Thomas Griswold & Co. Artillery Saber & Scabbard

Value (2012) | $8,000 Retail
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GUEST:
I went with my mother when I was about 12 years old on a little trip. She wanted to go pick pears at the old home place, and we rummaged through one of the old packhouse buildings there, and there was some rifles and muzzle loaders and one thing and another, and we found this old sword under some debris in the packhouse, and everybody else had passed on it for 50 years, so...

APPRAISER:
Do you know where it was made at?

GUEST:
It's made in New Orleans because it says so on there.

APPRAISER:
There you go. It's made by Thomas Griswold & Co., New Orleans. They went into business in 1861. They were a big retailer down in New Orleans that owned almost a city block. They sold everything from silverware to guns to swords. It's an artillery saber. And you can tell them a mile away because of the scabbard. Most scabbards are made of iron; this one's made of copper and brass. Did you clean it or restore it in any way?

GUEST:
Afraid so. I polished it and hung it over my mantel for about 20 years before I put it in my gun safe.

APPRAISER:
Well, I'm going to get on to you for that, but at least you saved it. Have you ever had it appraised?

GUEST:
Well, I was going to buy insurance on it one time. An appraiser wrote me an appraisal for $10,000, and of course, he tried to buy it for $10,000, so I decided not to sell it to him.

APPRAISER:
When did you have the $10,000 appraisal done?

GUEST:
Well, I've been in the house I'm in about 12 years, so it was before I moved up where I'm at now, at the old place.

APPRAISER:
So it was around 2000?

GUEST:
Probably somewhere in that time.

APPRAISER:
2000 were when Confederate swords were at their peak. This sword at that time probably would have brought $12,000, even $14,000. They've taken a hit along with a lot of things, and in today's world, it's probably worth more like $8,000.

GUEST:
That's bad. (chuckles) So I don't have to buy as much insurance. (laughs)

APPRAISER:
There you go. I like the way you think.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Shiloh Civil War Relics
Savannah, TN
Appraised value (2012)
$8,000 Retail
Event
Pittsburgh, PA (August 13, 2011)
Period
19th Century
Form
Scabbard
Material
Brass, Copper, Metal

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