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Old 19th April 2015, 02:30 PM   #121
fernando
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Thanks a lot for your comments --ElJay
Yes, i knew that suspension device would be tricky to the eye; but the photographer is not so brilliant and i don't have the means to erase that thing.
I was interested in learning something about this sword as i feel attracted to it, often thinking of trying to buy it from my fellow collector.
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Old 19th April 2015, 03:23 PM   #122
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Salaams All,

If the Mary Rose sank in 1545 what is the situation regarding the basket hilt which was brought up from the wreckage ...Does it mean that the Basket Hilt is English? ....as pointed out on http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/...re/6917780.stmb

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Old 20th April 2015, 04:17 AM   #123
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[QUOTE=Ibrahiim al Balooshi]Salaams All,

If the Mary Rose sank in 1545 what is the situation regarding the basket hilt which was brought up from the wreckage ...Does it mean that the Basket Hilt is English? ....as pointed out on http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/...re/6917780.stmb

Regards,
Ibrahiim







Well placed note Ibrahiim , and indeed the basket hilt found on this ship, Henry VIII's pride and joy the "Mary Rose", which sank July 19,1545, does set distinct provenance for these in use in England at that time. The other instance would be the example lost on the 'Sea Venture' off the coast of Bermuda in July, 1609, and is well discussed by Dr. Mazansky in his article published in 1995.

Claude Blair in his "The Early Basket Hilt in Britain" ( in "Scottish Weapons and Fortifications", ed. David Caldwell, 1981)..notes that while the basket guard was certainly in use in Scotland by c.1570s at latest (p.188), there is little corroborative evidence prior to c.1617. He concedes that it remains uncertain whether these complex type hilts evolved in England or Scotland, however he states that in 17th century England, the hilts were typically thought to be 'Highland' in origin.

The excellent reference to the connection to the Norwegian 'Sinclair' sabre with basket hilt is also key. Blair (op.cit.p.190) references the ill fated expedition of Scottish mercenaries who were annihilated at Kringelen in Norway Aug. 26, 1612, and the curious misnomer to the term 'Sinclair' used for these sabres. Apparently Sinclair, was actually a Captain and not in command of the unit, it was actually Lt. Col. Alexander Ramsey.

It seems in other references the use of the Sinclair name was more to politicize the tragic event, and Sinclair was notably connected to an important Scottish clan. Holger Jacobsen (1934) noted there was no indication that these basket hilt sabres were specifically connected to this unit, in fact these were mostly German and Austrian swords on hand for local militias in Norway.

Returning to Blair, on p.186 he notes that the closed hilt or basket guard seemed to have already been in use in England by the 1560s, and the complex nature of the form suggested it had likely been in use there for some time.

It would seem the Mary Rose example well supports this with its established date of 1545, would predate the earliest mention of the 'Highland hilt' in the Inverness Burgh Records (1576) noted by Blair (p.156).
On p.153, Blair cites Holger Jacobsen (1940) who discussed the notable similarity between the construction of the Scottish basket hilt and the late 16th century German sabres with such hilts, proposed by Whitelaw as early as 1902. Jacobsen however included that he felt the hilts were probably of English origin.

To me the ancestry or origin of these famed Scottish basket hilts is not nearly as important as how monumentally distinct and admired they became historically in the hands of the Scottish warriors. Still, these perspectives on their probable evolution remain notably pertinent in comprehensive study of the form.
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Old 20th April 2015, 04:55 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
[QUOTE=Ibrahiim al Balooshi]Salaams All,

If the Mary Rose sank in 1545 what is the situation regarding the basket hilt which was brought up from the wreckage ...Does it mean that the Basket Hilt is English? ....as pointed out on http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/...re/6917780.stmb

Regards,
Ibrahiim







Well placed note Ibrahiim , and indeed the basket hilt found on this ship, Henry VIII's pride and joy the "Mary Rose", which sank July 19,1545, does set distinct provenance for these in use in England at that time. The other instance would be the example lost on the 'Sea Venture' off the coast of Bermuda in July, 1609, and is well discussed by Dr. Mazansky in his article published in 1995.

