Sword and Scabbard Presented to Captain Samuel Chester Reid (1783–1861)

Silversmith John Targee American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 372

This is one of twelve gold-mounted swords awarded by the State of New York to heroes of the War of 1812. Commissioned from the New York City silversmith and die-cutter John Targee, the swords cost about $450 each, a significant amount at the time. Of Neoclassical inspiration, the hilt includes an eagle-head pommel (referring to the national emblem) and a figure of Hercules and the Nemean Lion on the counterguard. The sword was awarded to Samuel Chester Reid (1773–1861), captain of the private brig General Armstrong, for his heroic actions in holding off the British fleet at Fayal, in the Azores, on September 26–27, 1814.

Sword and Scabbard Presented to Captain Samuel Chester Reid (1783–1861), John Targee (American, ca. 1774–1850), Gold, brass, steel, American, New York

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