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Old 14th February 2016, 07:45 AM   #246
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you Ibrahiim for this and the previous detail and links to the clearly complex history surrounding Scotland in these times. Your tenacious searching through these many sources is very much appreciated.

You have mentioned Shotley and Hounslow before a number of times, and often I have wondered if the 'crossed swords' had any connection to the arms used by Solingen using this symbol. Obviously the use of the familiar running wolf on some of the blades from these relocated German makers had to do with their Solingen roots.

As you note, there is no record of any basket hilt in specific connected to either to the earlier Hounslow location of mid 17th nor the later Shotley Bridge location . While it would seem possible that the Hounslow might have some connection, it seems that they were more aligned with hangers and in degree with the so called 'mortuary' semi baskets. Mostly, it was the blades they focused on. With the 'mortuaries' it seems these were primarily backswords (SE) but I have had one which interestingly did have ANDREA FERARA in the fuller. This is most interesting as in that time this name on blades was well known destined on broadswords to Scotland, and here is an English backsword with this blade!

Shotley, mostly associated with hangers as far as I know, except possibly some smallswords, is even less likely to have been involved with basket hilts as they seem to have catered more to civilian market while Hounslow itself had begin in a military context in large degree.

The English makers of the dragoon sword basket type hilts were in Birmingham primarily with Jeffries and Drury, though Harvey may have had some input. This came about mid 18th century, long after Shotley had ended. Prior to this and a good while earlier, military aligned basket hilts were made in garrison cities Edinburgh and Glasgow in larger instance, while some other locations are I believe considered.

Salaams Jim, Shotley Bridge is an interesting place historically having gone through the industrial revolution but having only retained its market town attributes as all of the heavy industry evapourated...including the sword makers...I think there is a small museum at the Swordmaking House a minutes walk from the Crown and Crossed Swords which tantalisingly carries two big display sign basket swords under a crown...The area is well connected to what would have been border reiver trade in the old days thus both these small factors could point to a Basket Sword situation ...though as you note there is as yet no evidence...and it may only be co incidence.

What I note is the huge gap between the Shotley production and today thus much has been destroyed and more has been forgotten. Hopefully a blade could turn up...Thank you for your post..

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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