Claude Blair in his "The Early Basket Hilt in Britain" ( in "Scottish Weapons and Fortifications", ed. David Caldwell, 1981)..notes that while the basket guard was certainly in use in Scotland by c.1570s at latest (p.188), there is little corroborative evidence prior to c.1617. He concedes that it remains uncertain whether these complex type hilts evolved in England or Scotland, however he states that in 17th century England, the hilts were typically thought to be 'Highland' in origin.

The excellent reference to the connection to the Norwegian 'Sinclair' sabre with basket hilt is also key. Blair (op.cit.p.190) references the ill fated expedition of Scottish mercenaries who were annihilated at Kringelen in Norway Aug. 26, 1612, and the curious misnomer to the term 'Sinclair' used for these sabres. Apparently Sinclair, was actually a Captain and not in command of the unit, it was actually Lt. Col. Alexander Ramsey.

It seems in other references the use of the Sinclair name was more to politicize the tragic event, and Sinclair was notably connected to an important Scottish clan. Holger Jacobsen (1934) noted there was no indication that these basket hilt sabres were specifically connected to this unit, in fact these were mostly German and Austrian swords on hand for local militias in Norway.

Returning to Blair, on p.186 he notes that the closed hilt or basket guard seemed to have already been in use in England by the 1560s, and the complex nature of the form suggested it had likely been in use there for some time.

It would seem the Mary Rose example well supports this with its established date of 1545, would predate the earliest mention of the 'Highland hilt' in the Inverness Burgh Records (1576) noted by Blair (p.156).
On p.153, Blair cites Holger Jacobsen (1940) who discussed the notable similarity between the construction of the Scottish basket hilt and the late 16th century German sabres with such hilts, proposed by Whitelaw as early as 1902. Jacobsen however included that he felt the hilts were probably of English origin.

To me the ancestry or origin of these famed Scottish basket hilts is not nearly as important as how monumentally distinct and admired they became historically in the hands of the Scottish warriors. Still, these perspectives on their probable evolution remain notably pertinent in comprehensive study of the form.


Salaams Jim, Thank you for the extensive, time consuming and prompt reply to what seemed a rather throw away question but actually one which had puzzled me completely. I entirely agree with what you have noted and in particular your final paragraph. Although 1545 is a deep dive on the basket hilt it is the other aspects of it which are also very interesting. Thanks again for your answer.
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Old 21st April 2015, 01:39 PM   #125
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I remembered another example of those German baskets with a non-conical pommel.

For a discussion of this sword, and related German baskets (which the owner of the site wants to call Schiavona!), see:
http://fallingangelslosthighways.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-schiavona-circa-1560-once-in-museum.html#!/2014/08/the-schiavona-circa-1560-once-in-museum.html

The site referenced above also has some discussions on Scottish and English baskets, and is pretty good as far as the information on specific swords go.
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Old 21st April 2015, 04:14 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.B. Erickson
I remembered another example of those German baskets with a non-conical pommel.

For a discussion of this sword, and related German baskets (which the owner of the site wants to call Schiavona!), see:
http://fallingangelslosthighways.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-schiavona-circa-1560-once-in-museum.html#!/2014/08/the-schiavona-circa-1560-once-in-museum.html

The site referenced above also has some discussions on Scottish and English baskets, and is pretty good as far as the information on specific swords go.


Thanks very much for the helpful routing and excellent example. It does seem the character of the components and structure resemble those of schiavona, and the pommel recalls German basket types as noted.

While this of course seeks the development of early schiavona perhaps with German influence and through the Hungarian channels......there is always the older ideas of 'schiavona' influence in the Scottish basket hilt.

