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Old 24th January 2010, 05:22 PM   #1
Richard
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Hello to all! Having just joined the forum, I thought that I might introduce myself. My name is Richard Dellar and I am here at the suggestion of my good friend Jim McDougall - I hope his trust in me is not misplaced! I have been a collector of European swords, mostly British and French, for over 30 years but I am always open to sharing and gaining knowledge. I look forward to interesting discussion with all!
Just by way of introducing myself further, here is a photo of the three swords of General Francis Hugonin of the 4th Dragoons (1768-1832)
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Old 25th January 2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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Hello Richard and welcome to the forum! Absolutely beautiful swords you have there. However did you acquire them? Are you an ancestor to the original owner?
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Old 25th January 2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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Hi Richard,
Welcome, having read your monographs on the 1796 H.C. Officers sword and the 1796 L.C. sabre I know your input will be interesting. I look forward to seeing and hearing more about the above swords. Once again welcome to the Forum.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 25th January 2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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Welcome Richard. Beautiful swords..!

Your name sounds awfully familiar. Have we corresponded before..?

Best

Manuel L. Iravedra
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Old 25th January 2010, 07:51 PM   #5
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Hi Richard, and welcome aboard!!!!
Its great to have you with us, and these British swords you've posted,
now thats what I'm talkin' about!!! Breathtaking

As has been mentioned, your superbly researched and written articles that have appeared over many years stand as excellent resources for collectors and weapons historians, and reflect your devotion to these studies. I truly look forward to your input in the discussions here, and thank you so much for posting these fabulous examples.

What is really interesting with these beautiful, and provenanced swords is that they show chronological development of the sword patterns for the swords used by heavy cavalry officers. With this kind of provenance it is like finding vintage currency in serial sequence!!

Again, my sincerest welcome, and thank you for joining us here!!!

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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Hi Richard,
Welcome to the forum .
... and you may tell those three excelent swords that they are welcome, too .
Fernando
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Old 27th January 2010, 10:33 AM   #7
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Hello Richard,
Superb swords. I'm very envious.
Ian
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Old 27th January 2010, 09:14 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for your welcome!

The swords I posted for no other reason than to show where my interests lie. Re the swords and other questions:

M Eley - I acquired them about 4 years ago. They had been sleeping in an attic in Middlesborough in the UK for the previous 35 years!

Manuel - Maybe you know me from another forum? (where I no longer post)

Jim - you've hit the nail on the head! the swords are a great illustration of the development of the heavy cavalry sword over the last quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century. The centre sword is dated 1782, at which time Hugonin was a Captain in the 4th Dragoons. It is also of course a P1788 heavy cavalry sword (no anomaly there since the pattern was based on existing examples). The left hand sword is a P1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer's sword made by James Woolley in Birmingham c. 1797. At that time, Hugonin was Lt. Col. commanding the 4th. The right hand sword is a non-regulation pattern known as the Celtic Hilt, dating from around 1815. This pattern is particularly associated with the 4th Dragoons. At that time Hugonin had the regimental rank of Colonel and the brevet rank of Lieutenant-General

Richard
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Old 28th January 2010, 03:51 PM   #9
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Thanks very much Richard!!! These swords are stunning, and actually it took a few minutes to focus once I was able to regain my composure but this is whats great about the study of the military patterns. While the research often entails a lot of focus on records in archives and regulations, what becomes fascinating is the relationship of the period of use and units with regard to historic events directly associated.

The M1796 heavy cavalry officers sword is exciting as this is the officers version contemporary with the famed M1796 heavy cavalry disc hilts used by the troopers (as seen on concurrent thread). Even more exciting is that this example was made by James Wooley, one of the key figures in what became known as the 'scandals' in the conflict over the quality of imported German blades over the British produced blades.
The others were Thomas Gill and Samuel Harvey, and these three were essentially the 'rock stars' of British sword blade production.

The center sword with the beautifully developed basket guard has always been a fascinating and sought after pattern, which was long debated as to whether M1788 could be considered a 'regulation' pattern, but as noted, seems more established now with known examples. It was contemporary to the light cavalry sabre with stirrup hilt, which were produced by James Wooley and Thomas Gill, along with others of course, and in the early years of the 'scandals'.
I once had (sigh) one of these M1788 heavy cavalry which had a monstrous 40 inch blade, and was mounted with a curious sphere pommel rather than the tall olive type. It was one of the most massive swords I ever owned!

