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Old 24th July 2009, 04:47 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
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Default Modified 18th C Hanger ?

Hi,
Found this today at a wee local auction, looked interesting. Blade 26 3/4 inches total of 33 inches. I believe this to be an 18th C hanger not sure if third or fourth quarter. With no maker initials the running fox/dog mark would suggest Harvey although there may be other possibilities of which I am not aware. The mark is on both sides of the blade. The guard has been removed from both sides at some time, the wear at the removal point would appear to suggest that this was done during the working life of the sword. Alterations to guards appear to be less than usual but I know in some instances the standard layout was altered by individuals to suit ease of use etc. the obvious example being the 1796 HC sword. As usual many thanks for all and any replies.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 24th July 2009, 07:19 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Hi Norman,
Extremely interesting !!!
Naturally this does appear an 18th century British hanger, and at cursory glance without hittin the books and notes, it seems that it corresponds to the form often referred to as the M1751. If I recall, it seems further that the M1751 designation may be misapplied as according to Neumann, these are not among findings in Revolutionary War battlesite excavations. Although that absence would not serve as evidence, it is interesting since so many other items are typically found.
The 'running wolf' fell out of use after the 17th century as far as I know in Europe and in England until Harvey reinstated its use sometime in the 1740's or 50's I believe. Most of his 'wolf' marks were stamped with his initials, but there were variations, so again, absence of initials would not preclude the mark being his.
It will be interesting to see what further discussion and research will reveal....in any case, very nice piece!!

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 24th July 2009, 07:50 PM   #3
Norman McCormick
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Hi Jim,
Many thanks for your interest and info as always. Have been doing some digging since my original post and I think this may be the '1742' type hanger, the '1751' has a 'basket' and there is no evidence on the knuckleguard of my example of bars having been removed. The grip on mine is wire wrapped wood which I reckon points to the '1742' as the '1751' has, from what I can see, a spiral brass grip. Am looking forward to further input. Thanks again for your interest.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 26th July 2009, 02:36 AM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Hi Norman,
In what few notes I could find, you are absolutely right on this appearing to be the so called M1742 hanger, which seems to be as much in question as the also somewhat questionable M1751. As you note, the '1751' does have the bars to the knuckleguard.
It seems odd that this guard would have been removed in this way, again as the M1796 disc hilts were cut down on the inner side in the years after Waterloo. There did seem to be a great deal of concerns in this period about uniform chafing.
While these M1742 hangers have been thought to have been in use during the American Revolution, there have been suggestions that they actually date later, and the debate continues.
Not much help Im afraid, but sure has me curious

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 26th July 2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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Harvey's "World Swords 1400-1945" suggests it's a 1770 Infantry hanger. Check p. 154, top right..
Best
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Old 26th July 2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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Hi Jim,
Thanks again, there seems to be more than a little confusion over the dating of these swords, it appears to be rather difficult compared to the ease of the recorded chronology of the Victorian era.

Hi M,
Thanks for your input, is there a possibility of posting the image of the sword you mention as unfortunately I don't have that particular volume.

My Regards,
Norman.

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Old 26th July 2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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Hello,

Nice sword. I particularly like these hangers for some reason. The naming of the patterns date from paintings of the period and the 1742 is the type you have with the 'heart' shaped guard and single knuckle bow. The 1751 is the same style but with 2 side bars. The dates don't really mean anything as they are not official patterns as no official British patterns were introduced until c1786. The style of the "1742" was certainly in use a lot earlier in the century and continued to be made into the early 19th century.
By far the largest numbers were issued to the Militia regiments and they are commonly found with militia regimental markings.

I think there is considerable debate about these and their use in the Revolutionary war. Both types are often sold by dealers as being "used in the revolution" however as far as I know there is no evidence of large scale use. Other styles are more often found at excavations.

The mark which is commonly referred to as the 'running fox' is of particular interest to me as I am currently carrying our research on it. The example on your sword is a more unusual version. There were many variation used of this mark but most are attributed to the Harvey family. However some do appear of swords sold by other makers.

Nice sword!



Mark.
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Old 26th July 2009, 04:26 PM   #8
Norman McCormick
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Hi Mark,
Thanks for the insight. Are you able to comment on the guard removal, was it a convenience thing or may there be other reasons for doing this, concealment perhaps? Thanks again for your interest.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 26th July 2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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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,
Jim
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Old 26th July 2009, 06:01 PM   #10
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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.

M


Quote:
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,
Jim
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Old 26th July 2009, 07:14 PM   #11
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
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.

M



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.

Best regards,
Jim
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