January 11, 2011
A federal judge has ordered a Williamsburg collector not to sell a Civil War-era sword that Brown University contends was stolen from its collections more than 30 years ago.
The Daily Press reports that the temporary restraining order blocks Donald Tharpe from selling or disposing of the sword until the dispute is resolved.
The sword was recently displayed at a Newport News-owned museum. Tharpe lent the sword and scabbard to Lee Hall Mansion from December 2009 and December 2010.
Brown University is asking the judge to declare the university as the rightful owner of the sword and an ornamental scabbard.