Again, I cant resist saying, its really good to have you here Richard, and to bring in more on these regulation military swords.....its been years, and I look forward to getting 'up to speed' on them, and hopefully will bring in more from those collectors interested in them.

All the best,
]Jim
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Old 30th January 2010, 06:03 AM   #10
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Hi Richard! Welcome to the foum. It is very valuabe to have more knowledged people over here. Do you have those mentioned monographs online? Thank you for your attention.
Regards

Gonzalo
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Old 31st January 2010, 11:47 AM   #11
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Hi Jim,

Its interesting that you mention the cutlers. As you say, it was Gill, Woolley and Harvey who took part in the sword trials of 1786. Ostensibly these were supposed to prove the superiority of English blades over German blades imported by Runkel. However, it is clear that Thomas Gill who instigated the trials was far more interested in proving the superiority of his own blades over his Birmingham rivals Woolley and Harvey (I actually have an original copy of Gill's pamphlet of 1789 asserting this truth). Poor old Woolley didn't do too well in the trials. Interestingly (and to connect with the Le Marchant thread), Osborn hadn't yet come to prominence. Until his collaboration with Le Marchant, I think he was a fairly minor player but after the P1796 was approved that all changed. Almost immediately, he received huge orders from the Board of Ordnance and his name was made.

Going back to the Hugonin swords, the P1788 is dated 1782 and is by Runkel Solingen - it is one of his earliest blades. Runkel of course was a importer not a maker and his business came to an abrupt end c. 1808 after Napoleon had conquered Prussia and instigated his "Continental System" blockading all trade between Britain and mainland Europe.

Jim, don't get me started on the controversy over the true identity of the pattern 1788 heavy cavalry sword which caused a huge academic row between Robson and some others!

Richard


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thanks very much Richard!!! These swords are stunning, and actually it took a few minutes to focus once I was able to regain my composure but this is whats great about the study of the military patterns. While the research often entails a lot of focus on records in archives and regulations, what becomes fascinating is the relationship of the period of use and units with regard to historic events directly associated.

The M1796 heavy cavalry officers sword is exciting as this is the officers version contemporary with the famed M1796 heavy cavalry disc hilts used by the troopers (as seen on concurrent thread). Even more exciting is that this example was made by James Wooley, one of the key figures in what became known as the 'scandals' in the conflict over the quality of imported German blades over the British produced blades.
The others were Thomas Gill and Samuel Harvey, and these three were essentially the 'rock stars' of British sword blade production.

The center sword with the beautifully developed basket guard has always been a fascinating and sought after pattern, which was long debated as to whether M1788 could be considered a 'regulation' pattern, but as noted, seems more established now with known examples. It was contemporary to the light cavalry sabre with stirrup hilt, which were produced by James Wooley and Thomas Gill, along with others of course, and in the early years of the 'scandals'.
I once had (sigh) one of these M1788 heavy cavalry which had a monstrous 40 inch blade, and was mounted with a curious sphere pommel rather than the tall olive type. It was one of the most massive swords I ever owned!

Again, I cant resist saying, its really good to have you here Richard, and to bring in more on these regulation military swords.....its been years, and I look forward to getting 'up to speed' on them, and hopefully will bring in more from those collectors interested in them.

All the best,
]Jim
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Old 31st January 2010, 11:49 AM   #12
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Hi Gonzalo and thanks for the welcome. A number of my articles are available on line but I'm not sure if the rules here allow me to name another website?

Richard

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Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
Hi Richard! Welcome to the foum. It is very valuabe to have more knowledged people over here. Do you have those mentioned monographs online? Thank you for your attention.
Regards

Gonzalo
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Old 31st January 2010, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard
Hi Gonzalo and thanks for the welcome. A number of my articles are available on line but I'm not sure if the rules here allow me to name another website?

Richard


Sure you can!
This is one of the differences that prop this forum to a superior level .
Fernando
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Old 31st January 2010, 01:25 PM   #14
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OK then, here you go (in the Research section)

http://www.swordsandpistols.co.uk/


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Sure you can!
This is one of the differences that prop this forum to a superior level .
Fernando
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Old 31st January 2010, 02:08 PM   #15
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Hi Richard,
Thank you so much for these responses and the details concerning the atmosphere of these seminal times in the development of the regulation patterns in the military swords of Great Britain. Your soundly emplaced knowledge on these weapons and thier history is evidenced by the very concise and perfectly stated manner in which you write.

