Nothing was wasted on the American frontier. Swords and small swords were common with militia officers and it was not uncommon for a sword to be broken in use. The remains of such a quality piece of steel would be quickly salvaged and reworked.
For this recreation Joe Seabolt had to first recreate the quality sword blade-work of a master bladesmith. This blade shows the double fullers and precise ricasso and choil work of a quality sword, and represents the remnant of a broken blade and damaged handle from a hard fight. The guard is an adaptation of a small sword guard combined with a frontier style elk antler handle replacing its broken predecessor. The blade has been shortened from the “break” but the saber- ground cutting edge is carefully maintained. This blade is made from 1084 high carbon steel with wrought iron for the furniture. The overall length is twelve and one-half inches. The result is a finely balanced, elegant and deadly knife for the rigors of close combat.
Joe Seabolt is a perennial Live Auction supporter. His forge work, and especially his blades, are much sought after. Here is a chance to own one of his more unique pieces.
Photography by David Wright
Text by Heinz Ahlers