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Old 11th April 2015, 05:22 PM   #91
Jim McDougall
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Ibrahiim thank you for the input here, and the interesting notes on the explanations regarding the Irish/Scottish misnomer, which indeed often became somewhat misleading. Interestingly the events you mention with the Scottish mercenaries in Sweden and Norway reveal an interesting potential for the source of the basket hilts which became known as 'Highland'. It is further interesting that those sabres with basket hilts in Northern Europe became known as 'Sinclair' sabres in a further misomer having to do with one of the officers of Scottish forces in these campaigns.

In looking further into this sword of Cathey's, which is indeed an intriguing anomaly, I think the possibility suggested for the engraving having been done c.1790's is of course quite possible. I also feel that the sword was most certainly that of an officer in one of the Scottish regiments, as these men were given considerable latitude in matters of kit and weapons. In those times of course, supplying troops was the personal choice and responsibility of the colonels of their own regiments, and officers purchased their rank and commission, so given those circumstances it is quite understandable such carte blanche would be afforded them.

Perhaps the use of this earlier style hilt of English dragoons and in a Scottish regiment of cavalry would better explain the retention of the earlier sword and better placement of 1790s in its use.
While the engraving of this clearly pro-Scottish commemorative on the blade would seem bold, it must be remembered that Scot's are vehemently patriotic and proud, and such fervor, especially on the sword of an officer, would in no way be considered subversive. Things were quite different politically by then, and celebration of heroes of such early times was certainly allowable. While nationality was of course always an ever present notion, they co existed in these units as 'British'.

There was also some degree of national tension between Scots and Irish, but in battle, units such as Inniskilings and Royal Scots Greys rode together with great respect for each other in battle, in my own perception.

With regard to my apparent 'gaff' on the predominance of the broadsword as distinctly Scottish, in further looking and still not finding the source, I am thinking the comment (obviously too adamant) may have been geared toward 'typical' earlier Scottish basket hilts. As noted in German records, the Scots preferred heavy broadsword blades, perhaps more for their notably distinct style of swordsmanship , and that these clansmen were basically 'infantry' rather than cavalry. The single edged blade in my opinion became popular in the 18th century for dragoons (though these troops fought on foot mostly) and later cavalry for mounted combat.

The use of broadsword (DE) blades on cavalry swords was of course certainly occasional, but typically in the exceptions noted. Naturally blades used often lent to availability in many cases, so that might account for variations. Rehilting of hilts such as those found at Culloden might have been ersatz examples using either captured or otherwise obtained blades from perhaps English sources. Cross traffic in blades of course knows no borders ( I have a 'mortuary' with Andrea Ferara blade).

I think the comment on the broadsword (DE) blades would have been better worded as Scottish warriors pre Culloden 'preferred' those blades, and the term 'axiom' left out
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Old 12th April 2015, 12:35 AM   #92
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I also think the florid acid etching on the blade is Victorian or maybe earlier. The claim to be Wallace's sword seems ridiculous to us but would not have seemed so in the past. Quite a few swords said to have belonged to historical characters actually have provenance.
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Old 12th April 2015, 06:10 AM   #93
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Default S-Bar Basket Hilts

Hi Stephen,

I think the engraving was purely patriotic, however I doubt we will ever know what the thinking was behind this one at the time. Anyway, I thought I would move on to another interesting area, the use of the S-Bar in hilt design. I note that Eljay has already posted one of his examples so I thought I would add this one with the unusual Black Jappaned hilt

BASKET-HILT Scottish Infantry Officer’s
Date Circa 1690-1710 (17th - 18th Century)?
Nationality Scottish
Overall Length 96.5 cm (38 inches)
Blade length 83 cm (32.7 inches)
Blade widest point 3 cm (1.2 inches)
Hilt widest point
Inside grip length
Marks, etc The numbers 1 5 1 5 inscribed in the fuller followed by to small marks inlaid with brass.

Description
BASKET-HILT Scottish Infantry Officer’s broadsword circa 1690-1710. Blade 32 3/4 ins. (83cm). Hilt retains japanning and is the S type basket. Blade is in good condition and has what appears to be the numbers 1 5 1 5 inscribed in the fuller followed by to small marks inlaid with brass. Grip is made of wood.

