U.S. Navy Elgin Cutlass-Pistol by C.B. Allen
Serial no. 45, .54 caliber. 5 inch octagonal barrel marked on the top Elgins/Patent and CBA/PM/1837. Frame marked C.B. Allen/Springfield/Mass. Barrel, frame, blade and stock all serial numbered. Underside of barrel affixed with broad 11 inch single edged blade with beveled false edge and forged with integral triggerguard/knucklebow. Varnished walnut grips. Together with original German silver-mounted leather holster, (the leather restored) the throat fitted with frog stud and with rare brass-tipped steel ramrod.
One of 150 specimens manufactured by C.B. Allen, with blades by N.P. Ames, for a U.S. Navy contract specifically associated with the Wilkes South Seas Exploring Expedition of 1838-42. (Flayderman’s Guide, sec. 6A-038)
Authorized in 1828, the expedition was composed of six vessels, with a complement of scientists, under the command of Lt. Charles Wilkes. Leaving Hampton Roads, Virginia the fleet rounded South America, explored the Pacific coast of that continent, proceeded to the South Pacific, where they engaged in combat on Fiji in 1840 and then sailed on the map and explore the west coast of the United States. Nineteen scientific volumes were published after the fleets return and the expedition played a major contribution in the advancement of the U.S. scientific community.