Saturday, April 21, 2018
My replica of George Washington's Inaugural Sword
George Washington appeared on the balcony of the Federal Building wearing a brown suit and wearing his inaugural sword. At six feet three inches tall he made an impressive figure when the average man was five feet six. His speech showed his modesty as he said he had retired to his farm and had hoped to stay retired.
I have one of 1,000 full size replica copies made in 1974 of his inaugural sword that I inherited from my dad, plus the matching ceremonial silver dagger. Actually these belong to my sons but the sword and dagger are still at my house. The sword is 34 inches in length, made in London, and has a sterling silver hilt and is an exact replica and it could, as the paperwork says "if necessary, be used advantageously in combat." My copy is a strong metal sword made in the traditional way by the Wilkinson Company. The original sword was presented by Washington to his nephew and remained in the family until 1889, when it was obtained by the Washington Association of New Jersey. The original is on display at Washington's Headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey where he spent the winter of 1779.
Here is a description of events at the inauguration of our first President: "George Washington even stooped over and kissed the Bible when he was sworn in as President. Then he led everyone present across the street (in New York City, our capital in 1789) where they participated in a two hour prayer service at St. Paul's Chapel, which still stands a block away from where the World Trade Center stood." From "The Book that Made America" by Jerry Newcombe.
What a handsome and meaningful sword and the detail on it is amazing which makes it a work of art in my view. The same company that made the original sword made this replica, and that company was founded in 1772. Hurray for Wilkinson Company of Great Britain, and thanks to my dad for passing the sword and dagger along to me, and eventually to my sons whenever they want them.