EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Thank you for posting this great example again. In the spirit of those here who enjoy observing various aspects of these examples and viewing these as 'clues' as to the possible 'history' they may hold, I wanted to add some thoughts.
As discussed, the hilt of this sword is 'of the type' referred to in fig. 7 of A,Darling (1974, p.86) considered a 'half basket' and indeed it is noted the form is commonly associated with the 'Inniskilling dragoons'.
What is most interesting here are the English style 'bun' pommel, which also seems consistent with English dragoon hilts mid 18th, while in place of the downturned quillon seen on some of these...the guard has a widened turned down extension which resembles those seen on earlier Scottish basket hilts (beginning of 18th, per Whitelaw).
Though these hilts are often associated with the Inniskillings, it is not clear at which period this might have been, nor that this was a hard and fast association. Certainly these swords did not follow 'patterns' in these times.
It might be argued however, that if the crudely inscribed numbers on the hilt were indeed '1751' rather than 1731.....that date is significant because in that year , 1751, the regiment was 'officially' designated 'Inniskillings'.
Prior to that they were known as Cunninghams Dragoons or 'Black Dragoons' etc.
It would be of course tenuous to suggest that this date would be inscribed in this manner, but it is worthy of note.
Naturally the 60 may have any numbers of purposes, most obvious an inventory or rack related number.
On the guard, the curious punctions as dots in linear fashion to me recall the 'paternosters' seen occasionally on swords of earlier times. The other device or mark is unclear but it would interesting to discover its relation to such a religious or talismanic type arrangement. Again, this speculation is simply suggested as a possible solution.
These are just notes I would observe, and hope some out there might find them worthy of discussion.