View Single Post
Old 9th April 2015, 06:46 PM   #86
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,684
Default

I personally echo Eljay's comments, this type of blade is indeed of 18th century English dragoon style, and of course Cathey's observations on the hilt as English and period are spot on.

There is an old 'axiom' that I have seen issued by Anthony Darling (I believe) which says loosely if it isn't a broadsword (meaning double edged, the term was used for both SE and DE in the 18th c.) then it isn't Scottish.
This seems to hold true as the dragoon swords produced for the British regiments were in accord with accepted military standards using single edged backsword blades.
It is a truly romantic notion that this blade might have come from the tragedy at Culloden, wielded by a patriotic Scot, but unfortunately not likely.
This tragic day was of course furthered by the disrespectful and patently heinous act of dismantling the broadswords of fallen Scots there, and using some of them in a garish garden fence.

As Eljay has well noted, the style of etching and likely even the content seem to correspond to the heightened awareness and revival of things Scottish in the Victorian era. In these times of course there was great attention to Scottish lore, history and fashion . Even the Royals would wear kilts etc. and in the military, officers in particular were rightfully proud of their Scottish heritage.
The '45 was a century or more in the past, and Scottish heritage was not only flaunted but a mark of prestige.

I think this blade more likely decorated later, though the blade seems of the period of the hilt. Despite the fact it is a sword of troopers grade in the hilt, it does not seem unlikely that an officer in a British cavalry unit might have had this sword beautifully inscribed reflecting the pride of the true Scots and their heritage.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote