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Old 26th July 2009, 06:01 PM   #10
celtan's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: PR, USA
Posts: 679

Hi guys,

Yep, that's the one. Nice photos. It's basically a sword' collector's price guide published in 2006.

The image in question, ID'ed as a 1770 hanger, has a wire grip and heart shaped guard. This seems to correspond to the M1742 you mention.

I own some north-european versions, but they sport spiral solid brass grips, and their knuckle-guard is attached to the pommel by means of a screw. I understand that even though they were made in the mid 18th C they were still being used until the mid-19th C by NCOs.

Mark's statement is very interesting, regarding their absence at excavations.

IIRC, brass was a premium metal in those times. Large salvage operations were instituted just to recover the brass cannons from sunken vessels. Could this be the reason they weren't left behind? Perhaps scavengers removed these from the battlefields after the action was over.


Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hi Norman,
Well noted, and there truly is since in these 18th century times, particularly in British swords, regulation patterns had not been officially established and the references to these were broadly based assumptions from contemporary illustrations.
Neumann notes the reference to Duke of Cumberlands "Representation of Clothing of His Majestys Forces" (1742) which shows hangers thought to be of this type, leading to the arbitrary designation even though there was no official pattern.
It seems these may have been Prussian hangers, or perhaps British versions of them. There is a great article which I do not have, but its author the late Anthony Darling was a brilliant authority on these weapons; "British Infantry Hangers" (Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting, Nov. 1970). This publication has been out of print for about ten years I think, but pretty sure Jim Gooding in Ontario, Canada still has back issues.

I'm puzzled about the 1770 infantry hanger, as the 1768 regulations called for swords for sergeants and grenadier companies, but none for corporals and private soldiers of infantry companies.
Without regulation swords for infantry prior to the 1768 warrant, it would seem there were numerous variant type hangers, and that numbers of these were either German swords or made in Germany for England, with heart shaped guards (1725-40, Neumann 11.S).

What is also puzzling is that there are, if I am not mistaken, hangers of this type known of latter 18th century as they reflect British makers of that period, such as Thomas Craven, not in business until 1797. This, coupled with the notable absence of them or thier parts aming battlefield artifacts excavated in Revolutionary War sites has seemed to present the most contention as far as their proper identification and use.

Again, the stock removal of the guard on this hanger, and the curious wolf mark on its blade, which could of course suggest Harvey though seeming atypical, really makes this weapon a curious and intriguing anomaly.

It would not be a German mark, as by the 18th century, as far as I know, these wolf/fox markings were not used in Germany any longer, possibly due to the deliberate use of the mark by the Shotley Bridge makers. Therefore it would seem the mark would not suggest this sword would have been one of the German hangers present by 1742, but it certainly appears to have once had the heart shaped guard.

Manolo, thank you for the reference, is this the book by Harvey Withers?

All very best regards,
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