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Old 3rd April 2015, 04:59 AM   #66
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by Cathey
Hi Iain

You are quite correct about the similarly as many Kaskara’s often have earlier European blades including those featuring the double moons. A number of those you have featured are probably German circa 1700 looking at the quality. The feel and sping of the metal will generally give you an indication of whether this is a locally forged blade or a European addition.

The sword attached hear and referred to in my previous post traditionally has this exact blade with this hilt as featured in NEWMAN, G.G. Swords and Blades of the American Revolution pp150, plate 265.s. Actually I am yet to see an example of this particular pattern which is quite distinctive with any other blade; however I have seen this exact blade on a number of other basket hilts of the same period.

Sword details
BASKET HILT Irish Dragoons Broadsword circa 1745
Nationality Irish – British Cavalry
Overall Length 107 cm (42.1 inches)
Blade length 90 cm (35.4 inches)
Blade widest point 4.8 cm (1 7/8 inches)
Marks, etc back to back crescent moons

BASKET HILT Irish Dragoons Broadsword circa 1745 this variation often called the “Irish Hilt” because of use by some British Regiments in the Irish Establishment in particular the 6th Inniskilling. It has a three-quarter basket hilt comprised of broad vertical bars joined by a middle horizontal strap. Broadsword, early double-edged blade bears two central fullers & crescent engraving.

General Remarks
The 6th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards were raised in 1689 to fight for King William III. The Regiment left Ireland in 1708 and did not return for 100 years fighting in the 1715 rebellion in Scotland were in Flanders and fought at Fontenoy in 1745, later at Waterloo in 1815 and Balaclava in the Crimea in 1854.

GARDNER, R. E. Small Arms makers Pp 368
MAZANSKY (C.) British Basket-Hilted Swords: A Typology Of Basket-Type Sword Hilts. Pp229 Fig VIII4
NEWMAN, G.G. Swords and Blades of the American Revolution pp150, plate 265.s
Wallis & Wallis Sale No 473 5-6/5/04 Plate 5 lot 1341 Pp51


Cathey and Rex

Excellent detail. The 'Anglo-Irish' hilt in post #36, c.1745 is virtually identical to the one posted in "The British Basket Hilted Cavalry Sword" by Anthony Darling (Vol. 7, #3, pp.79-96, 1974) in fig.7abc (p.86). Here the author notes that this style hilt was indeed associated with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons noting the period as c.1740.
While the term 'Irish hilt' was often used collectively to describe 'Highland' basket hilts (Darling, ibid. p.84; Blair, 1962,p.86) these particular hilts, though distinctly British.....were termed Anglo-Irish for the connection to these Irish dragoon units.

In the example seen in Darling, the blade is 34", double edged and has one central fuller.
The Neumann example (265.S) is again identical hilt, but with two central fullers, and a note that a crescent engraving was present, but not otherwise specified.

In all the references I have seen on Scottish basket hilts, which includes most of those listed in these posts, the only triple fuller configurations have flutes on either side at the forte..much as seen with the c.1600 example with paired moons presumed Stamm Clemens.
While Stamm according to Gyngell (p.41) and Lenciewicz (p.66) show him using crescent moons, they were presumably among other marks and these were typically at the forte in those times.

As Iain has noted in post #38, the blade on the 'Irish' hilt dragoon c.1745 as well as images of the Czerny's example, are compellingly like blades used on kaskara (as well as takouba) in Africa from mid to latter 19th century. In actuality, the degenerated and stylized nature of the moons compares to many of these blades often termed 'masri' and the moons termed 'dukari'. These blades were indeed often German imports in the latter years of the 19th century, though may have come in earlier. Native armourers began making their own blades with this fuller configuration and the marks were strategically placed near the fuller terminals and believed to have magical connotation.

The example with the more artistically applied paired moons (believed Stamm) is exactly the kind of evidence long sought to find the ancestry of these crescent moons used in North Africa.
However what is puzzling on the other example (1745 Irish dragoon) and its counterpart noted as Czerny's item, is why would 19th century blades be present in hilts used in the 1740s?

While the point that it is true that Scottish, and for that matter many British swords, may be considered 'composite' as they are comprised of local hilts and imported is typically preferred that these pairings are within the working life of the components .
Since these dragoon hilts as far as known ceased use in the 18th century, the use of blades much later mounted in them is puzzling.
Obviously the question stands as , are these indeed German blades of the 18th century rather than kaskara 'masri' blades of late 19th c.?
If these are actually early German blades, then it is a powerful revelation in many years of research on these North African blades, and it would be amazing to prove that blades with these triple fullers and these corrupted moons were produced that early.

Dr L.C. Briggs wrote his venerable treatise on sword blades in North Africa in 1965 (JAAS, Vol. V, #2 pp.37-92) where he notes on p43, "...I have seen no Taureg weapon with half moon marks which I felt were surely European".

Sir Francis Rodd (1928) in "People of the Veil", p.233, "..the masri blades are made in the north. Most prized are those with two or three slight cancellations down the middle. The commonest masri blades bear two opposed crescent men in moon crescent marks".
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