Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The whole Hounslow/Shotley Bridge/ Samuel Harvey circumstances in British swords have been a virtual conundrum which most collectors have found daunting at best.
The Shotley Bridge factory actually evolved around 1687 with Hermann Mohll and some of the makers of the Hounslow enterprise of earlier in the century comprised of German makers brought in for this purpose. They were closed down c. 1703 then reopened c. 1716 (if I recall correctly) .
It seems a good number of swords from earlier blades, probably Hounslow, did use the 'Passau wolf' (running wolf), however it has been suggested that earlier Shotley Bridge weapons also used this.
The 'Samuel Harvey' dynasty began in England with Samuel Harvey Sr. (b. 1698). His production was at 74 High Street, and continued until his death in 1778.
His son Samuel Harvey Jr. was with him in business , and moved to 4 Cannon Street in 1789. His son Samuel Harvey III was with him in business.
Jr. died in 1795, and in turn his so took over until his death in 1810.
Effectively, the Harveys made swords from c. 1716 until 1810.
It is known that the mid 18th century hangers and some other of their blades were marked with a running 'fox'. These are apparently a nod to the running wolf of the Passau/Solingen fame (clearly a fox with its notably plumed tail) and typically had the initials S H in the body.
There seem to be variations, and in some cases only the H is seen, however it is unclear whether in these case the missing letters are simply worn away or indeed never placed there).
I have seen one example of the Passau type wolf with an H, and one suggestion it might have been a Hounslow sword, but that idea was discounted and the idea of it being a Harvey variant suggested....but since it is the rough chiseled 'wolf' character, not the 'fox', it seems unlikely.
Many of the Harvey blades are simply stamped with the name S Harvey,
no fox, and near the hilt, not on the blade center. Others are seen with HARVEY alone.
There has been no evidence I am aware of that any particular variation of the fox and initials, or the stamped name were favored or used distinctively by any one of the Harvey men. It does seem the running fox with the SH initials are more consistant on the hangers of mid 18th century however.
That's the best I can figure so far, and I wanted to thank you for bringing up this interesting element concerning these blades and makers which as seen do occasionally occur in the blades of these swords.
All the best,