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Old 30th September 2008, 12:07 PM   #1
celtan
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Default Swedish-Norwegian Naval Cutlass M1800

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Old 1st October 2008, 05:59 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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This is very interesting and a sturdy, handsome piece. I'm curious about the identification as a cutlass, and wonder if this might be of the type hangers known as pioneer falchions in Europe about mid 19th century. The style of the blade and the vestigial upward, downward opposed quillon terminals seem of those also.
I recall a Dutch sword of this type I once acquired dated 1845, and I thought it was a cutlass, but it was discovered to be an infantry hanger, and of course probably had in fact been carried aboard ship as it was found in Australia.

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

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

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

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

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

All the best,
Jim
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Old 1st October 2008, 12:01 PM   #3
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Hi Jim,

I agree it does look like a pioneer sword, specially the mid 19th C. ones from Austria.

Yep. it's fully IDed a a Naval Sword (not a cutlass, though) in p.267 of H. Wither's book "World Swords 1400-1945", on the chapter about "Naval Swords".

Indeed, I saw recently an EB auction of one, IDing. same a a swedish infantry sidearm, from the russian-swedish wars in Finland. And yet I believe the seller didn't know squat about this blade. He actually let it go for 15% of its appraised book value!

But then, isn't that the kind of a deal we ourselves dream about? The buyer was indeed a very lucky bloke!

: )

M
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Old 1st October 2008, 06:35 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Hi Celtan,
Thank you for noting the source for the identification. I thought I had some reference here in the bookmobile on Swedish arms, but apparantly those books did not 'make the flight'. I do have the handy Wagner 'pocket reference' though! I wasn't aware of Mr. Withers book on world swords, but apparantly he does present good comprehensive reference. I know that he is at present writing a book on Scottish weapons, which I'm looking forward to.

I think the term cutlass is likely misleading in the 19th century, as these sidearms were probably more utility weapons than for combat. This is of course why the heavy shellguards gave way to the open and functional grip, and the quillon terminals are simply vestigial decoration. These were probably used much in the way of the Dutch infantry swords I mentioned, or the 'falchions' used by Austrian sappers in about the mid 19th century. I think the only combat potential for these would have been of course on land, in operations much as Marines, but just a thought without more research.

You're very right on the pleasant experience of finding a 'sleeper' ! This is truly the key benefit of expanding ones knowledge on these weapons, so that you will have the upper hand in those 'Kodak moments' ! I still treasure those of my own experience from years ago, and the exhaustion of trying to keep my composure in not giving myself away in completing the deal....and the explosion of jubilation and relief when it was done!!!

On the curious cleft pommel, any ideas? I'm sure its again either vestigial or decorative, but it would be interesting to hear thoughts or references on this feature.

All best regards, and thanks again for posting this!
Jim
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Old 1st October 2008, 07:34 PM   #5
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the swedes had contact with the ottomans during the 17th-18th centuries as evidenced by this article


http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/iss....connection.htm
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Old 1st October 2008, 08:09 PM   #6
katana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
On the curious cleft pommel, any ideas? I'm sure its again either vestigial or decorative, but it would be interesting to hear thoughts or references on this feature.


Jim



Hi Jim and Manolo ,
I too am curious....it reminds me of the 'eared pommels' on a number of Eastern swords/daggers, it would help grip...so perhaps just functional ?

Regards David
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Old 2nd October 2008, 03:37 AM   #7
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HUGGARE svensk, m/1810 för Gotlands nationalbeväring, läderbalja

Wiki:
History

The regiment was created in 1811 when it was decided to organize Nationalbeväringen på Gotland (later Gotlands nationalbeväring) after having experienced the Russian occupation of the island in 1808–1809. The unit was 6,781 men strong and consisted of three artillery companies and 43 companies of infantry and rangers. Gotlands nationalbeväring was reformed into two separate units, Gotlands infanteriregemente and Gotlands artillerikår, in 1887.
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