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Old 4th October 2020, 08:55 PM   #61
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I wasn't clear ... enough, Jim. After 1806 the term Briquet did become its actual documented name. But don't give it much notice .
What is more noteworthy is that, in the day you produce or find evidence that Paul Storr took off his cufflinks and rolled up his sleeves to cast a brass hilt, you will win a whole case of Drambuie .



I understand, the colloquial/pejorative or whatever use of the term briquet became regulation lingo in 1806 after its plethora of meanings began to refer to the general 'type' of these swords.....I hope I have qualified that enough, but I think I get the general drift.

Your prize suggestion of a case of Drambuie is GOOD INCENTIVE!! and I think I will go through a case as I try to wade through this ever building mountain of information.......again I REALLY appreciate you guys' tenacity and patience as we 'try' this case.
Stubborness is a Scottish trait (uh, Norman you agree?) so I continue with my defense of this 'ugly duckling' sword that has rested in my charge for over half century.
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Old 4th October 2020, 09:21 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce
G'day Jim,
Here is another example of a set of initials in a cartouche on a brass hilt. In this case it is on a French ANXI light cavalry sabre.

If Paul Storr who was a silversmith was indeed making brass sword hilts, they would most likely be for private purchase officers' swords, rather than mass produced enlisted men's swords.

Cheers,
Bryce


Thanks very much Bryce! It does seem that poicons (punches or cartouches or markings or touch marks or whatever the proper term is) appear quite a bit on French swords which seem to have a predominance of brass in this period.

I have the impression that Storr was not yet in his premier stature as a silversmith c. 1794, but was apprenticed and then working with Rundell and Bridge who were working with precious metals and were retailers. Thus they would have been supplying the private purchase officers swords you note.

One point I have been desperately trying to convey is that what I am suggesting is that in a bizarre twist of the conventions of the time in production of hilts, especially in mundane other ranks hangers such as this...Paul Storr MIGHT have produced a number of them in a contract or agreement 'outside the box'.

Perhaps it was a fiendish ploy or prank to imitate the fine hilts for private purchase officers having a silversmiths mark placed in accord with such hilts in a lowly privates common briquet?

As nobody seems to have ever heard of these 'briquets' used by the British army EXCEPT two of the premier sages of arms study in 1962 and 1966 who apparently felt strongly enough in their identification to place these in their books I am left in a total quandry. Myself, as a novice collector in those days 50 years ago, totally believed what they said.........never expecting the identification to be patently dismissed these decades later, even without the Paul Storr dilemma.

I feel strongly that the comments by scholars who have deeply studied the swords of the British army in noting the difficulties and conflicting material in identifying these less documented weapons are well placed.
The deference to accepting the notion that a silversmith would have made such 'lowly' items seems logical, however in the references I have consulted it is noted that at times even these 'specialists' would cross over to make military goods in order to keep busy (referring to 1790s , Mowbray, op. cit.).

Still just feel like there is a good case here, but clearly a lot more research to be done
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Old 5th October 2020, 10:03 AM   #63
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For those interested in this infantry sabres or briquets:

There has been an exhibition in Germany and in Switzerland some years ago where have been on display lots of such sabres of all European countries. Over that there has been a very informative catalogue with 125 pages that is still today a good rendition for those who want to know some more details about this type of arm.
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Old 5th October 2020, 10:17 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I understand, the colloquial/pejorative or whatever use of the term briquet became regulation lingo in 1806 after its plethora of meanings began to refer to the general 'type' of these swords.....I hope I have qualified that enough, but I think I get the general drift.

Let me be precious and transfer the original text; you will interpreter it as per your wishes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Your prize suggestion of a case of Drambuie is GOOD INCENTIVE!!

And i will even give you some hint. Here is an assessment made by a 'General' (top member) of the world largest French speaking forum of militaria:

Si il n'y a pas d'autres poinçons sur la lame ou la garde il est probable (pour ne pas dire certain !) que ce sabre n'est pas un modèle réglementaire français. Peut-être avait il été fabriqué pour la Garde Nationale ou peut-être est il étranger ...
Je ne connais pas le(s) poinçon(s) PS dans un cartouche rectangulaire.