I always look forward to your views, in addition to the always helpful links and images.
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Old 23rd April 2015, 11:13 PM   #127
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Default Early British Baskets

Hi Guys,

With the mention of the Mary Rose sword I thought I would post the information I have on that sword and the Thames sword, which I don’t think gets as much attention. The earliest sword in my collection dated by the Baron of Earlshall 1550-60, and whilst I have posted this one previously I will re-post as I now have better photos.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 24th April 2015, 12:12 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathey
Hi Guys,

With the mention of the Mary Rose sword I thought I would post the information I have on that sword and the Thames sword, which I don’t think gets as much attention. The earliest sword in my collection dated by the Baron of Earlshall 1550-60, and whilst I have posted this one previously I will re-post as I now have better photos.

Cheers Cathey and Rex



Salaams Cathey, It must be rather strange since the Basket Hilt is virtually a Scottish Icon and along comes The Mary Rose and a total Eclipse occurs... I suppose the weapon could have joined the ship with its owner from European regions(or even from Scotland!!) ...Well if ..(as they say) ...only they could talk? ! Thank you for the details.
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Old 25th April 2015, 06:19 AM   #129
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Default Origins of the Basket hilt

Hi Ibrahiim,

I suspect the Basket hilt in its simplest form did originate in England, although given that mercenary’s etc travelled all over Britain they may well have been in use by the Scott’s and the Irish at the same time. As you say I doubt we will ever truly put the question to bed. The large spiracle pommels often found on these early swords certainly appear to be linked with English manufacture of the time.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 26th April 2015, 12:24 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Mark, this is an absolutely magnificent example of a mid 18th century British dragoon basket hilt! Welcome to the forum, and thank you so much not only for the grand entrance with this beauty! but for reviving this fascinating old thread.

The late Anthony Darling wrote his venerable article on these, "The British Basket Hilted Cavalry Sword" in 1974 ("Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting" Vol 7, #3) and on p.86 (fig 7 group) is one which is remarkably similar to yours. This is regarded as an Anglo-Irish hilt type with a horizontal bar bisecting the arms of the basket, and these are believed to have been English made. The absence of the looping bars at the base of the basket seem another indicator of this classification.

Dr. Cyril Mazansky , "British Basket Hilted Cavalry Swords" (2005) classifies the pommel type as 'tall bun' (type IID) and on p75, the group of hilts in F1 seem to follow closely the basic design. These are again English dragoon hilts.

Darling (op.cit.) notes that while many of these dragon hilts were made in London and Birmingham, some were also produced in Glasgow and Stirling, which were garrison towns. The ring around the base of the pommel seems to suggest mid 18th around 1750s, and most examples of this period have this feature. It is noted that the British dragoon hilts were quite sturdier than the Scottish hilts, and of course plain without piercings and other motif.

I am not sure on the '45' which seems scratched into the scabbard throat. It does not seem to correspond to regimental numerals often seen (i.e. 42 was the Black Watch, 42nd Foot). Darling indicates this particular type hilt as seen on yours is in his opinion one the finest forms of these dragoon hilts, and these were apparently associated with the 6th Inniskillings (Heavy dragoons).

May we know more on the blade, length, any markings please . How is the 1731 date attributed?

Fantastic piece!!!!


All best regards,
Jim

Hi,
Sorry for the very late reply to your request but here are some more photos and info.
Blade length is 33.5 inch
Hilt 5.75x5.75x4.75 inch
hope you can see in the photos the numbers 1731 the 3 could in fact be a 5? could this date defiantly link it to the 6th Inniskillings? also there appears to be a small armourers mark as well as the punched dots ,then there's the 60 on the pommel , the sword is totally original the blade,grip , hilt and scabbard have obviously always been together. no markings on the blade.
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Old 26th April 2015, 12:59 PM   #131
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Here are some more image s
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Old 26th April 2015, 01:59 PM   #132
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Hi,
Some more. the apparent indent in the blade is the white sheet overlapping the blade not a wornpiece/missing part.
Mark
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Old 27th April 2015, 12:33 AM   #133
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Thank you for posting this great example again. In the spirit of those here who enjoy observing various aspects of these examples and viewing these as 'clues' as to the possible 'history' they may hold, I wanted to add some thoughts.