Thank you for the link to the articles, and for your courteous concern for the forum rules. As Fernando has proudly noted, we are absolutely delighted to mention other websites, as well as links etc. as our focus is on sharing information and learning together. Naturally the only protocols that should be considered would be pertaining to copyrights or other legal restrictions in posting materials, but aside from those, fair use and fair play stand as our guidelines

It is wonderful reading the detail you mention in these posts, and for me its very much visiting a place I havent seen in many years. My earliest years in collecting were with British regulation patterns, and your descriptions not only bring back the memories, but clarify the often complex details that were then inherent in the study of these weapons.

I had forgotten the turmoil on the 1788 heavy, and the confusion that ensued. The sword tests were huge news of the times, and as noted, these were the big three. I recall the Gill M1788 light cavalry sabre which carried his pronouncement in huge lettering 'WARRANTED NEVER TO FAIL'. It honestly hadnt dawned on me back then, that Osborn was indeed a relatively minor figure until his alignment with Lemarchant, and I had always wondered why his name did not figure in with the others during these issues. As for Harvey, I've never seen much on the weapons he produced except for the dragoon swords and some others which seemed to date earlier than these events. I dont recall ever seeing cavalry sabres by Harvey, and wonder if there are examples to be seen.

One thing that always intrigued me was that in a sense, it seemed that Gill's styling, from the flat pommel hilt and elongated rectangular langets, to the cross section of the blades, appear to correspond to German forms.
On the other hand, those of Wooley seem to lean toward French styling, perhaps somewhat neoclassic with the 'turban' domed pommel cap and the more elliptical langets, then coupled with the montmorency style blade cross section.
Woolley's swords seem characterized by this cross section to the center point fuller nearly to the blade tip.

These are recollections that come to mind, and actually are probably admittedly superficial observations, which I look forward to clarification on.

It seems that I once had read even that Thomas Gill, the mainstay of the controversy over the German blades, was at some point even involved in the importation and use of thier blades, perhaps somehow connected to JJ Runkel. I would suspect this reference might have had to do with propoganda of the times and the situation, but his adherence to German forms does present an element of potential basis.

Its an amazing window into history to see that the weapons scandals and intrigue of yesterday are basically the same in nature as in todays troubled times, only with the obvious difference in technology.



All the very best,
Jim
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Old 3rd February 2010, 05:38 PM   #16
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Hi Jim,

Re the 1788 patterns (the first regulation patterns of British military swords) : you are correct of course when you point out that, despite being a "pattern", there was a wide divergence of detail between different makers. On a rough estimation, I would say around 50% of existing trooper's swords in existance today are the "Germanic style" imported by Runkel, 30% Woolley with that distinctive rounded "turban pommel" style, 15% Gill, again with his distinctive style and 5% others (Harvey, Dawes, etc.). As I said earlier my computer was stolen last year and I lost literally hundreds of photos otherwise I could have illustrated what we are talking about.

However, the 1796 patterns also differed in style between different makers albeit to a lesser extent than with the 1788 patterrns. This is particularly true of officer's swords and this time I am able to post some photos:

The first (I hope they come out in the right order) is an example by Woolley. This has a plain rounded pommel and backpiece with large ears, not vastly different from trooper's swords. The second is by Gill and has a very distinctive shield shaped langet and reinforcing fillet at the junction of the knucklebow and crossguard. The last is by Osborn and has typical Osborn "comma" ears and facetted backpiece. It is of note the many other cutlers later copied those "comma" ears, but Osborn was the first.

Regards
Richard

PS, the Woolley was the sword of Lt. Joseph Hume of the Berwickshire Yeomanry Cavalry, the Gill belonged to Lt. The Hon. John Dutton of the Loyal Gloucester Yeomanry Cavalry and the Osborn was the sword of William Waddell of the Loyal Birmingham Light Horse Volunteers (the Yeomanry Cavalry of the late 18th century/early 19th century is my speciality!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hi Richard,
Thank you so much for these responses and the details concerning the atmosphere of these seminal times in the development of the regulation patterns in the military swords of Great Britain. Your soundly emplaced knowledge on these weapons and thier history is evidenced by the very concise and perfectly stated manner in which you write.

