Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: adelaide south australia
Basket hilted swords
My first love has always been the basket hilted sword. I do not post very often as I have little spare time working hard to pay for my collecting habit. However, between Jim McDougall and my husband’s insistence I thought I should make more of an effort. I would like to start a thread devoted to Basket hilted swords. Note I have not said Scottish as there is a fine line between the Scottish and British basket, often it is difficult to say with any certainly which is which. I have attempted to start a thread on this subject ton other forums however there has been little interest, so here goes.
I currently have 20 Basket hilted swords in my ranging in age from mid 16th century to the end of the reign of Queen Victoria, which is supposed to be my cut off date.
Reference material, from my library:
SWORDS AND SWORD MAKERS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND, BEZDEK, Richard H. Not bad general reference.
SCOTTISH WEAPONS & FORTIFICATIONS 1100-1800, CALDWELL, David H. (again general)
HIGHLAND DRESS, ARMS AND ORNAMENT, CAMPBELL, Lord Archibald
SCOTTISH SWORDS FROM THE BATTLEFIELD AT CULLODEN, CAMPBELL, Lord Archibald
Scottish Arms and Armour (Shire Collections) (Paperback) by Fergus Cannan (more a history book)
SWORDS FOR THE HIGHLAND REGIMENTS 1757 – 1784, DARLING, Anthony D.
WEAPONS OF THE HIGHLAND REGIMENTS Historical Arms Series No.33, DARLING, Anthony D.
Ancient scottish Weapons a series of ddrawings by the late james drummond
THE SCOTTISH DIRK Historical Arms Series No 26 Paperback Second Printing 1993 Museum Restoration Service, FORMAN, James D.
BRITISH BASKET-HILTED SWORDS: A TYPOLOGY OF BASKET-TYPE SWORD HILTS, MAZANSKY (C.) (Probably the best reference book to come on the market).
BATTLE WEAPONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, NEUMANN, George G. (excellent general reference to early British Swords)
EUROPEAN WEAPONS AND ARMOUR From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution. OAKESHOTT, Ewart
SCOTTISH SWORDS AND DIRKS an illustrated reference guide to Scottish Edged Weapons, WALLACE, John
SCOTTISH ARMS MAKERS. A biographical dictionary of makers of firearms, edged weapons and armour working in Scotland from the 15th Century to 1870, WHITELAW, Charles E.
Scottish Sword 1600-1945: An Illustrated History (Paperback), WITHERS, Harvey J.S. (great pictures)
THE SWORDS AND THE SORROWS. An exhibition to commemorate the Jacobite rising of 1745 and the battle of Culloden 1746.
If any one can recommend anything not on this list let us know.
A friend of ours the Baron of Earlshall is writing what will be the definitive work on early basket hilted swords. It will be several large volumes and stop at the end of the 1700 hundreds (18th Century).
Now for a basket hilt to start this thread:
Date Circa 1540 - 1560 (16th-17th Century)
Over Length Overall 36 ¼ “(87.6 cm)
Blade length blade 32” (81.6 cm)
Hilt widest point The hilt is 6 ¼ “(16 cm).
Description BASKET HILT British backsword. Three segments of the guard (each comprised of three vertical bars) are linked by two small junction plates. The upper tips insert into the large, hollow Spherical pommel. The holes into which they insert have been enlarged to allow restoration of the grip and tang button. The grip is a replacement as is the tang. The thin single edged blade is contemporary with the hilt.
This sword was also used by Scots in the English Civil War. A similar example was excavated on the site of Basing House which was destroyed in 1645 and another recovered from under the Mary Rose in 1545.
The Baron of Earshall has requested pictures of this sword for his book and believes it to be English c.1540-50.