View Single Post
Old 12th February 2008, 04:27 PM   #10
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
Jim McDougall's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,694

Beautifully done explanation on the 'bilbo' swords Marc!!! and as always, your expertise in the weapons of Spain is paramount! In visualizing the bilbo (M1728) I was incorrect in using the bowl term, and will take the insanity defense Actually I believe I was thinking of the frontal view which looks bowl like in degree, and should have reviewed illustrations.

The bilbo term, seems to be yet another transliteration or romanticized term used by collectors, and may be derived from 'bilobate' which of course would describe the double lobed shellguards. The term bilbo occurs (and cannot recall detail which is in notes unavailable at the moment) in Shakespeare and I believe may account for the collectors choice of term.

The sword is indeed a cavalry form, and resembles the style of horsemens swords of the low countries, sometimes referred to as 'walloons' (another term with interesting history) and used by the British also in the late 17th century. This sword seems to reflect a combination of these, the bilbo (M1728) and as mentioned the dress swords for officers of beginning of the 19th century. All of these suggest the profound preservation of traditional form that is a hallmark of the beauty of Spanish weapons.

Gavin, good observation on the brass, which is often used in variation on Spanish colonial weapons, and typically seems to be an aesthetic affectation. It is possible a makers stamp might be under the brass collar on the ricasso within the pas d'ane. The brass terminals and en suite additions to the guard appear for dress, in Spanish colonial application much favored.

All very best regards,
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote