Over the past several years, our reach has gone international in terms of locating and purchasing fine artifacts for our clients. This masterpiece is an example of the networking we have world-wide. This sword was discovered in Belgium last summer and one of our contacts there, contacted us. This is quite possibly the finest Congressional Presentation sword of its type that has ever been brought to light. There are several of these Congressional Presentations that are known, but none hold a candle to this one. At first glance, the blade is so close to perfection that one might think it to be a reproduction. It is 100% original,,, and it is truly magnificent. It's blade has the
etched presentation, "THOMAS GREEVES Jun'r, MIDSHIPMAN, EPERVIER CAPTURE 29TH, APRIL 1814".
Greeves was one of several United States Naval Officers working the U. S. ship "Peacock" that was awarded one of these fantastic swords for services during the capture of the British ship Epervier. Early on the morning of 28 April, 1814 near the Bahama's, the Peacock sighted several sail to windward. They belonged to a small convoy that had sailed from Havana on 23 April, escorted by the Epervier. When the convoy sighted Peacock the merchant ships made all sail to escape, while Epervier prepared to engage.As the two vessels made toward each other, the wind shifted to the southward, giving neither Peacock nor Epervier the advantage of the windward position. At about 10:20 in the morning, both ships fired their starboard broadsides on opposite tacks, aiming high to disable their opponent's rigging. Both vessels received damage aloft, after which Epervier turned downwind and engaged Peacock on a parallel course.
Peacock directed her fire against Epervier 's hull with great effect. The British fire fell away rapidly, and Epervier probably scored no hits after the first broadside from the port battery. After 40 minutes, Epervier was badly damaged, with 45 shot holes in the hull, and 5 feet of water in the hold. Commander Wales summoned boarding parties to muster, intending to board and capture Peacock, but his crew refused. At 11:05, Epervier struck her colours. Epervier had lost eight men killed and 15 wounded, about 20 percent of the crew.
The victory of Peacock over Epervier was one of the most one-sided of the War of 1812, even though the two opposing vessels were not grossly disparate in strength. The scabbard on this sword shows a bit of age and weathering, but is sound as can be and all in all, this is the best of this type that I have seen in person or books. It's hard to imagine how it was kept in such wonderful, untouched condition.