References:
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ARMS COLLECTORS: BOOK OF Edged Weapons. Pp200 plate 5
BEZDEK, Richard H. SWORDS AND SWORD MAKERS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND pp 371
BOTTOMLEY, Andrew. Catalogue No 6 item no 580 Pp78
CURTIS, T. Lysle Price guide Militaria Arms & Armour 1993. Pp108
DARLING.A.D. Weapons of the Highland Regiments 1740-1780. Pp15.
OAKESHOTT, E. European Weapons and Armour. (See Claymore) pp 175-182.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 12th April 2015, 08:48 PM   #94
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Default Blades Found in Scottish Basket Hilts

In this particular example, the hilt is in my opinion of the time period estimated 1690-1710, and a magnificent Stirling example. The blade is also of course of German manufacture, and probably indeed of that period. It seems these elliptical central fuller forms are also found in schiavona of this period in a number of cases, and I would note many of these blades also found later use in North Africa in the kaskara.

I would like to point out the inscription 1*5*1*5 , and note that this is of course not a date. These are gemetrically applied number combinations which were used, often with talismanically oriented motif and inscriptions.
It is suggested in Wagner (1967, p76) that these were often used by certain makers in particular, and notes that '1515' is recorded as used by the Solingen smith Mathias Wundes, of that long standing family there.
However, Mathias worked 1750-1784.

From: "Die Klingenmarke 1414(1441) and Related Numerical Signs"
Dr. Walter Rose
Zeitschrifte fur Historiche Waffen und Kostumkunde
Vol.14, XIV, pp.131-133, 1935-36

It seems that this inscription is indeed of the style in which such numbers were applied in this magical or occult sense, as described as well by Blackmore (1971), Aylward (1945) and Mann (1962) . What is curious are the numbers in which the ones are without serif, and the fives are rather in script with scrolled flourish, done in the style of 18th century magical motif of the 18th century.

Since the hilt on this sword is clearly of 1690-1710, and though the blade also seems of this period, would we necessarily adhere to the singularly noted reference to this number used by Mathias Wundes?
The Rose reference (cited by these later writers) is the only one specifying this maker to this number. Aylward (1945, p.104) states these numbers do not appear to have been the monopoly of any one maker.

That I tend to agree with, however, it is clear that the practice of applying these numbers in that magical connotation continued through the 18th century. I would be inclined to think this blade is of the period suggested but address the numbers and their peculiarities simply in exercise here.

I wanted to point out this significance here, and invite other examples and observations to these kinds of inscriptions found on these amazing hilts from Scotland and Great Britain.
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Old 12th April 2015, 09:00 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Ibrahiim thank you for the input here, and the interesting notes on the explanations regarding the Irish/Scottish misnomer, which indeed often became somewhat misleading. Interestingly the events you mention with the Scottish mercenaries in Sweden and Norway reveal an interesting potential for the source of the basket hilts which became known as 'Highland'. It is further interesting that those sabres with basket hilts in Northern Europe became known as 'Sinclair' sabres in a further misomer having to do with one of the officers of Scottish forces in these campaigns.

In looking further into this sword of Cathey's, which is indeed an intriguing anomaly, I think the possibility suggested for the engraving having been done c.1790's is of course quite possible. I also feel that the sword was most certainly that of an officer in one of the Scottish regiments, as these men were given considerable latitude in matters of kit and weapons. In those times of course, supplying troops was the personal choice and responsibility of the colonels of their own regiments, and officers purchased their rank and commission, so given those circumstances it is quite understandable such carte blanche would be afforded them.

Perhaps the use of this earlier style hilt of English dragoons and in a Scottish regiment of cavalry would better explain the retention of the earlier sword and better placement of 1790s in its use.
While the engraving of this clearly pro-Scottish commemorative on the blade would seem bold, it must be remembered that Scot's are vehemently patriotic and proud, and such fervor, especially on the sword of an officer, would in no way be considered subversive. Things were quite different politically by then, and celebration of heroes of such early times was certainly allowable. While nationality was of course always an ever present notion, they co existed in these units as 'British'.

There was also some degree of national tension between Scots and Irish, but in battle, units such as Inniskilings and Royal Scots Greys rode together with great respect for each other in battle, in my own perception.

With regard to my apparent 'gaff' on the predominance of the broadsword as distinctly Scottish, in further looking and still not finding the source, I am thinking the comment (obviously too adamant) may have been geared toward 'typical' earlier Scottish basket hilts. As noted in German records, the Scots preferred heavy broadsword blades, perhaps more for their notably distinct style of swordsmanship , and that these clansmen were basically 'infantry' rather than cavalry. The single edged blade in my opinion became popular in the 18th century for dragoons (though these troops fought on foot mostly) and later cavalry for mounted combat.

