ROHRIG & CO. Model 1840 CIVIL WAR Era OLD WRISTBREAKER Heavy Cavalry SABER
HEAVY CAVALRY Sword Imported from GERMANY
Here we present an antique Rohrig and Company Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry or Dragoon Saber, nicknamed “Old Wristbreaker”, made circa the start of the American Civil War in Solingen, Germany. Domestic sword makers could not keep up with the demand for the suddenly expanded army in 1861 and importers were called on to fill in the gap. A large number of suppliers from Germany supplied the old Model 1840 pattern cavalry saber. And interestingly, it was a German maker who first supplied the Pattern 1840 in the early 1840s.
The Model 1840 was the second cavalry saber adopted by the U.S. after the Model 1833. The M1840 actually reached back further to the French Model 1822 for its inspiration. It was heavy and made for slashing during the cavalry charge with its swept back blade shape. Its moniker, “Old Wristbreaker”, was quite fitting. It served through the Mexican American War, and even though a new blade was adopted in the Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber, the M1840 saw fighting from both the Union and Confederate points of view during the American Civil War.
The 1840 saber was used during the Mexican–American War by U.S. Cavalry. The main contractors were Ames of Cabotville, Horstmann, and Tiffany. When production ceased in 1858 over 23,700 had been made. During the American Civil War, it continued to be issued to Union Cavalry as in the early years it was more readily available than the Model 1860. Many were also used by the Confederacy including General Nathan Bedford Forrest who had both edges of his sword sharpened to increase combat effectiveness.
This example is stamped “R&C” on the spine, which stands for R. Rohrig and Company of Solingen, who is included by Thillmann among known makers of these sabers for import into the United States during the war.
The overall condition is good. This example has maintained a nice bright blade. Exceptionally solid hilt, although the leather wrap and twisted brass wire are missing. “R & C” is marked on the back of the spine. The scabbard is in good shape.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Overall Length is 41-1/2 inches.
Blade Length is 35-1/2 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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