As discussed, the hilt of this sword is 'of the type' referred to in fig. 7 of A,Darling (1974, p.86) considered a 'half basket' and indeed it is noted the form is commonly associated with the 'Inniskilling dragoons'.

What is most interesting here are the English style 'bun' pommel, which also seems consistent with English dragoon hilts mid 18th, while in place of the downturned quillon seen on some of these...the guard has a widened turned down extension which resembles those seen on earlier Scottish basket hilts (beginning of 18th, per Whitelaw).

Though these hilts are often associated with the Inniskillings, it is not clear at which period this might have been, nor that this was a hard and fast association. Certainly these swords did not follow 'patterns' in these times.
It might be argued however, that if the crudely inscribed numbers on the hilt were indeed '1751' rather than 1731.....that date is significant because in that year , 1751, the regiment was 'officially' designated 'Inniskillings'.
Prior to that they were known as Cunninghams Dragoons or 'Black Dragoons' etc.
It would be of course tenuous to suggest that this date would be inscribed in this manner, but it is worthy of note.
Naturally the 60 may have any numbers of purposes, most obvious an inventory or rack related number.

On the guard, the curious punctions as dots in linear fashion to me recall the 'paternosters' seen occasionally on swords of earlier times. The other device or mark is unclear but it would interesting to discover its relation to such a religious or talismanic type arrangement. Again, this speculation is simply suggested as a possible solution.

These are just notes I would observe, and hope some out there might find them worthy of discussion.
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Old 29th April 2015, 01:34 PM   #134
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First, glad to see photos of the blade on Mark's sword, even though it negated my prediction that it would have a narrow and wide fuller!

Second, please see the attached photos.This went through eBay several years ago, and was advertised as being a Dutch baskethilt. Can any of you that have access to European museums verify this? The pommel does not appear to be original. The photos of a page from a book were included as aprt of the auction description.
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Old 29th April 2015, 02:14 PM   #135
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yes I can confirm in all probability a possible Dutch origin for those basket hilted swords.
I have sold this sword from my collection through eBay, the sword came from the Henk Visser collection, a well known collector of Dutch arms. btw the pommel is fine.


the hilt of the Pictures page (Dutch swords) posted at eBay are all found in Dutch soil.
they may of course have been coming from Germany but it is also quite possible that they are (partly) made in Netherlands.if I remember correctly, there was a sword in the Visser collection with the same basket hilt as #51 #52(+ Higgins) with a Dutch name on the blade "Hans Adam" published by JP Puype in the Visser collection.

I have had some discussions with the writer of the above Book, Dutch weapon specialist, arms and armour writer/authority and former curator of different Museums JP Puype about the possible Dutch origin of those basket hilts.

see also the DUTCH basket hilts post #3 #4 #24 with the same basket in.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18811
best,
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Old 30th April 2015, 04:20 AM   #136
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Default Brass hilted Basket Hilt Backsword

Thank you Mark for re-posting your sword, the variety of markings is most interesting. I have never seen punch marks like this before. I do have a sword where previous engraving has been obscured by punch marks, but nothing quite like this.

The sword I refer to is:
Brass hilted Highland Officer’s Basket Hilt
Date: Pattern 1798
Nationality: British – Scottish Regiment
Overall Length: 94.8 cm (37.3 inches)
Blade length: 80.6 cm (31.7 inches)
Blade widest point: 2.985 cm (1.2 inches)
Hilt widest point: 13.4 cm (5.3 inches)
Inside grip length: 10.3 cm (4.1 inches)
Marks, etc: Marked with a crown GR DRURY, stamped near the hilt are the letters EC with 6 small stars. The stars appear to have been applied to strike out other letters. These letters look like R.I.I.J.I.R?

Description
1798 Pattern Highland infantry officer's backsword; the type carried by Scottish infantry regiments during the Peninsula War and Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon's forces. The single fullered blade is marked with a crown GR DRURY, stamped near the hilt are the letters EC with 6 small stars. The hilt is brass hilt is constructed of solid plain panels and has remnants of past gilding. The grip is fish skin with brass wire.

