United States Cavalry Officer’s Sword

  • Dated: 1864
  • Medium: steel, wood, diamonds, a large amethyst, gilt bronze
  • Measurements: overall length: 43 1/2” length; blade length 34 3/4”

A piece of Civil War militaria, this presentation sword was given to United States Colonel William B. Sipes of the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry in 1864. This sword boasts a handle carved of natural material bound by a gilt bronze cross guard and highlighted by a large faceted amethyst on the hilt.

The silvered scabbard boasts fine gilt accents, along with a diamond studded “S” and an inscription that reads “Presented to / Col W.B. Sipes / 7th Regiment Penn Veteran Cavalry / By the Friends of the Regiment / 1864.” This piece is housed in its original fitted hardwood case. 

Colonel William B. Sipes 1905 obituary describes the commander’s life, accomlishments and the presentation of this sword: "Colonel William B. Sipes, of Bath Beach, Brooklyn, New York, died at Phenix, Rhode Island, the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Mabel Sipes Spencer, on Monday, September 4, 1905, after a brief illnes of pneumonia. Colonel Sipes was an 1860 editor of the Pottsville Register, a weekly Douglas Democratic paper.

In the Avar of 1861-65 he led a Company of Infantry, as Captain, in the three months’ service, and later received authority from Governor Andrew G. Curtin to raise a Regiment of Cavalry, the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, of which he gave the Colonelcy to General George C. Wynkoop, of Pottsville, himself taking the Lieutenant Colonelcy.

Upon the retirement of Colonel Wynkoop, he became Colonel of the Regiment. Upon the occasion of the reenlistment of the regiment in 1864, a banquet was given its officers on March 1864, at the Pennsylvania Hall, in Pottsville, at which a handsome sword was presented to Colonel Sipes by the ladies of Pottsville. […]

Colonel Sipes suffered much from a rheumatic affection during and since the war, but ably commanded the regiment in many of its most arduous and active campaigns. He was a most capable and efficient officer, kind hearted and courteous to all and of bravery beyond question.

In the celebrated charge of the regiment at Shelbyville, Tennessee, on the 27th of June, 1863, he led the charging column upon a park of artillery posted in the open square of the town, sabering the gunners, capturing four pieces of artillery and almost capturing General Wheeler […]”

Source: Copyright © 2014 M.S. Rau Antiques



a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487 which has since then been frequently (re)appropriated. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. According to Leonardo’s preview in the accompanying text, written in mirror writing, it was made as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described in Vitruvius.