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Old 7th May 2015, 07:12 AM   #146
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Originally Posted by cornelistromp
salaams Ibrahiim,

I have absolutely no idea what you mean
This type of baskethilt is Dutch or German, certainly not scottish.
also the fleur de lis is not retrofitted in Scotland.
with partly Dutch I mean, the hilt can be Dutch, and the blade can be German and vice versa!

F/m a filling of a fleur de lis in the inner and outer guard appeared frequently in the second half of the 16th century in western Europe.
attached a twohanded sword of Standler 1580 and a German guard auctioned at Thomas del mar last year.

of flattened iron bars, formed of a pair of quillons with bud-shaped finials, and a tightly curled lug above and below, an additional pair of basal lugs, and inner and outer guard each filled with a fleur-de-lys
42.5 cm; 16 ¾ in wide

The armoury of His Imperial Highness, Archduke Eugen, Veste Hohenwerfen, Salzburg, sold Anderson Galleries, New York, 4 March 1927, lot 855, $12.50

JWHA Inv. No. 177
Estimate: 400-600

Salaams Cornelistromp ...Thank you for an excellent reply and your illustration of the 2 hander with the horns at the guard. Despite the Mazansky reference I can imagine how this could be misleading and had even thought that the reason for the Bull Horns/ Rams Horns? on the Scottish/English Basket Hilt was tied to the Border Reivers since that is what they were stealing...cows and sheep....but alas that seems not to be the case. Thanks again..

I have just realised that E B Ericson is a leading light on the subject of Basket Hilt Swords and can be seen at My Armoury. com from where, in regard to the Border Reivers above, I Quote."

The Border Reivers, the shock troops of those untamed folk, struck at their neighbors without mercy—murdering them, stealing their stock and burning their homes. They were masters of their custom-bred mounts, traveling light and fast, creating chaos with medieval weapons, and exploiting their intimate knowledge of the land to undermine political authorities and elude the law. They were driven by greed, revenge, hardship and perhaps even bloodlust.

Ironically, in light of our emphasis on the sword, the Borderers themselves chose the lance as their principal weapon. According to one eyewitness, their skill with lance and horse was so great that they could ride into a stream and spear fish from horseback. But nine feet of wood and a foot of steel just don't have the romantic allure of the distinctive Borders basket-hilt.

The debate over the origins of the British and Continental basket-hilt swords continues to rage. Suffice it to say that opinions differ, and the least-strained theory is that the various basket styles of the era evolved more of less independently out of the universal recognition of the value of protecting the sword hand even when not wearing mail or plate gauntlets.

Pointing to lines of trade between Britain and the Continent doesn't answer the question of stylistic origins because ideas likely flowed in both directions. However, it must be noted that British basket-hilts of the type reviewed here look more like the German basket-hilts of the same era than the classic Scottish Highland baskets of later centuries. In both cultures, the bars of these early baskets are narrow and organic in form, often explicitly so, with long, vinelike quillons, and terminals and pommels shaped like leaves, nuts or berries. Perhaps these forms were the cutler's reference to the rustic, utilitarian baskets encountered in everyday life.

Whatever the inspiration, the long, recurved quillons identify the earliest British baskets, dating from approximately 1540 forward. These quillons seem out of place in the kit of the imminently practical Reivers, and in fact many surviving basket-hilts of this era appear to have lost their quillons by accidental or deliberate amputation. The large, hollow, globular pommel also is a distinctive feature of the 16th century British basket-hilt"

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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