General Remarks
The 1798 Pattern was the first attempt by the British to standardize sword patterns for the Scottish regiments and was very loose in some respects, with blades coming from Solingen (Prussia / Germany), England and Scotland, clearly with officers mounting the blades from their existing pre-pattern swords. The brass hilt is fundamentally weaker than steel hilts, hence the pattern is rare as the hilts suffered terribly over time.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 30th April 2015, 04:27 AM   #137
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Default Dutch Baskets

Hi Eljay and Cornelistromp

These Dutch baskets are so intricate in design, I had no idea such variety existed and can honestly say I have never had the pleasure of seeing one in the flesh. Any idea what the name of the book is, the pictures in it look like a valuable reference source.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 1st May 2015, 11:20 AM   #138
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Corneliustromp,
Thanks for the discussion and additional photos of the Dutch basket. Would I be correct in assuming that these are a fairly rare sword?

--ElJay
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Old 1st May 2015, 11:23 AM   #139
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Cathey,
On your 1798 basket, can you make out the letters that have been punched over?
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Old 3rd May 2015, 05:34 AM   #140
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Default Punched out markings

Hi Eljay

We am sitting in a apartment in Melbourne having just come back from an auction much poorer than when we arrived. Picked up a nice basket hilt which I will post latter.

Now I can't make out the punch marks but have attached some close up pictures. When I get back to Adelaide I will get out a magnifying glass and see if I can make them out.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 3rd May 2015, 07:00 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
yes I can confirm in all probability a possible Dutch origin for those basket hilted swords.
I have sold this sword from my collection through eBay, the sword came from the Henk Visser collection, a well known collector of Dutch arms. btw the pommel is fine.


the hilt of the Pictures page (Dutch swords) posted at eBay are all found in Dutch soil.
they may of course have been coming from Germany but it is also quite possible that they are (partly) made in Netherlands.if I remember correctly, there was a sword in the Visser collection with the same basket hilt as #51 #52(+ Higgins) with a Dutch name on the blade "Hans Adam" published by JP Puype in the Visser collection.

I have had some discussions with the writer of the above Book, Dutch weapon specialist, arms and armour writer/authority and former curator of different Museums JP Puype about the possible Dutch origin of those basket hilts.

see also the DUTCH basket hilts post #3 #4 #24 with the same basket in.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18811
best,




Salaams Cornelistromp, Great illustrations and what a learning curve this subject is... However...I understand that the Fleur de Lys shape ~on the basket, is in fact, a set of horns... and was associated with the Scottish style. How then is it Dutch? Though of course your note about it being partly Dutch is understood... Perhaps the horns were added in Scotland?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 4th May 2015, 03:03 AM   #142
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Fascinating brass basket hilt! The blade (as always) is intriguing, especially being a 'Drury' blade. Apparently Drury in 1771 joined in business with Nathaniel Jeffries, and these two men were both producers of blades found on British military swords in this time. Jeffries was succeeded by Drury by 1772, and the Drury blades are the most commonly seen of the two as I understand.

By 1777, Drury was bankrupt but continued in business and supplying until 1786 (he died in 1804). According to Darling ("Swords for the Highland Regiments 1757-1784", 1988, p.17) he was supplying until 1784, as noted 'the year privates in Highland regiments ceased wearing swords'.

As Darling notes on p.18 (op.cit.) "...to whom were these Drury signed swords issued? Between 1775 and 1779 eight Highland regiments, one of two battalions, were raised, one of which, the Royal Highland Emigrants, was levied in Canada".

Is it possible that these curious markings at the forte near blade back might have something to do with such issuance? perhaps 'E C' might represent Emigrants Canada? with the obscured word unclear (this seems unusual to see anything stamped in this location on blade....obviously the maker was Drury).

