Rare Confederate Kraft Goldschmidt and Kraft Mounted Staff Officer’s Sword
Rare Confederate Kraft Goldschmidt and Kraft Mounted Staff Officer’s Sword - Formed in 1861, in Columbia, South Carolina, Kraft Goldschmidt and Kraft, or often referenced as K,G & K, manufactured swords and sabers for the Confederate cavalry and staff utilizing European sword blades. These swords were massive, often exhibiting 38″ double edged, triple fullered, European blades, apparently of an earlier era. Like many of the higher grade KGK swords, this example exhibits an inscription, etched, in Spanish, in the fullers, admonishing the owner of the sword – “NO ME SAQUES SIN RASON, NO ME EMBAINES SIN HONOR” which translates to “Do not draw me without reason, Do not sheath me without honor”. Swords of this pattern are found with wood lined leather brass mounted scabbards or more often brass mounted metal scabbards, as this example. Several swords of this pattern are associated with Wade Hampton’s Cavalry. A notable example was carried by the famed Confederate General Hampton and is now in the Museum of the Confederacy. In a 2006-2007 exhibit at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum other swords of this pattern were shown including examples carried by Generals Matthew C. Butler and Bradley T. Johnston. Edward Wells in his book Hampton and his Cavalry on page 93 “in Columbia, S. C….were made the heavy, long, straight, double-edged swords, very serviceable and Crusader-like, with cross-hilt.” Another unlikely Cavalry General known to carry this pattern was none other than George Armstrong Custer. His sword was given by widow Libby to the Smithsonian Institute and is currently on display at the Custer Battlefield Museum near site of his death.
This Kraft, Goldschmidt & Kraft is indeed a massive sword, measuring 44.75” overall, in the scabbard; the blade measures 37.75”; the scabbard measures 39”. The brass hilt has three branches and is comparable to the U.S. M1860 light cavalry saber, in design. The 3 branches and knuckle bow, connecting to the lower portion of the Phrygian style, pommel cap, exhibits features not found on U.S. swords. In addition, the brass elements of the hilt are replete with crude file marks, often seen in Confederate swords. The grip had a leather wrap, with finely twisted brass wire, but neither the wrap or wire remain on the sword. As with all KGK swords, there is a wide brass ferrule between the grip and guard. The double-edged blade is most assuredly a European import, perhaps of an earlier era – also, a characteristic of finer KGK swords. The straight, double-edged blade exhibits three fullers and is etched with a motto that translates to – ”Do not draw me without cause / Do not sheath me without Honor”. In addition, on the blade, just above the aforementioned motto, is also a crossed cannon etch with a Liberty pole and cap. The reverse is etched with floral designs, flags and drums. On one side of the ricasso is a script etching with the blade maker’s name – this is quite difficult to decipher, but is very similar to the etching on other extant examples. The scabbard is iron with brass throat and mounts; the weld seam is clearly visible along the length of the scabbard. While the scabbard remains in excellent condition, the drag is missing, as is one of the sword belt attachment rings. This scabbard is similar to other K,G & K staff officer scabbards and comparable to those carried by several Confederate Generals, including Wade Hampton, some of his officers, as well as famed Union General George Armstrong Custer.
Perry Adams Antiques recently obtained this rare Confederate sword from a family living in a mid-18th century house, just outside of Richmond. The family maintains that the sword was passed down, through their family, from the original owner, an officer in a North Carolina infantry regiment. We are still working on making definitive attribution of original ownership, by refining the research needed to make this provenance ironclad.