Meaning as you know:

If there are no other poinçons on the blade or the guard, it is likely (not to say certain!) that this saber is not a French regulation model. Maybe it was made for the National Guard or maybe it's a foreigner ...
I do not know the PS punch (s) in a rectangular cartouche.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... is a Scottish trait (uh, Norman you agree?)...

I prefer the Portuguese (?) saying: Stubborness only exists if there are two stubborn .

.
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Old 5th October 2020, 04:28 PM   #65
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LOL, well Fernando, you know we have had a stubbornness for many, many years now and quite complete But thats how we learn. If everybody agreed on everything, how much testing would get done?

Thank you for this translation, which surely does eliminate this 'briquet' from being French. Could it be British ????

I found another book by Wilkinson-Latham, "British Cut & Thrust Weapons", 1971. In this (plate 28), there is another photo of the 'foot artillery hanger' but here it is captioned c.1830.
In this book, there is little text (p.27) but here the descriptions are deeply flawed, "...foot artillery privates, later to be known as 'gunners' were armed with a brass hilted hanger (but here is the rub, it notes plate 27 and 28.....plate 27 is an 1751 infantry hanger!!! nothing to do with artillery!).........which remained their defensive weapon until 1853".

The photo of the 'briquet' in this 1971 book seems virtually identical to the example he shows in his 1966 book (as plate 66) and which has the same identification as foot artillery gunners sword, but states c. 1814.

I then thought to check photo credits, and while in the 1966 book none are shown, but 1971 does, and states 'authors collection'. In the 1971 photo, there is no mention of the possible 'Trotter' affiliation but the sword appears to be the same one.

Going back to the 1966 "British Military Swords" introduction, I felt a most familiar and personally connected description in many ways like my own beginning in collecting which began with British swords as well, and ironically in the year this book was published.

He describes his being fourth generation of the family of Wilkinson Sword Co. and how he acquired a copy of "Sword, Lance and Bayonet" (Ffoulkes & Hopkinson), in the late 1930s just after it was published. He describes his difficulties in collecting as there were many anomalies not covered in this book, which began his own book decades later from his research.

Here he makes a key observation, " ...I would sound a cautionary note on the subject of military effigies, paintings and prints, where I have noticed a tendency to present the subject with the sword hilt not visible. When the hilt is seen, however, full use is made of 'artistic license'".

In his acknowledgements he thanks A. Kennard and W. Reid of the Tower of London; Col. Appleby of the National Army Museum; Capt. Laing of United Services Institution and Commander W.E. May of the National Maritime Museum. He also relied greatly on the huge corpus of notes and records of his father and grandfather's.

While these findings from my original sources for my classification of my briquet clearly present concerns, I wanted to present them here in good faith for the benefit of all of us participating in this discussion.

Obviously Wilkinson'Latham's first and subsequent books are the result of him cataloguing his own collection and trying to present sound references for future collectors and scholars. The eminent panel listed as his consultants are but a few of those he was in touch with on a regular basis, so we must believe that the identification of this sword was soundly familiar.

Wilkinson-Latham, as an ardent collector and research his entire life, would seem likely to have abridged any error or misidentification of the weapons he spent his life researching. The fact that he presented the 'briquet' shown in his first book of 1966 (compiled in over 30 years of research) and then again in 1971, suggests that he felt the classification was correct. It is interesting that his dating moved from 1814 to 1830, which suggests these had remained is use for some time.

His reluctance to place high value on paintings and art work make me wonder if perhaps he knew the Dighton and Hamilton-Smith paintings but did not accept the 'Spanish pattern' type artillery swords as necessarily valid.