Whatever the case, these basket hilts seem to have been of steel, while later hilts (c.1790s) for Scottish units were often gilt brass (copper). The configuration of plates and bars in the guard correspond to cavalry hilts c.1750 in form (obviously steel, Mazansky, 2005, p.141) but are seen in similar examples in the same reference (p.130-132) which are brass with some having similar pommel (type IV, Mazansky) a low cone with cross strap design.

The 1798 pattern seems unclear (Robson, p.124, "Swords of the British Army", 1975), but he notes compelling references suggesting they were indeed brass. Most of the examples in Mazansky seem to be to grenadier or fusilier units of Scottish regiments, with the components very similar.

Could this earlier blade have been joined with one of the brass hilts in refurbishing for Napoleonic campaigns? If the Highland unit of 'Emigrant Canada' was levied there, it obviously was not stationed there. Still, would the arms issued be somehow kept separately accountable in inventory context?

This is one of the great fascinations of studying these swords...what stories of their working lives can be revealed as we look into the clues?
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Old 4th May 2015, 11:12 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Cornelistromp, Great illustrations and what a learning curve this subject is... However...I understand that the Fleur de Lys shape ~on the basket, is in fact, a set of horns... and was associated with the Scottish style. How then is it Dutch? Though of course your note about it being partly Dutch is understood... Perhaps the horns were added in Scotland?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


salaams Ibrahiim,

I have absolutely no idea what you mean
This type of baskethilt is Dutch or German, certainly not scottish.
also the fleur de lis is not retrofitted in Scotland.
with partly Dutch I mean, the hilt can be Dutch, and the blade can be German and vice versa!

F/m a filling of a fleur de lis in the inner and outer guard appeared frequently in the second half of the 16th century in western Europe.
attached a twohanded sword of Standler 1580 and a German guard auctioned at Thomas del mar last year.
best,


‡ A GERMAN TWO HAND PROCESSIONAL SWORD HILT, LAST QUARTER OF THE 16TH CENTURY
of flattened iron bars, formed of a pair of quillons with bud-shaped finials, and a tightly curled lug above and below, an additional pair of basal lugs, and inner and outer guard each filled with a fleur-de-lys
42.5 cm; 16 ¾ in wide

Provenance
The armoury of His Imperial Highness, Archduke Eugen, Veste Hohenwerfen, Salzburg, sold Anderson Galleries, New York, 4 March 1927, lot 855, $12.50

JWHA Inv. No. 177
Estimate: 400-600

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Old 5th May 2015, 04:10 PM   #144
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I think the reference to the similarity between these volute scrolls in the lower guard of the Dutch hilt and many of the devices between guard plates in the Scottish basket hilts was in accord with comparing possible influences.

Much of the discussion on Scottish basket hilts and their origins and development has always been focused on such comparisons from the early arms writers into present, and the basis for considerable debate. These kinds of questions are much in line with the type of analysis attended to in the excellent work by the late Claude Blair.

Quite honestly, some years ago I had seen the integral 'fluer de lis' elements in these hilts and assumed possible connections to France considering the strong connections between the Stuarts and them.
When the Dr. Mazansky presented his book I was surprised to see these elements actually representing 'rams horns', which I would presume possibly could derive from early Celtic symbolism.

On the other hand, and as has been often maintained, many of the elements may have likely and simply been aesthetic designs which lent well to the basic structure of the closed basket guard. While this is often hard to fathom given the profound symbolism often imbued covertly into sword decoration by the Highland Scots, it remains a distinctly probable circumstance.

Naturally, and has been well shown in the illustrations of other volute scrolls inherent in many Continental hilt forms, these devices have been around since virtually ancient times in art and material culture of many civilizations as they migrated and these diffused widely. If I recall correctly, these volute designs are even seen in remnants of prehistoric cultures.