The use of broadsword (DE) blades on cavalry swords was of course certainly occasional, but typically in the exceptions noted. Naturally blades used often lent to availability in many cases, so that might account for variations. Rehilting of hilts such as those found at Culloden might have been ersatz examples using either captured or otherwise obtained blades from perhaps English sources. Cross traffic in blades of course knows no borders ( I have a 'mortuary' with Andrea Ferara blade).

I think the comment on the broadsword (DE) blades would have been better worded as Scottish warriors pre Culloden 'preferred' those blades, and the term 'axiom' left out



Salaams Jim, Thanks for your reply...I would say that of all the sword styles affecting European Armoury that this form has the longest and most convoluted story of all. As you note the Sinclair and of course the Andre Ferrera detail included in this sword and in the peculiar moon blade marks etc make it a vital cornerstone for any study of European Arms...and it is hardly surprising that there will soon be a 7 volume work on the subject by the Baron of Earshall...For beginners, boffins and experts this will be a first rate background on which to hang their hat...
In my mentioning the Scottish Highlander Mercs of the Swedish Army ..that was in Stettin but the date is amended to 1630...I have the sketch but annoyingly I cant get it from one computer to the other but I have it on camera and will post soon..In respect of the earlier warriors I wonder when in fact the idea started for the basket hilt in Scotland... It isn't there in the Stettin sketch at all...

I note that the thread moves on to discus the S decoration and geometry to the hilt. I also see below the S shape a Fleur de Lyse further broadening the story. I note one or two other instances of the S shape particularly in the No 4 picture of the Border Reiver basket Hilts...kindly posted at #63 by Cathey. In fact staying with the Border Reiver story please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Reivers for a fascinating view of this situation that developed on both sides of the so called
border.

Sketching in some detail on the Fleur de lis from wikepedia ~

Fleurs-de-lis feature prominently in the Crown Jewels of England and Scotland. In English heraldry, they are used in many different ways, and can be the cadency mark of the sixth son. Additionally, it features in a large amount of royal arms of the House of Plantagenet, from the 13th century onwards to the early Tudors (Elizabeth of York and the de la Pole family.)

The tressure flory-counterflory (flowered border) has been a prominent part of the design of the Scottish royal arms and Royal Standard since James I of Scotland.

The treasured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James
—Sir Walter Scott
The Lay of the Last Minstrel

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 12th April 2015, 09:00 PM   #96
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This is an outstanding example, and Cathey I would like to say again how grateful I am that you are posting such magnificent examples of these basket hilts here!! Since these have been a true passion of mine since very young, it means a lot to see them and to have the opportunity to learn from them. There has been little written on them for many years, and I look forward to the Baron of Earshall's work. The fact that he has been working on it for so many years is testament to his keen attention to detail and accuracy, and I am sure it will be a monumental work for generations of collectors and scholars to come.

I wanted to add some notes regarding the blade and inscription, but placed it on a new thread so as not to detract from attention to the hilt work.
It is established that most writers on these hilts deliberately avoided attention to the blades on these swords to keep focus on the hilts, which are truly a complex enough subject alone, so I wanted to follow that course and avoid duplicating my previous faux pas.

I hope those interested in notes on this or other pertaining to the blades on basket hilted swords will visit the other thread as well. Thank you.
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Old 13th April 2015, 11:59 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
While we have begun discussion on the use of crescent moons marking blades prompted by the present and outstanding thread on Scottish basket hilts, it seems other details pertaining to blades are apparent.

In accord with most references on Scottish basket hilts, as often with works focused on hilts, the subject of blades is typically avoided. Other authors have chosen to avoid discussions of these due to the wide variation of forms from trade and otherwise obtained blades.
I wish to offer some notes here pertaining to some examples of blades occurring on basket hilt examples so as to avoid detracting from discussion toward the hilts of these on the other thread.

In this particular example, the hilt is in my opinion of the time period estimated 1690-1710, and a magnificent Stirling example. The blade is also of course of German manufacture, and probably indeed of that period. It seems these elliptical central fuller forms are also found in schiavona of this period in a number of cases, and I would note many of these blades also found later use in North Africa in the kaskara.

I would like to point out the inscription 1*5*1*5 , and note that this is of course not a date. These are gemetrically applied number combinations which were used, often with talismanically oriented motif and inscriptions.
It is suggested in Wagner (1967, p76) that these were often used by certain makers in particular, and notes that '1515' is recorded as used by the Solingen smith Mathias Wundes, of that long standing family there.
However, Mathias worked 1750-1784.