Thank you for the link to the articles, and for your courteous concern for the forum rules. As Fernando has proudly noted, we are absolutely delighted to mention other websites, as well as links etc. as our focus is on sharing information and learning together. Naturally the only protocols that should be considered would be pertaining to copyrights or other legal restrictions in posting materials, but aside from those, fair use and fair play stand as our guidelines

It is wonderful reading the detail you mention in these posts, and for me its very much visiting a place I havent seen in many years. My earliest years in collecting were with British regulation patterns, and your descriptions not only bring back the memories, but clarify the often complex details that were then inherent in the study of these weapons.

I had forgotten the turmoil on the 1788 heavy, and the confusion that ensued. The sword tests were huge news of the times, and as noted, these were the big three. I recall the Gill M1788 light cavalry sabre which carried his pronouncement in huge lettering 'WARRANTED NEVER TO FAIL'. It honestly hadnt dawned on me back then, that Osborn was indeed a relatively minor figure until his alignment with Lemarchant, and I had always wondered why his name did not figure in with the others during these issues. As for Harvey, I've never seen much on the weapons he produced except for the dragoon swords and some others which seemed to date earlier than these events. I dont recall ever seeing cavalry sabres by Harvey, and wonder if there are examples to be seen.

One thing that always intrigued me was that in a sense, it seemed that Gill's styling, from the flat pommel hilt and elongated rectangular langets, to the cross section of the blades, appear to correspond to German forms.
On the other hand, those of Wooley seem to lean toward French styling, perhaps somewhat neoclassic with the 'turban' domed pommel cap and the more elliptical langets, then coupled with the montmorency style blade cross section.
Woolley's swords seem characterized by this cross section to the center point fuller nearly to the blade tip.

These are recollections that come to mind, and actually are probably admittedly superficial observations, which I look forward to clarification on.

It seems that I once had read even that Thomas Gill, the mainstay of the controversy over the German blades, was at some point even involved in the importation and use of thier blades, perhaps somehow connected to JJ Runkel. I would suspect this reference might have had to do with propoganda of the times and the situation, but his adherence to German forms does present an element of potential basis.

Its an amazing window into history to see that the weapons scandals and intrigue of yesterday are basically the same in nature as in todays troubled times, only with the obvious difference in technology.



All the very best,
Jim
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Old 4th February 2010, 01:13 PM   #17
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Hi Richard,
A right handsome trio, can you post photographs of the complete blades?
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 4th February 2010, 03:00 PM   #18
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Hi Richard,
very nice indeed (unfortunately there isn't a 'smilie' for Envious )

Regards David
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Old 4th February 2010, 03:07 PM   #19
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Hi Richard,
Thank you so much for posting these remarkable and even better, beautifully provenanced examples!!!
While the officers sabres of course, reveal distinct characteristics to certain makers, the nuances among the troopers issue sabres are if course much more subtle if I am not mistaken. It would seem that as officers sabres were often special ordered and received much more attention, makers must have enjoyed adding special touches in pride of workmanship.
The rank and file swords were more assembly line and the simple stamp with name was the extent of identity in fulfilling the contract requirements.

The yeomanry swords are certainly an esoteric area of regulation pattern forms, and it would be interesting to know more of them. Please help me recall if you would...what exactly were 'fencible' regiments?
Also, if I understand correctly, the yeomanry's were very much city or regional militias that seem much like national guard, and were activated in time of war? If they went to war were a certain number left to guard the home front?

I once had a M1796 sabre which was gilt brass stirrup hilt, ivory grip, and there was a rectangular fixture on the center of the guard which extended perpandicularly for a sword knot. The blade was blued and gilt with the usual floral and military motifs. I always thought this type hilt, especially with ivory grip would have been for a yeomanry officer. ..was that correct?

Thank you again for sharing all of these great British cavalry swords, and sorry for bombarding with questions....but its a great pleasure to have you here to ask

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 4th February 2010, 03:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Richard,
very nice indeed (unfortunately there isn't a 'smilie' for Envious )

Regards David





.
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Old 4th February 2010, 07:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando



.



