A good original example of an Ames 1861-dated government naval cutlass that would have been carried by U.S. Navy seamen aboard ship during the Civil War. The blade on this boarding cutlass measures 26 long, 1¼ wide at the ricasso and has a flat back with a single, wide, unstopped fuller with a dark gray patina. Blade exhibits scattered light pinprick pitting overall with a number of tiny nicks on the blade. On the reverse ricasso has a very thin makers three-line address that reads _____ MFG Co / CHICOPEE / MASS. The obverse shows 1861. Stampings are light. Brass hilt, often referred to as a soup ladle guard, is a rounded cup of heavy sheet brass riveted to the quillon and knucklebow and provides grip protection to the user. . Inside top edge of the quillon is stamped 850 which are thought to be rack position numbers on the ship. The Naval Cutlass measures 31 1/2 inches (80.6 cm) overall and weighs 2 1/2 pounds. From the Arthur A. Rebman maritime collection.
About 22,000 of the 1860 Naval Cutlasses were produced by Ames for the Navy, and 300 were purchased by the U. S. Army.