From: "Die Klingenmarke 1414(1441) and Related Numerical Signs"
Dr. Walter Rose
Zeitschrifte fur Historiche Waffen und Kostumkunde
Vol.14, XIV, pp.131-133, 1935-36

It seems that this inscription is indeed of the style in which such numbers were applied in this magical or occult sense, as described as well by Blackmore (1971), Aylward (1945) and Mann (1962) . What is curious are the numbers in which the ones are without serif, and the fives are rather in script with scrolled flourish, done in the style of 18th century magical motif of the 18th century.

Since the hilt on this sword is clearly of 1690-1710, and though the blade also seems of this period, would we necessarily adhere to the singularly noted reference to this number used by Mathias Wundes?
The Rose reference (cited by these later writers) is the only one specifying this maker to this number. Aylward (1945, p.104) states these numbers do not appear to have been the monopoly of any one maker.

That I tend to agree with, however, it is clear that the practice of applying these numbers in that magical connotation continued through the 18th century. I would be inclined to think this blade is of the period suggested but address the numbers and their peculiarities simply in exercise here.

I wanted to point out this significance here, and invite other examples and observations to these kinds of inscriptions found on these amazing hilts from Scotland and Great Britain.



Salaams Jim...This is indeed interesting (I dive into library to study again your blade marks registry) ...and the detail on the blades must be considered along with the hilts.

These magic numbers I am more familiar with in the Islamic blade forms and it is fascinating to see the detail appear on European Swords and could they in fact be related to this ~ In ancient times, the pentacle was revered as a symbol of life, the five classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water , joined with Spirit to create life. Wearing the pentagram was and is viewed as protection and as a talisman of divine life and good health..The figure 5 is a lucky number in many different parts of the world thus I point to the possibility of this ....note that the figure one is also interesting and perhaps related to the act of drawing a pentagram where the pen only needs to touch the paper once to inscribe all the sides of the 5 pointed star in the circle....and each number is interspersed with a star...albeit 8 lines but perhaps it is representative only...and of course the pentagon is a giver of life as well as a destroyer...thus the sword.

The blade origins of basket Swords are so diverse. As you know they start probably in Solingen... but fan out all over Europe....Earlier Sinclair must also be considered since he was using basket hilts very early...please see


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Sinclair_(mercenary)

and on that page a sketch of some of the 800 Scottish Highland Mercs wrongly named Irishmen perhaps the root cause of hilts later being refered to as Irish Basket Hilts...seen in 1630 ad near Stettin assisting the Swedish.

Then a rich Scottish banker bankroles a load of swords and guns from the French for the Jacobites but half get sunk courtesy of the English Navy....Blades appear with moons but in the European shape they are different; more clear cut and precise than the Dukie moons of North Africa...and the further we look into Arabia the rougher cut seem to be the moons....

It has always amazed me, however, how close the blades are in the Schiavona style....

For info I include the following reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basket-hilted_sword

I add as fuel to the complexity the following from Wiki encyclopedia
the conundrum Andrew Ferrara.

Andrew Ferrara or, more correctly, Andrea Ferrara was a make of sword-blade highly esteemed in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sir Walter Scott notes that the name of Andrea de Ferrara was inscribed "on all the Scottish broadswords that are accounted of peculiar excellence".[1] No historical person of that name can be identified, but Scott reports a general belief that Ferrara was a Spanish or Italian artificer who was brought to Scotland in the early 16th century, by either James IV or V, to instruct the Scots in the manufacture of the high-quality steel blades current in Renaissance Europe.

According to some sources the name of the manufacturer was Andrea dei Ferrari of Belluno, according to others, Andrew Ferrars or Ferrier of Arbroath.[2]

The term came to be used generically as a term for the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword.

Their method of manufacture remains much a mystery, but it is suspected that they were made by interlamination, a process of welding the blade in alternate layers of iron and steel. Andrew Ferrara blades were special in their extreme flexibility. For instance, it is said that Andrew Ferrara, the manufacturer of the blades, always carried one wrapped up in his bonnet. They rarely broke, even under immense force and when used to deal horizontal blows.

The reference further opens out and the reader can explore the old style fighting techniques with this weapon..

In this regard I make a plea to keep it together somehow so that the thread can be complete rather than split so ...otherwise it will be like having a huge treatise on axe handles....and another on axe heads? Perhaps there is a technique whereby two threads may be fused together later so that a whole all round concept can be seen under one roof?..Just my two penneth worth

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 13th April 2015, 06:36 PM   #98
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it is unfortunate that this thread is a kind of controlled/guided and the debate is limited.

