The brass that makes up the guard and mounts on high grade swords is usually gold-gilded. In the case of this sword, most of the gild remains intact. Note the flowers that appear on the guard are all slightly different. The deeply relief cast brass was hand-chased and engraved before gold gild was applied.
High grade relief cast brass mounts. George Washington bust on middle mount. On other swords the bust may be found silvered. On this sword it appears to be gilded brass. Above the bust appears an olive branch crossed with a sword. We can speculate that this has similar connotation to the eagle holding the olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other.
Horstmann of Philidelphia produced many high grade presentation swords. A majority of the blades used on these swords were either of Gebruder Weyersberg, or (as in this case) of Clauberg, Solingen. The Clauberg Knight is found on the ricasso of the sword. The Horstmann mark is found on the opposite side.
Deeply cast brass chased, engraved, and finished with gold gilding. This is beautiful work befitting a high ranking and respected officer. Note the details in the flowers pictured above; each being slightly different from the other.
(Below) Mint condition gold wash survives. The blade shows precise, clean etching and engraving. Note the blade spine of the sword is also decorated and gold-washed.