EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Excellent posts Ibrahiim, and thank you for the great illustrations on some of the circumstances which were likely the source for the development of the basket hilt sword in Scotland. Indeed these North European short, heavy sabres many of which were 'dusagge' form had distinctively notable enclosed guards compellingly of such form. As always, the issue is often debated however these origins are most generally held.
Good points on the hilt elements which look like fluer de lis, but as noted by Mazansky, these are in his view actually representations of a rams head. In the case of the 'S' shaped element in hilt construction, I'm not sure if Mazansky made the distinction noting the significance of the 'S' (as possibly to Sterling; Scotland or such key words) but I know it has been noted in many cases with other authors on Scottish arms.
The Solingen phenomenon is probably one of the foremost subtopics in the study of European swords, naturally blades, and indeed this industrial 'machine' became dominant in their production. While the Hounslow and Shotley Bridge situations were indeed key in English swords from mid 17th into early 18th century, the emigration of Solingen makers was also well known into the Netherlands, France, Russia and of course Spain.
In the study of Scottish basket hilted swords, the fact that their blades are invariably of German production, or in some cases appearing to be so, these are the kinds of investigations which help us understand better the dynamics of these most important weapons.
The beginning of this thread by Cathey was remarkably well placed and offered great opportunities to see excellent examples of these swords from her own collection as well as other important holdings. While the unfortunate disruption may have discouraged her continued participation here, which I hope is not the case, I do hope we can continue gainful discussion to learn more on these weapons.