Returning to the influences of hilt forms between countries, it does seem there were notable connections between Holland and England with sword fashion and elements in the 17th and 18th centuries. This is represented somewhat in "The Smallsword in England" (Aylward, 1945) who includes a number of Dutch examples (a few French as well) and once again recalling the philosophical comment which emphasizes that the styles and forms of weaponry never have geographic boundaries.
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Old 7th May 2015, 06:11 AM   #145
Cathey
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Default Scottish Basket Hilt C1680-1700

Here is another basket a bit of a hybrid between the early patterns and the emergence of pieced hearts’.

Scottish Basket Hilt
Nationality Scottish
Date C1680-1700
Overall Length 38 5/8” 98.1 cm
Blade length 34 1/8” 96.5 cm
Blade widest point 1 ½” 3.7 cm
Hilt widest point 4 3/8” 11.1 cm
Inside grip length 3 ½” 9 cm
Marks, etc. Appears to be 16th – 17th Century version of Passau Wolf Mark.

Description
Early Scottish Basket Hilt c1680
Stag horn grip, Low domed pommel, crude single heart shaped piercing to Outer shields and knuckle guards. Remnants of line decoration to outer shields. Crude terminal lobe to side guard’s un-pierced, forward guards but no wrist guard present. Broad sword blade with two short fullers at shoulder and early version of running wolf mark.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 7th May 2015, 07:12 AM   #146
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
salaams Ibrahiim,

I have absolutely no idea what you mean
This type of baskethilt is Dutch or German, certainly not scottish.
also the fleur de lis is not retrofitted in Scotland.
with partly Dutch I mean, the hilt can be Dutch, and the blade can be German and vice versa!

F/m a filling of a fleur de lis in the inner and outer guard appeared frequently in the second half of the 16th century in western Europe.
attached a twohanded sword of Standler 1580 and a German guard auctioned at Thomas del mar last year.
best,


‡ A GERMAN TWO HAND PROCESSIONAL SWORD HILT, LAST QUARTER OF THE 16TH CENTURY
of flattened iron bars, formed of a pair of quillons with bud-shaped finials, and a tightly curled lug above and below, an additional pair of basal lugs, and inner and outer guard each filled with a fleur-de-lys
42.5 cm; 16 ¾ in wide

Provenance
The armoury of His Imperial Highness, Archduke Eugen, Veste Hohenwerfen, Salzburg, sold Anderson Galleries, New York, 4 March 1927, lot 855, $12.50

JWHA Inv. No. 177
Estimate: 400-600




Salaams Cornelistromp ...Thank you for an excellent reply and your illustration of the 2 hander with the horns at the guard. Despite the Mazansky reference I can imagine how this could be misleading and had even thought that the reason for the Bull Horns/ Rams Horns? on the Scottish/English Basket Hilt was tied to the Border Reivers since that is what they were stealing...cows and sheep....but alas that seems not to be the case. Thanks again..

I have just realised that E B Ericson is a leading light on the subject of Basket Hilt Swords and can be seen at My Armoury. com from where, in regard to the Border Reivers above, I Quote."

The Border Reivers, the shock troops of those untamed folk, struck at their neighbors without mercy—murdering them, stealing their stock and burning their homes. They were masters of their custom-bred mounts, traveling light and fast, creating chaos with medieval weapons, and exploiting their intimate knowledge of the land to undermine political authorities and elude the law. They were driven by greed, revenge, hardship and perhaps even bloodlust.

Ironically, in light of our emphasis on the sword, the Borderers themselves chose the lance as their principal weapon. According to one eyewitness, their skill with lance and horse was so great that they could ride into a stream and spear fish from horseback. But nine feet of wood and a foot of steel just don't have the romantic allure of the distinctive Borders basket-hilt.

The debate over the origins of the British and Continental basket-hilt swords continues to rage. Suffice it to say that opinions differ, and the least-strained theory is that the various basket styles of the era evolved more of less independently out of the universal recognition of the value of protecting the sword hand even when not wearing mail or plate gauntlets.

