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The Model M1808 Naval Cutlass or the Nathan Starr 1808 Contract for the American Navy During the Federal Period - only 1,000 Produced! Known as "the cutlass that fought the War of 1812".
Photographic Examples, Documentation, Historical Analysis and Availability


M1808 Pattern Nathan Star Contract Federal Period Naval Cutlass

Nathan Starr Contract of 1816 Pattern Naval Cutlass

Above is a very rare example and currently part of the Pirates Lair Collection of a properly marked the Nathan Starr 1808 Contract Naval Cutlass. A scabbard was not made for this model cutlass and it was typically worn thrust through the seaman's belt. Only 1,000 were contracted for.

Examples and documentation of this specific cutlass can be found in Gilkerson's "Boarders Away" page 96. Also found on page 52 of Peterson's "The American Sword, 1775-1945". Also on page 45 of Rankin's "Small Arms of the Sea Services".

Major departure in design from the traditional double disk figure 8 hilt used by both American and British navies from the early-mid 1700s thru the French-Indian Wars and the American Revolution. The M1808 had an upturned blackend sheet metal hilt or cup guard, a perfectly round and straight turned wooden maple grip, and a straight single fullered 28.5" blade.

Nathan Starr Contract M1808 of 1808 Pattern Naval Cutlass

Nathan Starr contract M1808 naval cutlass maker marks

It cannot be stressed enought that the Nathan Starr Contract of 1808 Model M1808 Naval Cutlass was the first departure away from the double disk figure-8 pattern. Straight blade with a single fuller and maker marked on the ricasso of the 28.5" blade "N STARR" followed by and "Eagle" and the initials "US"..

US Federal Navy Nathan Starr 1808 Contract Model M1808 Naval Cutlass

RARE! Museum Quality and Investment Grade - Perfect example of a Model M1808 Nathan Starr 1808 Contract Naval Cutlass fully and properly marked! The turned wooden maple grip and iron ferrules of the cutlass are in excellent condition.

The first formal regulation departure from the past generations "figure 8" or dual disk cutlass used from the early-mid 1700s to the late 1790s used by both British, Colonial, and American navies. The Starr 1797 cutlass contract was the last known example of the figure 8 being used by the American navy.
nathan starr contract 1808 contract M1808 naval cutlass
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In The Pirates Lair
Private Collection
Not For Sale
Custom Wooden Wall Brackets for the Naval Cutlass
Elegant in Their Simplicity! Custom Crafted Wooden Wall Brackets Specifically for a Cutlass Display or Sword Display for a Secure, Beautiful and Professional Presentation.

These Handcrafted Wooden Wall Brackets or Wall Mounts Are Made for the Wide and Large Hilts Normally Found on Cutlasses and Some Swords and Prevent the Hilt or Cup From Touching the Wall. The TPL Wall Brackets Come Complete with 2 Brackets and 2 Mounting Screws, and are Available in 3 Sizes with a Choice of Oak or Walnut Woods!
The Pirates Lair Custom Made Handcrafted Oak or Wlanut TPL Wall Brackets to Safely, Securely, and Properly Display Your Cutlass or Sword Without Damaging Wall or Weapon
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$35. Pair

2.25" 2.75" 3.75"

specify length and either Oak or Walnut when calling.
Call To Purchase
540 659 6209

Below are links to other Antique Nautical and Naval Artifacts that may be of interest:

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Click HERE for WWII US Navy Anchor China

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The Pirate's Lair
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Stafford, Virginia 22554
Phone: 540-659-6209

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Music Credits: Donald Where's Your Trousers/Drunken Sailor medley by The Bards

The Nathan Starr 1808 Contract of naval cutlass was also sometimes known as the N. Starr Contract 1808, or navy sword or naval short sword as the blade was sometimes significantly shorter than some of the 30" plus blades found on infantry and calvary swords.

moreover the sweeping blade of the cutlass was called in french the "falchion" which distiguishes it from the straigher sword blades.