Originally Posted by celtan
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.
Excellent point Manolo!!!! Brass was, and in many cases remained ,a prime commodity in salvage for continued use in weaponry. It was easier to produce munitions grade weapons in volume as they were of course cast hilts. Also, they were less susceptible to the elements and corrosion in the field.
In actuality, most battlefields were indeed scavenged to retrieve weapons, far beyond souvenier hunting, as weapons became surplus materials often resold as described.
I once had a cavalry sword with certain regimental markings of standard issue on the hilt, but the scabbard was not with it.
Years later, the scabbard with matching markings and rack number showed up at a museum among listings of holdings of that weapon type. While purely circumstantial evidence, the suggestion would be a battlefield pickup, as one would presume that weapons so marked would remain together unless interrupted by circumstances separating them.