Unique example dating to the heyday of piracy. Silver plated hilt with cross guard formed as two stylized serpents. The pommel as a mythological beast with eel like head and geometric designs simulating scales. Very likely derived from Arawak mythology which was dominant in the Caribbean at the time. Spirally fluted ivory grip. 26 1/2" broad and narrow fullered curved blade. Chiseled floral panel to the right forte and the back inscribed by the owner WILIAM (sic). An inscription ahead of the floral panel Captured July 6 98 City of Santiago, indicating that it was captured after the defeat of the Spanish Navy in the Caribbean at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, a pivotal victory in the Spanish-American War. The hilt silver a little worn from a century and a half of service. The ivory with a few linear checks and cracks. The blade plated after its capture and well preserved with several small nicks from use. An amazing specimen which survived through two exciting and historic periods in the Caribbean, the first almost certainly as a pirate weapon.