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Old 1st October 2008, 06:59 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,019

This is very interesting and a sturdy, handsome piece. I'm curious about the identification as a cutlass, and wonder if this might be of the type hangers known as pioneer falchions in Europe about mid 19th century. The style of the blade and the vestigial upward, downward opposed quillon terminals seem of those also.
I recall a Dutch sword of this type I once acquired dated 1845, and I thought it was a cutlass, but it was discovered to be an infantry hanger, and of course probably had in fact been carried aboard ship as it was found in Australia.

While this is most likely Swedish/Norwegian it seems more in line with these hangers of mid 19th century rather than c.1800. The British M1804 cutlass with the well known double disc guard was sent abroad in some numbers, and among others, I think there was a Swedish version (Gilkerson, p.84) but am uncertain whether it was identical to the British.

The brass mounted leather scabbard with hanging lug also corresponds to German and Austrian swords of mid 19th century in this category.

What is really fascinating about this sword is the distinctly cleft pommel, which of course recalls the Ottoman yataghan. In trying to imagine what influence would cause this to occur on a Swedish sword, the little known conflict between Sweden and Tripoli between 1798-1803, with the contrastingly well known Barbary Pirates. While obviously thrown in here as wild speculation, it was interesting to consider even with only slight likelihood of any connection.

The question the Swedish/Norwegian identification substantiated is some reference......and what in the world was the cleft pommel for?

Thank you so much for posting this fascinating and handsome sword Celtan!

All the best,
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