Pardon Mawney Whipple’s Pommel Sword
Pardon Mawney Whipple, who served as a midshipman on USS Constitution during the War of 1812, and later as a lieutenant in the Mediterranean, would have sported this sword as a ceremonial piece or as an adornment indicative of his rank. A decorative weapon such as this would not be used in actual combat, though Whipple did not have occasion during his naval career to participate in hand-to-hand battles.
The eagle pommel design traces its roots to ancient Rome, and became particularly popular as a sword decoration in America beginning in the late 18th century. Numerous artists and manufacturers produced variations of the design for both U.S. Navy officers as well as U.S. Army infantry officers.