater the price. The definition of the sword in background matters together well. The materials used in the sword can be important, but context problem most.

Here’s one example.


Ulysses S. Grant’s sword Sells because that $330,000

A jeweled sword originally presented to Gen. Ulysses S. Approve recently set a civilization record because that auctioned American swords once it marketed for $330,000 at the san Francisco collection of Butterfield & Butterfield Auctioneers and also Appraisers.

As much as the sword fetched, however, the disagreement amount does not method the civilization auction record for every swords the $51.2 million because that a knife that belonged to the duke of Windsor, follow to Greg Martin, among the organizers of the mountain Francisco event.

Part that a larger Antique knife Auction

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Ulysses S. Provide served as the 18th chairman of the united States. (public domain image)

The approve piece was however one the 210 swords – i beg your pardon Martin said may be a record for the number of swords bought in ~ one auction – sold in mountain Francisco. Every told the revenue brought around $900,000 in bids and also included piece from the Revolutionary War duration up come the rotate of the century.


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“It was a historical sale because it connected three knife collections in one,” young name explained. Those collections consisted of 30 pieces that one belonged to Jay Altmayer that Mobile, Alabama, presentation pieces every one, including the give sword; 70 eagle head swords from the arsenal of E. Andrew Mowbray, who has actually written a publication on eagle head swords; and 110 swords – including a sword presented to Col. Charles C. De Rudio of Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s 7th mounties that offered for $42,500 (plus 10 percent) in ~ auction – native the collection of Peter Buxtun, a sword-collecting veteran that 30 years.

Origins of grant Sword

But the is the approve sword that got hold of the headlines. The sword’s ornate silver handle is fashioned in the shape of the winged Goddess that Victory, a laurel chaplet held in ar by her left hand, over her head a spread out American eagle. Medallion-like counter guards form at the goddess’ feet, where a gold-mounted amethyst to adjust atop a gold plaque that reads: “Presented come Lieut. Basic Ulysses S. Approve by his friend in Kentucky in acknowledgment of their an excellent Faith in Leadership and also Appointment as general in chef of the militaries of the unified States.”


Made by Canfield & Co. That Baltimore, the piece’s hilt and scabbard room in great condition, when the blade has actually some small pitted areas and overall light rust. According to the auction program, the inscription on the presentation plaque was possible freshened in ~ one time.

The polite War and Grant’s Sword

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Learn more about knife background in this repertoire of BLADE earlier issues, dating back to 1973.

Grant’s Kentucky link is significant. Educated in Maysville and also having relatives that worked out in the Bluegrass State, give was identified to keep Kentucky in the Union. ~ above Sept. 5, 1861, he learned the a Confederate setup to invade Paducah, Kentucky, situated at the time of the Tennessee and also Ohio rivers near the mouth the the Cumberland River.

See more: How Many Millilitres To A Pint S To Milliliters Conversion (Pt To Ml)

That evening, he assembled an expedition that landed federal troops the next day at Paducah prior to the Rebel invasion. Top top Sept. 7, the Kentucky Legislature voted to save the state in the Union. Approve had prevented the southern from declare Kentucky and also establishing the Confederate north border on the Ohio River. It was his first major victory.


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