Good one Nando!!!! LOL!!!!
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Old 5th February 2010, 03:43 PM   #22
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Of course Norman, here you go:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Richard,
A right handsome trio, can you post photographs of the complete blades?
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:24 PM   #23
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Hi Jim

You are, of course, correct to say that P1796 LC trooper's swords are pretty much all alike in detail. It was the additional elaboration on officer's swords that allowed the various maklers to impose their own style on the detail. Of course, the degree of ostentation on officer's sword is very likely closely connected with his personal finances and that's what makes yeomanry swords interesting. When the units were first raised in the 1790's, the yeomanry were required to personally furnish all of their own equipment, uniform, weapons and horse. These volunteer units were not for those without a few shillings to rub together. They were gentleman's clubs for the well-heeled middle classes and tradesmen of the time and therefore it is not at all uncommon to find that every member, troopers as well as officers, carried "officer's" swords with decorated blades. This was certainly the case with the Loyal Birmingham Light Horse Volunteers who counted James Woolley, Francis Deakin, Henry Osborn and Thomas Ketland amongst its numbers. I also have a sword of the Liverpool Light Horse from c. 1803 which was carried by a trooper but which has all the officer's details and an etched blade.

Re the sword you describe that you once owned, it could well have been a yeomanry sword. Whilst, in general, the yeomanry did follow the regulation patterns, they also had the scope to go "off-piste" as it were so one does find a number of strange styles being carried by volunteer units. There was an unfortunate propensity a few years ago for people to immediate tag anything they didn't understand or anything that was a little different as yeomanry. I do not subscribe at all to that idea, yes many unusual swords are yeomanry but I've seen some pretty wierd stuff carried by the regular army too.

Jim, you also ask about Fencible regiments. Well, I hope you've got alnight because getting all of the different volunteer units straight in one's head might lead someone to end up in a straight jacket! But I'll try! In a nutshell and sort of in chronological order:

The Militia Supposedly the first line of home defence since the middle of the 17th century. This was a form of conscripted service raised on a county basis. Each county was required by Statute to raise a fixed quota of men. It was pretty ineffective and highly unpopular!

Fencibles - were volunteer regiments (infantry and cavalry) first raised in the United Kingdom and in the Colonies during the American War of Independence. They were usually temporary and composed of local volunteers commanded by Regular Army officers. Their role was confined to garrison and patrol duties freeing the regular Army units to perform offensive operations. They had no liability for overseas service.

Cavalry & Infantry Loyal Associations sporadic raising of volunteer infantry and cavalry which started after the French Revolution in 1789. Again confined to local defence to protect the constitution against revolutionary and republican elements. They were generally short-lived and tended to fade away after the threat of revolution had passed in the early years of the 19th century

Volunteer infantry and Gentlmen & Yeomanry - This was the really big volunteer movement which came about after the French had executed Louis XVI and declared war on most of Europe. The government passed a number of acts of parliament between 1792 and 1796 calling for the raising of volunteers. Volunteer infantry units sprang up over the whole country and the first Gentlman & Yeomanry Cavalry was raised in 1794. The xenophobia and fear of invasion is difficult to understand nowdays but it was real and urgent at the time and military fever swept the country. At one point I believe there were more than 650,000 volunteers under arms, numbers which completely dwarf the regular army establishment. There is a wonderful and amusing passage written by Sir Walter Scott in his "Antiquary". I know I'm going on a bit but I'm on my favourite subject so here's what he had to say:

"I came to consult my lawyer, he was clothed in a dragoon's dress, belted and casqued and about to mount a charger, which his writing clerk (habited as a sharpshooter) walked to and fro before his door. I went to scold my Agent for having sent me to advise with a madman. He had stuck in his head the plume which in more sober days he weilded between his fingers, and figured as an artillery officer. My mercer had his spontoon in his hand as if he measured cloth by that instrument instead of the legitimate yard. The banker's clerk, who was directed to sum my cash account, blundered three times, being disordered by the recollection of his military tellings-off at the morning's drill. I was ill and sent for a surgeon: He came, but valour had so fired his eye, And such a falchion glittered by his thigh, That by the Gods with a load of steel, I thought he came to murder, not to heal!

Sorry for the length!

Richard





Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hi Richard,
Thank you so much for posting these remarkable and even better, beautifully provenanced examples!!!
While the officers sabres of course, reveal distinct characteristics to certain makers, the nuances among the troopers issue sabres are if course much more subtle if I am not mistaken. It would seem that as officers sabres were often special ordered and received much more attention, makers must have enjoyed adding special touches in pride of workmanship.
The rank and file swords were more assembly line and the simple stamp with name was the extent of identity in fulfilling the contract requirements.