Any discussion about toureg blades in basket hilts, the different moon marks and about a subsequent 19th-century? dating of a Wallace related patriotic etching is interesting and should not be smothered but actually be discussed here without "censorship".

it is only one opinion, please see it as constructive criticism because it is a wonderful thread.

best,

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Old 13th April 2015, 08:24 PM   #99
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I would like to thank you guys for the input, and would add here that I am fully in accord with your views......here each weapon should be observed and discussed openly and with unrestricted discourse on all aspects.
My thinking was admittedly toward early writers on Scottish swords such as Whitelaw who noted he had deliberately avoided attention to blades on these as they were virtually all imported. Obviously a book on Scottish arms makers would be less than well served discussing German blades.

However, here we are observing and examining wonderful examples of these incarnations of the melding of trade and vintage blades and wonderfully fashioned hilts and to learn from the stories these components in union can share with us.

With that I am going to reintegrate the other thread into this one, where it might be in proper union in the same manner, and fully open to discussion.
While I can understand how certain subtopics can become distracting, I am confident participants here can successfully maintain proportion in the overall discussion.

Thank you very much guys!
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Old 14th April 2015, 06:46 AM   #100
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Dear Jim

My understanding is the Ethnographic Weapons forum exists to deal in detail with weapons such as African broadswords, kaskara and takouba etc, unless I am mistaken this is the European Armoury.

When I started this thread in January 2009, it proved very hard to keep going as I had hoped it would be devoted to the Basket hilted swords and draw out like minded enthusiasts. Thanks to Eljay’s contributions, for the first time I feel encouraged that it might actually take off. If someone visits the thread expecting to see basket hilts and get drowned in debate over African blades I am concerned that they will just move on and I suspect we will lose the opportunity to see what else is out there in the world of Basket hilted swords.



Regards Cathey

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Old 14th April 2015, 03:38 PM   #101
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Hi Cathey,
Let me clarify what I was trying to say here. I do understand the 'debate' on African swords was becoming somewhat distracting as obviously an African made blade has nothing to do with discussion on Scottish basket hilts, that is 'technically'. However the crux of the points toward the kaskara blade were whether the moons were European (i.e. German, the primary provider of blades for Scottish hilts) or indeed 'African'. The reason that was important was in determining the congruence of this blade with the hilt.

While somewhat digressive, it was in degree relevant to the discussion. However, I did agree that the discussion was becoming more complex on the moons, notably a distinct anomaly on blades occurring with Scottish hilts, so I moved to a new thread accordingly.

When it came to the '1515' blade, my objective was to avoid another digression to 'blade discussion', however my thinking in that respect was completely misguided, as well pointed out by Ibrahiim and Jasper, and I'm sure you agree, these swords should be discussed comprehensively on all aspects.

Therefore, my suggestion was to return my attention to the '1515' blade to this thread, and eliminate the other thread on blades on Scottish swords....the one on the 'moons' remains as separate as per originally intended.

Indeed, this forum is intended to field discussions on European arms and armour, however on occasional the ethnographic field can of course become somewhat entwined due to colonial and trade circumstances. In my opinion discussions should not be so fragile as not to allow a sometimes broader spectrum of subject matter to be introduced as required. I do agree that these topics should remain incidental and not take over the original subject of discussion, as became the case with the moons and kaskara blade.

I sincerely apologize to you and the forum for this unintended interruption on this valuable thread, and hope we might continue this outstanding review of these most important Scottish swords......and their blades, together

The posts from the 'other' thread are joined here as posts #94 and #95.

Thank you again Cathy for this thread, and for your understanding.

All very best regards,
Jim

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Old 14th April 2015, 11:11 PM   #102
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Well, I am an amateur on these swords and know little technically about them but they are some beautiful blades. That's pretty much the sum of my "input".
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Old 15th April 2015, 02:17 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Workman
Well, I am an amateur on these swords and know little technically about them but they are some beautiful blades. That's pretty much the sum of my "input".


The whole idea here is to learn from these weapons, which we are all doing together, so no such thing as an amateur....especially when one has the courage to step forward and make an entry regardless of status.
Thank you so much!

Very much agreed, the blades are intriguing, and offer us much toward learning more on the history of each sword as a whole.

On that note, I would ask more on a question Cathey directed to Eljay (post #89) concerning the Samuel Harvey mark often seen on British dragoon blades, in many cases initials SH in the running wolf.
It seems that at some point the 'S' was dropped and the 'H' stood alone on the 'wolf' (fox as termed in England).


I tried to find what I could on the Birmingham swordsmith Samuel Harvey, which apparently was the name of Samuel Sr. (b.1698) ; junior, and his son the third. Senior died in 1778; junior in 1795 and grandson in 1810.
Since all three had the same name , that would not be the cause of the omission of the S.