Pointing to lines of trade between Britain and the Continent doesn't answer the question of stylistic origins because ideas likely flowed in both directions. However, it must be noted that British basket-hilts of the type reviewed here look more like the German basket-hilts of the same era than the classic Scottish Highland baskets of later centuries. In both cultures, the bars of these early baskets are narrow and organic in form, often explicitly so, with long, vinelike quillons, and terminals and pommels shaped like leaves, nuts or berries. Perhaps these forms were the cutler's reference to the rustic, utilitarian baskets encountered in everyday life.

Whatever the inspiration, the long, recurved quillons identify the earliest British baskets, dating from approximately 1540 forward. These quillons seem out of place in the kit of the imminently practical Reivers, and in fact many surviving basket-hilts of this era appear to have lost their quillons by accidental or deliberate amputation. The large, hollow, globular pommel also is a distinctive feature of the 16th century British basket-hilt"
.Unquote.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 7th May 2015 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 7th May 2015, 12:18 PM   #147
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Salaams all...I place here a good site with an excellent description for beginners like myself which gives a nicely constructed and balanced view of the Basket Hilt swords in general...please see

http://www.antiqueswordsonline.com/...llectors-guide/

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 7th May 2015, 12:37 PM   #148
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I believe the horns did only occur in the imagination of Dr. Mazanski.

yes I also think that the basket hilt has developed separate and away from each other and take into consideration that the European type,the developed Katzbalger with ribbon-basket, began somewhat earlier as the English and Scottish in the second quarter of the 16thC


Of the basket type with the slots in the bars, there are found several pieces in the Netherlands.
some complete as swords and others Only the baskets!!!! so without pommel grip and blade. This may be an indication that this type of basket was manufactured in the Netherlands.

the typical globular hollow pommel with brass bands as seen at early English basket hilts came already as solid execution on German and Swiss swords around 1500.

best
Jasper
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Old 7th May 2015, 04:32 PM   #149
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Excellent notes and great to see such good discussion along with such superb examples!
I very much agree on the 'rams horn' appellation applied by Dr, Mazansky, and while an interesting analogy, I have not been able to find other use of the term used on these Scottish basket hilts in nomenclature.

I looked through many references in Celtic and Pictish art and found no specific symbolic note to rams, however they did appear occasionally as a theme in drinking horns, quite appropriately .
The volute or paired discs were in a good number of representations but termed simply 'double discs', so ideas for deeper symbolism seem to have given way to more likely aesthetic instances.

As pointed out these type elements were well known on the Continent and into much earlier material culture, so placing any distinct connection would be unlikely.

So too is the problem of aligning distinct and chronological development of the basket or closed hilt, as fully developed hilt guards were developing in rapiers as well as in various form in the Continent as well as in England concurrently. These developments would seem to be understandable as armour began its obsolescence with advent of firearms, and combat techniques with swords changed.

Cathey, as always, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful examples of basket hilts!!! This thread is entirely addictive!

With the most recent one, the intriguing pierced heart motif appears, and I recall years ago trying to determine if any specific symbolism or purpose. I know this topic seems a bit fanciful, but it is believed that the Jacobites did use certain secret symbols in degree. It seems like it was Mazansky who, when asked, scoffed at the idea and claimed this was simply an easy to make style of decoration with two drilled holes and punched lines.

Have you or Rex or perhaps the Baron possibly formed ideas on this particular device in basket hilt motif? I know it was used as well on other material culture ( a Scottish chair I have).
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Old 8th May 2015, 09:51 AM   #150
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Ibrahim,
That's not a statement of mine that you mentioned a few posts up the page, but I don't remember right now who said it! I guess I'll have to head over to MyArmoury and track it down. And anyway, I'm just a collector, and would hardly consider myself a leading light of baskethilt lore.

I am, however, in total agreement with the idea that the various basket types developed independently of each other. This idea was also expressed by Jasper.
One thing that I have been doing the last week or so is developing a visual lineage of the various basket types. I'll post it when I have a rough draft that I'm happy with.

Regarding those baskets with the slotted elements, one turned up in Virginia, apparently from an early colonial site, but unfortunately the site itself and information about it is lost. See the attached photo.
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