This heavy cavalry sabre, commonly referred to as Model 1840 "Wrist-breaker" was one of the military sabres used by U.S. mounted forces before and during the American Civil War (1861-65).
Made by W.R. Kirschbaum of Solingen, Germany, the single-edged blade has a pronounced curve with a flat wide spine (the 1860 model has a rounded spine). The blade measures 88.5 cm with a long, wide fuller beginning with a flat line at the ricasso (in later models the beginning of the fuller is rounded). The blade shows sharpening scratches but is otherwise in great condition and retains its fighting edge. It is marked on the ricasso with the Knights head and W.R.K maker's mark. The obverse ricasso is plain. The blade spine is marked with a crown and the letter "K."
The heavy, three-branch brass hilt is stamped on the beak quillon with a crown and the letter "K." The guard is in good condition and exhibits a beautiful and untouched age patina. There is a hairline crack on the surface of one bar but it does not go all the way through.
The twisted brass wire is intact (it may have been replaced) and the original black/brown leather grip is in good condition for its age and use with minimal damage to the leather. The leather covers a wooden handle wrapped with sinew or cord for added grip, typical of the belt and braces manufacture of Prussian made Model 1840's.
The heavy-duty steel scabbard has double suspension rings and is marked on the drag with a crown and a partially struck "WRK" mark. The scabbard has a mild salt and pepper patina and is without dents or damage. The sword sheaths and draws smoothly and is held firmly in the scabbard.
The sabre was purchased by me in Valdosta, Georgia in 1994 and has been in my private collection since then. This M1840 is in great condition for its age and service. Civil War sabres in this condition are very hard to find.