It would seem that there were a number of variations in marks, in that a slotted hilt (c.1780) had a crown over H/vey....some were marked S.Harvey with no fox.....some cavalry blades were inscribed Harvey and one example (I think in Neumann) has a fox with only the H, dating from 1750-68.

Does anyone have more data on variations of Harvey stamps?
While on many types of swords, some of the British dragoon basket hilts had Harvey blades......any examples?
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Old 15th April 2015, 07:36 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The whole idea here is to learn from these weapons, which we are all doing together, so no such thing as an amateur....especially when one has the courage to step forward and make an entry regardless of status.
Thank you so much!

Very much agreed, the blades are intriguing, and offer us much toward learning more on the history of each sword as a whole.

On that note, I would ask more on a question Cathey directed to Eljay (post #89) concerning the Samuel Harvey mark often seen on British dragoon blades, in many cases initials SH in the running wolf.
It seems that at some point the 'S' was dropped and the 'H' stood alone on the 'wolf' (fox as termed in England).


I tried to find what I could on the Birmingham swordsmith Samuel Harvey, which apparently was the name of Samuel Sr. (b.1698) ; junior, and his son the third. Senior died in 1778; junior in 1795 and grandson in 1810.
Since all three had the same name , that would not be the cause of the omission of the S.

It would seem that there were a number of variations in marks, in that a slotted hilt (c.1780) had a crown over H/vey....some were marked S.Harvey with no fox.....some cavalry blades were inscribed Harvey and one example (I think in Neumann) has a fox with only the H, dating from 1750-68.

Does anyone have more data on variations of Harvey stamps?
While on many types of swords, some of the British dragoon basket hilts had Harvey blades......any examples?



Salaams Jim, Yes!!....Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=blade+marks at #196

There is another with just an H inside the Running Fox at#15 ON http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?86414-Samuel-Harvey-question-(British-sword-maker)

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 16th April 2015, 09:31 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Jim, Yes!!....Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=blade+marks at #196

There is another with just an H inside the Running Fox at#15 ON http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?86414-Samuel-Harvey-question-(British-sword-maker)

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Thanks so much Ibrahiim, and I was going through old notes last night and found some discussions in which Eljay was indeed included and my notes from 2008. Apparantly there were notable variations in the stamps and inscriptions used by Samuel Harvey Sr,; Junior, and grandson the third. Many had the name or initial and no fox, but the fox with SH was well known, in c.1750. The fox with simple 'H' seems an anomaly as the number of them seems limited.
In my thinking, various means of marking and signing blades was not necessarily a chronological development, so trying to establish a date period with a mark probably not that reliable. I know that is the case with the running wolf marks of Passau/ Solingen contrary to the Wagner plate showing examples with period. These were pretty much free form and varied widely in any time of application.

PS thanks for the link to that thread.....the good ole days!
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Old 17th April 2015, 04:12 AM   #106
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Default English Basket Hilted Backsword (Irish Hilt)

Hi Guys,

When it comes to blade marks this sword has a huge variety of them.

Date Circa 1610-40
Overall Length 39 ¾” 111cm
Blade length 34 1/8” 86.7 cm
Blade widest point 1 1/8” 2.8 cm
Hilt widest point 4 ½” 11.6 cm
Inside grip length 3 ¼” 8.2 cm
Marks, etc. running wolf mark, Orb and Cross, Early Anchor mark

Description
English basket hilt sword of early form, approx. 102cm overall length with approx. 86cm straight backsword blade. Wire bound fish skin grip, steel guard of early type with the unusual feature of a loop for a sword knot in the Spherical pommel. The single edged blade with a single broad fuller in inlaid in pattern with the running wolf mark, Orb and Cross, Early Anchor mark and what appears to be a cross and circle near the hilt.

General Remarks
Complex Anchor Mark looks like that of Johannes Stam Circa 1612 Germania

References:
LENKIEWICZ, Zygmunt S. 1000 SWORD MARKS OF EUROPEAN BLADEMAKERS Pp65
MAZANSKY (C.) BRITISH BASKET-HILTED SWORDS: A TYPOLOGY OF BASKET-TYPE SWORD HILTS. Pp67
MOWBRAY, Stuart C BRITISH MILITARY SWORDS VOLUME ONE 1600-1660 The English Civil Wars and the Birth of the British Standing Army Pp122

OAKESHOTT, Ewart EUROPEAN WEAPONS AND ARMOUR
“by the last years of the sixteenth century, these basket hilts had begun to become associated with the Highland Scots and the Irish. This was probably because many of the Highland Chiefs had holdings in Ulster, and in the Irish wars of Queen Elizabeth’s time there were many Highland mercenaries in Ireland. Whatever the reason, these hilts became known as ‘Irish hilts’ in the early years of the seventeenth century.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 17th April 2015, 09:50 AM   #107
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Salaams all ... Just bring on the pictures I was talking about....Highlander Mercs at Stettin with the Swedish Army in 1630, A skit by the English at the time of the Jacobite Rebellion, Sword Styles on a Kelso Abbey Charter 12thC? ...which by accident triggers the question when did the Basket Hilt and Sword appear in Scottish hands? It is interesting that the sketch at Stettin shows no basket swords and I attach the other two pictures since the weapons shown are of that period and for interest....and comment.

