Circa 1862


Believed to have been owned by Albert I. Sands of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who served in the Massachusetts 38 Regiment, Company F during the Civil War, seeing action at the Battle of Point Hudson and other conflicts between 1862 and 1863. Antler-grip knife signed "Hassam Brothers Boston". Displays several typical Hassam features including a narrow ricasso, a sharply curved choil and an S-curved guard with ball finials. Spearpoint-shaped blade with a 4.5" false edge. Original leather sheath with German silver mounts, the butt mount engraved in script lettering with regimental information "A.I. Sands. Co. F. 38 Reg. M.V.".

Sketch book marked in ink on frontis page "A.I. Sands, Cambridge Mass." in large Gothic-style lettering and in ink on an early page "Albert I. Sands" in script lettering. Contains watercolors and pencil drawings, most signed "A.I. Sands". The majority are military views, though landscapes, farming scenes, figural portraits and images of animals and birds are also included. Of note is "Scenes about Camp" depicting three soldiers, one on horseback, "Charge of the Fire Zouaves at the Battle of Bull Run Sketched on the spot ..." and "Fort Washington", a near bird's-eye view of the camp. Some of the images are primitive and naive, though several are skillfully rendered. Book was a commercially available sketch book with green boards, leather spine, "Sketch Book" on cover, and period engravings "Caldwell (Lake George)" and "Album. The Dream" tipped in.
Total length of knife 16.25". Blade length 11.25". Length in sheath 16.75". Book 7.25" x 6.25".
Condition: Knife blade is well-preserved with no significant damages noted. Crossguard with small amount of rust. Sheath is stable but shows some rubbing and surface cracking. Sketch book shows average wear, thought the binding is still tight and some tissue guards are still present. Some pages resewn. Very little staining, foxing or toning.

The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance: Reference:
    The Bowie Knife: Unsheathing an American Legend by Norm Flayderman (Lincoln, R.I.: Andrew Mowbray Inc., 2004) illustrates and provides a history of Hassam knives, p. 261, 322 and 341. "According to Boston city directories, Fredrick Hassam operated individually under that name between 1856 and 1860. From 1856 to 1860, he was in partnership as 'Kingman & Hassam,' in the late 1860 to 1865 he was joined by his brother, Roswell, their markings simply 'Hassam Brothers." He was in partnership as "Kingman and Hassam" from 1860 to 1865. He was joined by his brother Roswell and the markings were simply "Hassam Brothers Boston".

    Interestingly, Fredrick's son and namesake was the influential American Impressionist Childe Hassam (1859-1935). After an 1872 fire devastated most of Boston's commercial district, including his father's business, Childe left high school to help support his family by working, first in the accounting department of publisher Little, Brown & Company, then later as a draftsman with engraver George Johnson and a freelance illustrator before leaving to study in Europe.

    Albert I. Sands is listed as a member of the Union Massachusetts Volunteers, 38th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry. During Civil War service, the regiment lost four officers, 73 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 151 enlisted men by disease, for a total 228 men.

    Timeline of the regiment:
    Aug. 24, 1862: Organized and mustered

    Aug. 26-28, 1862: Moved to Baltimore

    Aug. 1862 to Jan. 1863: Defenses of Baltimore, 8th Army Corps, Middle Dept.
    Duty at Baltimore until Sept. 8, 1862; at Powhattan Dam until Oct. 12; at Baltimore until Nov. 10. Embarked on steamer
    Baltic for Ship Island, Mississippi Nov. 10, arriving Dec. 14. Moved to New Orleans Dec. 29-31.

    Jan.1863 to Aug. 1863: 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf
    Camp at Carrollton until Feb. 11, 1863. Expedition to Plaquemine Feb. 11-19. At Carrollton until March 6. Moved to Baton Rouge March 6-7. Operations against Port Hudson March 7-27. Moved to Algiers April 1, then to Berwick City April 9. Operations in Western Louisiana from April 9 until May 14 including the Teche Campaign April 11-20, Fort Bisland April 12-13 and an expedition from Opelousas to Alexandria and Simsport May 5-14. Moved to Bayou Sara then to Port Hudson on May 22-25. Siege of Port Hudson May 25-July 9. Assaults on Port Hudson May 27 and June 14. Expedition to Clinton June 3-8. Surrender of Port Hudson July 9. Moved to Baton Rouge July 11 with artillery train, then to Donaldsonville July 15, with duty there until Aug. 1.

    Aug. 1863 to Feb. 1864: 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 19th Army Corps
    At Baton Rouge until March 23, 1864.

    Feb. 1864 to Jan. 1865: 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, and Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division
    Red River Campaign March 23-May 22. At Alexandria until April 12. Monett's Bluff and Monett's Ferry April 23. Construction of dam at Alexandria April 30-May 10. Retreat to Morganza May 11-20. At Morganza until July 3. Reconnaissance to Atchafalaya May 30-June 6. Moved to New Orleans then to Fortress Monroe, Virginia and Washington, D.C. July 3-29. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign Aug. to Dec. Battle of Opequan, Winchester Sept. 19. Fisher's Hill Sept. 22. Battle of Cedar Creek Oct. 19. At Kernstown and Winchester until Jan. 5, 1865.

    Jan. 1865-March 1865: 3rd Brigade, Grover's Division, District of Savannah, Dept. of the South
    Moved to Savannah, Georgia Jan. 5-22. Duty there until March 5.

    March 1865-April 1865: 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Army Corps, Dept. of North Carolina
    Moved to Wilmington, N.C. March 5 and then to Morehead City March 10. Duty there until April 8.

    April 1865-June 1865: District of Savannah, Georgia, Dept. of the South
    Moved to Goldsboro April 8, with duty there until May 2. Moved to Savannah, Georgia May 2-7, with duty there until June 30. Mustered out June 30, 1865. Moved to Boston June 30-July 5.

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