The yeomanry swords are certainly an esoteric area of regulation pattern forms, and it would be interesting to know more of them. Please help me recall if you would...what exactly were 'fencible' regiments?
Also, if I understand correctly, the yeomanry's were very much city or regional militias that seem much like national guard, and were activated in time of war? If they went to war were a certain number left to guard the home front?

I once had a M1796 sabre which was gilt brass stirrup hilt, ivory grip, and there was a rectangular fixture on the center of the guard which extended perpandicularly for a sword knot. The blade was blued and gilt with the usual floral and military motifs. I always thought this type hilt, especially with ivory grip would have been for a yeomanry officer. ..was that correct?

Thank you again for sharing all of these great British cavalry swords, and sorry for bombarding with questions....but its a great pleasure to have you here to ask

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:32 PM   #24
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Of course Norman, here you go:


Fantastic

The condition of these swords is superb; looks like they didn't even spent their nuptial night

Fernando
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Old 5th February 2010, 05:08 PM   #25
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Well their main purpose was to impress ladies at parties! So you want to see a battered one then? How about this, no blue & gilt left at all, in fact service sharpening has removed all decoration along cutting edge ; hilt and scabbard very battered

But ..... on the other hand, its was the sword of Lt James Chatterton of the 12th Light Dragoons, carried at Salamanca, Vittoria, Nive, Nivelle, Quatre Bras and ................WATERLOO!

Richard

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Fantastic

The condition of these swords is superb; looks like they didn't even spent their nuptial night

Fernando
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Old 5th February 2010, 06:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard
Well their main purpose was to impress ladies at parties! So you want to see a battered one then? How about this, no blue & gilt left at all, in fact service sharpening has removed all decoration along cutting edge ; hilt and scabbard very battered

But ..... on the other hand, its was the sword of Lt James Chatterton of the 12th Light Dragoons, carried at Salamanca, Vittoria, Nive, Nivelle, Quatre Bras and ................WATERLOO!

Richard


Now that's talking!
The question is: which one has more charm? The birdcall couple or Chatterton's warrior?
Don't pay attention Richard ... just kidding .
But anyway, the weigth of history, weighs heavier.
Fernando
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Old 5th February 2010, 08:07 PM   #27
Norman McCormick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Now that's talking!
The question is: which one has more charm? The birdcall couple or Chatterton's warrior?
Don't pay attention Richard ... just kidding .
But anyway, the weigth of history, weighs heavier.
Fernando



Without doubt a very handsome trio of dandies but my vote has to go to the warrior.

Richard,
Many thanks for the photographs, a very interesting group.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 6th February 2010, 07:42 PM   #28
Norman McCormick
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Hi Richard,
Would I be correct in assuming that the 'comma' ears were design elements to officers weapons and had no practical purpose? Was this element ever seen in troopers swords? I have an 1821 L.C. Troopers Sabre marked to Osborn independently on the scabbard, blade and hilt but it has what I would call 'normal' ears and I just wondered if there was a variant of the 1796 L.C. or 1821 L.C. Troopers issue with this 'comma' feature?
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 7th February 2010, 01:03 PM   #29
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Hi Norman

"Comma" shaped backpice ears, as far as I am aware, are found only on officer's P1796 swords (later patterns of officer's swords dispensed with ears altogether). Trooper's swords, either 1796 or 1821 patterns as yours, have the plain half round ears. However, all backpiece ears, whether half round, comma or any other shape did have a practical purpose, that being to firmly anchor the grip and backpiece in palce by rivetting to the blade tang thus providing more stability for the hilt components as a whole.

Richard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Richard,
Would I be correct in assuming that the 'comma' ears were design elements to officers weapons and had no practical purpose? Was this element ever seen in troopers swords? I have an 1821 L.C. Troopers Sabre marked to Osborn independently on the scabbard, blade and hilt but it has what I would call 'normal' ears and I just wondered if there was a variant of the 1796 L.C. or 1821 L.C. Troopers issue with this 'comma' feature?
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 7th February 2010, 03:26 PM   #30
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Hi Richard,
Many thanks for the info, I was aware of the purpose of the ear and rivet it was the ear shape that I was not sure about re a practical application but from your answer it appears there was no reason for one shape over another other than aesthetics. Thanks again.
My Regards,
Norman.

Last edited by Norman McCormick : 7th February 2010 at 10:18 PM.
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