There remains the illustration of the briquet as British artillery gunners sword in the late Claude Blair's "European and American Arms" (1962), which was certainly well known to Wilkinson-Latham as well as the author himself. If there would have been disagreement on this, it surely would have been corrected after the publication of the 1966 book. All of these men who were among a very close community of arms scholars and authors were constantly in communication together, as I learned in many years as a member of the Arms & Armour Society in London .

Now, the business with the PS marking and Paul Storr is a much deeper well, and of course, to be continued.
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Old 5th October 2020, 04:36 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
never expecting the identification to be patently dismissed these decades later



Hi Jim,
I don't think anybody is dismissing your thinking, more trying to root out the truth. The Paul Storr attribution to me is considerably less important than determining whether Briquet type swords were used by the British Army at any time or in any theatre. As far as the 1962/66/71 attribution is concerned, to me the jury is still out as no other subsequent text that I know of backs up their thinking. I am always delighted to find out something new and would be really interested should a new, to me anyway, British Army sidearm come to light. I really hope your quest bears fruit but I am still doubtful. Perhaps an e-mail to the Royal Armouries and/or the Tower Armouries might give a definitive answer.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 5th October 2020, 04:50 PM   #67
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Hi Jim,
https://collections.royalarmouries....-armouries.html Volume 2 page 295 no images but blade markings noted.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 5th October 2020, 04:51 PM   #68
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Lightbulb Important ...

Jim, can you count the cannelures (ribs) on the grip of your briquet; 36, 28 ... or other ?
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Old 5th October 2020, 04:55 PM   #69
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Hi Fernando,
Looks like 28 to me.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 5th October 2020, 05:38 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Fernando,
Looks like 28 to me.
My Regards,
Norman.

Thank you Norman,

The quantity of the French an XI version (1802-1803).
Mind you, this detail does not oblige for a specimen being French. If in fact it represents French regulation, it may as well be reproduced by anyone with casting facilities. I would submit myself to the whipping post if the majority of foreing examples out there are not reproduced using moulds extracted from the (Frenchie) originals. I can not see an 'artist' designing a briquet from his own inspiration and achieve by coincidence a form just like the traditional thing.
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Old 5th October 2020, 10:00 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Jim,
I don't think anybody is dismissing your thinking, more trying to root out the truth. The Paul Storr attribution to me is considerably less important than determining whether Briquet type swords were used by the British Army at any time or in any theatre. As far as the 1962/66/71 attribution is concerned, to me the jury is still out as no other subsequent text that I know of backs up their thinking. I am always delighted to find out something new and would be really interested should a new, to me anyway, British Army sidearm come to light. I really hope your quest bears fruit but I am still doubtful. Perhaps an e-mail to the Royal Armouries and/or the Tower Armouries might give a definitive answer.
My Regards,
Norman.



Hi Norman, I didnt mean it like that, what meant to say is that I had no idea there was a question of the validity of the identification. BTW, I really like your style in the tenacious research you clearly engage with the sources you have cited. An email to these sources might be useful, but quite honestly I have reservations on the potential for response let alone viable information.
It was hard even in the old days with snail mail.
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Old 6th October 2020, 01:25 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Thank you Norman,

The quantity of the French an XI version (1802-1803).
Mind you, this detail does not oblige for a specimen being French. If in fact it represents French regulation, it may as well be reproduced by anyone with casting facilities. I would submit myself to the whipping post if the majority of foreing examples out there are not reproduced using moulds extracted from the (Frenchie) originals. I can not see an 'artist' designing a briquet from his own inspiration and achieve by coincidence a form just like the traditional thing.



While the French version discussion is interesting as it reveals the keen similarity to my briquet, which I have contended is British, there is no intention of suggesting it is French. The 'French connection' was nothing more than a comparison used by Robson (1975) in my original posts.

I am trying to think of how I can best word this to explain, my hope has been to show this simple artillery gunner hanger as BRITISH as my original resources classified it in 1966.
Then, with the distinct initials PS in the hilt, that it might possibly be from the silver smith Paul Storr c. 1800 to fulfill a possible contract of a number of these munition grade hangers 'for the cause' .