My suggestion is that as the Highlanders were referred to as Irishmen that the term migrated later when referring to the Irish Basket Hilt when in fact there was no such thing. As a general pointer I tend to agree with the Gaalic connection but I doubt if there was ever an Inniskillin Irish Sword as such. I suppose that there could have been the odd one off item but insofar as a mass bulk store of Irish Basket Hilts ...no I don't think so.

Regarding the S and what initially appear as Fleur De Lys shapes on Baskets ...this is also not as I first thought since it is clear from references like MAZANSKY that the S shape was purely coincidental and stood for no word such as Scotland or Stirling but was a very effective blocking shape easily arrived at on the nose of the anvil...The Fleur de Lys having nothing to do with the romantic idea of that design linking it to France (rather unfortunately in my opinion) but simply to bull horns.

An excellent idea to keep it all together here as one big thread and Cathey has reminded me with her excellent opener at #1 that would it be possible to have all/most of the main Bibliography references at the front end automatically attached ?...Assuming that there is a program that will do that...and as a humble request to the Forum electronic Wizards...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 17th April 2015, 10:42 AM   #108
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Salaams All...As a footnote to the above post please note that in the 30 years war in which Stettin was won by the Swedish Empire; Solingen was under extreme pressure and the net result (including the destruction of the city) insofar as sword transmission was the migration to Shotley Bridge of some of the great Sword Makers of Solingen..

It may not be against the laws of possibility that German Swords were taken back to Scotland by the Mercenaries at Stettin. Not with standing the considerable effect of the Sinclair situation..and that of the Walloon Sword and its influence please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basket-hilted_sword not to mention Andrew Ferrera ...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 17th April 2015, 04:47 PM   #109
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Excellent posts Ibrahiim, and thank you for the great illustrations on some of the circumstances which were likely the source for the development of the basket hilt sword in Scotland. Indeed these North European short, heavy sabres many of which were 'dusagge' form had distinctively notable enclosed guards compellingly of such form. As always, the issue is often debated however these origins are most generally held.

Good points on the hilt elements which look like fluer de lis, but as noted by Mazansky, these are in his view actually representations of a rams head. In the case of the 'S' shaped element in hilt construction, I'm not sure if Mazansky made the distinction noting the significance of the 'S' (as possibly to Sterling; Scotland or such key words) but I know it has been noted in many cases with other authors on Scottish arms.

The Solingen phenomenon is probably one of the foremost subtopics in the study of European swords, naturally blades, and indeed this industrial 'machine' became dominant in their production. While the Hounslow and Shotley Bridge situations were indeed key in English swords from mid 17th into early 18th century, the emigration of Solingen makers was also well known into the Netherlands, France, Russia and of course Spain.

In the study of Scottish basket hilted swords, the fact that their blades are invariably of German production, or in some cases appearing to be so, these are the kinds of investigations which help us understand better the dynamics of these most important weapons.

The beginning of this thread by Cathey was remarkably well placed and offered great opportunities to see excellent examples of these swords from her own collection as well as other important holdings. While the unfortunate disruption may have discouraged her continued participation here, which I hope is not the case, I do hope we can continue gainful discussion to learn more on these weapons.
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Old 18th April 2015, 01:54 AM   #110
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Default Scottish Blade with numerous armourors marks!

Scottish Blade with numerous armourers marks!

Hi Jim, did you miss the sword I just posted #106. I put this up deliberately for those that get excited about sword blades and armourers marks as this one is covered in them. The last one I am still yet to identify.

The Irish sword comment is clearly explained by:

OAKESHOTT, Ewart EUROPEAN WEAPONS AND ARMOUR
“by the last years of the sixteenth century, these basket hilts had begun to become associated with the Highland Scots and the Irish. This was probably because many of the Highland Chiefs had holdings in Ulster, and in the Irish wars of Queen Elizabeth’s time there were many Highland mercenaries in Ireland. Whatever the reason, these hilts became known as ‘Irish hilts’ in the early years of the seventeenth century.”

