Sword Voted to Ulysses S. Grant at the Metropolitan Fair

Description (Brief)
Presented to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant by the United States Sanitary Commission Metropolitan Fair in New York, New York on April 23, 1864.
Description
This sword was voted to Ulysses S. Grant at the Metropolitan Fair in aid of the United States Sanitary Commission in New York, New York on April 23, 1864. The United States Sanitary Commission was a private relief organization that supported army hospitals and sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War. The voting at the Metropolitan Fair became a real contest between Grant and George B. McClellan who was politically connected and very popular in New York. The newspapers covered it as extensively as any election or military battle.
This design of this sword is similar to presentation swords of the War of 1812 era. The blade is wide, heavy, and straight with beveled edges. The obverse of the blade features a knight, a trophy, and a floral scroll design in silver chasing on a gold background. The reverse is similarly decorated with the figure of a youthful United States Infantry officer, supporting floral and scroll designs. The silver mounted grip is decorated on the obverse with the head a classical Greek soldier surrounded by military trophies; the reverse is decorated with a figure of Nike. The pommel is a bust of Athena. The lower portion of it is set with rubies and diamonds and a sapphire in the center. The knuckle guard consists of a heavy gilt strip, decorated with a medallion bearing the head of Medusa and terminating above the blade in a quillon in the shape of a ram's head. The counterguard is formed of a large oval shield bearing the figure of Hercules slaying the Nemean lion.
The scabbard is decorated with three mounts, two of which bear oak-leaf designs and a laurel spray on the drag. It bears two inscriptions, “PRESENTED TO / Lient. Gen! U.S. Grant. / by his friends through the / METROPOLITAN FAIR, in aid of the / UNITED STATES SANITARY COMMISSION. / New York. April 23.d 1864.” Also, “"UPON YOUR SWORD SITS LAUREL'D VICTORY". The scabbard has three carrying rings; two positioned on either side at the top, and one at the middle
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
sword
date made
ca 1864
associated date
1864-04-24
recipient
President Ulysses S. Grant
presenter
United States Sanitary Commission
maker
Tiffany & Co.
Physical Description
metal, gilt (scabbard material)
steel (blade material)
metal (hilt material)
Measurements
overall: 38 1/2 in x 5 in; 97.79 cm x 12.7 cm
scabbard: 32 in x 2 1/2 in; 81.28 cm x 6.35 cm
blade: 30 3/4 in x 1 in; 78.105 cm x 2.54 cm
place made for blade
United States: Connecticut, Hartford
place made
United States: New York, New York
presented
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
AF*2291A
catalog number
2991
accession number
18528
subject
Edged Weapons
Military
Civil War Presentation Swords
Civil War
event
Civil War
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Civil War Presentation Swords
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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