This is a common design, used by most of the countries in Europe in thier armies at the time and shortly thereafter , and whose design was NOT dreamed up by Paul Storr in an artistic vision, nor was he inspired in one, but CONTRACTED to duplicate this design.
He will have used blades from a cutler, and as he is described, a HILT MAKER would have cast and mounted them on a set NUMBER of swords.
This was NOT a work of art intended for display, but a contracted number of swords supplied as directed by either ordnance, commander or official requesting them.
It was a 'job', and huge volumes of swords were hilted and mounted in this manner OF VARIOUS TYPES FOR VARIOUS REGIMENTS.

Thus far I have not seen anything which suggests the type of hanger which was used by BRITISH foot artillery in 1794 or the years prior to going to the Peninsula. The references to the 'Spanish pattern' sword allege that the term was for its use in the Peninsula, so what was around before that?
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Old 6th October 2020, 02:36 AM   #73
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G'day Jim,
I don't why this pattern of sword is called the "Spanish" Pattern. They were certainly in use before the Peninsular War. Here is one marked "Osborn". Henry Osborn stopped using this mark when he joined with John Gunby in 1806. Here is another marked Woolley and Deakin, which also dates it to before the Peninsular War.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 6th October 2020, 02:46 AM   #74
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Here is an excerpt of a journal article from the 70's which also sheds some more light on this subject. The authors were calling this sword the "Prussian" pattern sword. I would like to find where the name "Spanish Pattern" came from.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 6th October 2020, 06:01 AM   #75
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Wow! Bryce! This is brilliant!!!!
I have never heard of this article before, but in those days long back, I was focused on other conundrums, not realizing this solitary briquet was a resounding one itself! I thought it was identified as much as it was going to be and my interests were in British cavalry swords.

This material is truly unbelievable and FULLY explains how Wilkinson-Latham came to this British foot artillery description on this briquet. The article here mentions the briquet dilemma beginning with Charles Ffoulkes in his seeing a number of these in the Tower with date 1830, and simply presumed they were British as they were in the Tower!!!

So here's the deal, Wilkinson-Latham's father was close friends with Ffoulkes, and in fact it was he that presented young John with a copy of his 1937 book.
If John was so influenced by Ffoulkes, then quite plausibly this was the source of his own identification of the briquet.

Clearly no true research had been done on these weapons carried by the foot artillery so this seemed a reasonable solution.

When I mentioned the 1971 Wilkinson-Latham book, I noted that the briquet was plate 28, again labeled foot artillery gunners hanger (with the 1830 date that Ffoulkes had seen on the Tower examples). But, most bizarre is plate 27, listed as a foot artillery hanger c. 1760!!!!
I thought this was totally wrong as its a M1751 infantry hanger, even with Samuel Harvey's bushy tail fox!

But right there in this article, its says the foot artillery was carrying the M1751!!!!

Then to the mysterious Prussian pattern, and the brass hilt swords (which seem to be the 'Spanish' pattern') and are (to me) remarkably similar to the so called M1780 light cavalry sword.
As you note, they were in use before the Peninsular war (1807).
Wooley and Deakin ceased as partners in 1803 (I think there are some questions on this date).

Whatever the case, it seems you have soundly resolved the 'British' briquet dilemma, and while a bit disappointed, I am relieved to have the correct answer.
BUT, now what do I do with the PS mystery?
With all the confusion with the swords in this time, it seems there is always the chance that some obscure dealing could have initiated the briquet in an off one off grouping, but to say 'tenuous' would be an understatement

At this point, I totally accept that the British briquet is a myth derived from a misperception, apparently by Charles Ffoulkes in the 1930s. That is actually good to know, but NOW.....
Who WAS PS??????????? Was it Storr???? and WHY a briquet?\

The plot thickens here at SWORD MYSTERY THEATER!!!!


There goes my case of Drambuie, but I think a dram now.
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