Benjamin Franklin's ceremonial sword will sell on September 20

Benjamin Franklin's ceremonial sword is to sell as part of Christie's Americana auction in New York on September 20.

Franklin served as ambassador to France during the War of Independence.

Benjamin Franklin sword
Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in securing French support for America 

He managed to secure a military alliance in 1778 that helped turn the tide of the war. He was also present at the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ended the conflict.

The sword bears the mark of Philadelphia silversmith and close friend Samuel Soumaine.

An inscription on the blade reads (in French): "Sword worn by Benjamin Franklin in the battles fought in America in the cause of Liberty. He then gave it to his friend P.J.G. Cabanis".

Franklin became close friends with Cabanis, a fellow enlightenment thinker, during his time as ambassador.  

He presented this sword to him when he returned to America in 1785.

Swords were a part of the official courtly garb in France, but Franklin chose to wear his only on official occasions.

A huge wooden eagle by the famous Cumberland County carver Wilhelm Schimmel is valued at $100,000-200,000.

Wilhelm Schimmel eagle
Wilhelm Schimmel used to swap his carvings for room and board

Schimmel (1817-1890) would swap his carvings for food and a place to stay around his home town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  

His obituary in an 1890 edition of the Carlisle Sentinel offers a revealing glimpse into his character: "Old Schimmel, the German who for many years trampled through this and adjoining counties, died at the almshouse on Sunday.

"His only occupation was carving heads of animals out of soft pinewood. He was apparently a man of very surly disposition."

Today his works are considered masterpieces of American folk art.

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