Surely someone there has a comment on the last marking I posted; I will repost all of the pictures now.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 18th April 2015, 03:05 AM   #111
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This is a follow up post to the German basket from the last half of the 1500s that I submitted earlier. Most of these basket types that I've seen have a conical pommel, but here's one with a round pommel. The sword was/is in the Higgins Armoury collection, and there doesn't appear to be any info online; just these two photos. The description listed the sword as a baskethilted rapier.

--ElJay
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Old 18th April 2015, 11:35 AM   #112
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A fellow collector has this one, with a brass hilt.
The pictures are very bad but, if i recall the last time i handled it, it has the inscription Andrea Ferara interspersed with Kings heads.
Do you Gentlemen think this is a genuine period example ?

.
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Old 18th April 2015, 12:44 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Excellent posts Ibrahiim, and thank you for the great illustrations on some of the circumstances which were likely the source for the development of the basket hilt sword in Scotland. Indeed these North European short, heavy sabres many of which were 'dusagge' form had distinctively notable enclosed guards compellingly of such form. As always, the issue is often debated however these origins are most generally held.

Good points on the hilt elements which look like fluer de lis, but as noted by Mazansky, these are in his view actually representations of a rams head. In the case of the 'S' shaped element in hilt construction, I'm not sure if Mazansky made the distinction noting the significance of the 'S' (as possibly to Sterling; Scotland or such key words) but I know it has been noted in many cases with other authors on Scottish arms.

The Solingen phenomenon is probably one of the foremost subtopics in the study of European swords, naturally blades, and indeed this industrial 'machine' became dominant in their production. While the Hounslow and Shotley Bridge situations were indeed key in English swords from mid 17th into early 18th century, the emigration of Solingen makers was also well known into the Netherlands, France, Russia and of course Spain.

In the study of Scottish basket hilted swords, the fact that their blades are invariably of German production, or in some cases appearing to be so, these are the kinds of investigations which help us understand better the dynamics of these most important weapons.

The beginning of this thread by Cathey was remarkably well placed and offered great opportunities to see excellent examples of these swords from her own collection as well as other important holdings. While the unfortunate disruption may have discouraged her continued participation here, which I hope is not the case, I do hope we can continue gainful discussion to learn more on these weapons.


Salaams Jim, I honestly cant remember where I picked up the Mazansky detail...but thanks for the correction...

Salaams Cathey, I can probably assure you that everyone is burrowing into their research notes trying to pull the answer to the blade marks you have published but as I see it...the running Passau Wolf is so similar to about 4 different styles although the closest is possibly the 1597 Peter Munsten at#225 http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=blade+marks which I use as the main library thread for all of my references here.

In reference to orbs...#226 shows Johannes Wundes and explains how the Imperial Orb was used in front and after names or slogans and not as a blade mark per se..

I saw some excellent detail on other marks/Passau wolves at #38 and #66 and #44. and when the time comes to discus moon strikes how many sword makers were using the moon; proving that at least it was very commonly used and not the domain of any particular blade maker...and if I can reinforce the idea that the thread is superb and sits stronger together so discussion on blade and hilt may be considered...

With reference to the question Irish Hilts I started looking for Irish Hilt manufacturing centres and other than small producers of specialized natures like the Dublin family firm of Read and Co...nothing pops up whereas commaon sense indicates that British Regiments likely furnished from England..and probably Scotland. The linkage to Highland Mercenaries is a sidebranch stumbled on by pure accident and whilst it possibly changes nothing it seemed to me an interesting excursion..and led me along the road to Stettin and the 30 years war...vital ingredients to any study of this famous sword...and I had no idea they put Sinclairs stuff in a museum close to where he fell..in Norway at Gudbransdalen...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 18th April 2015, 01:05 PM   #114
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Hi Cathey!!
Thank you so much! It is great to continue examining these fascinating examples of these wonderful swords, and the secrets they hold .
As one of those who is hopelessly obsessed with blades and markings your example in #106 is definitely an exciting array of these. The brass inlay (latten) is a distinct indicator of earlier (17th c. or earlier) blade markings and of course in the group is the 'running wolf'. The other mark is a version of the 'anchor' device popular in Spain an adopted by Solingen makers . It is of course widely speculated as to whether these had distinct meanings or whether simply a favored flourish to enhance inscriptions or motif. As with most blade markings or decoration there is wide variation probably aligned with the artisans used by certain makers and periods.

The other marks are yet undetermined but seem to correspond to other occult/magical or astrological symbols often favored by makers as allusion to imbuement and/or quality in their blades in these times.

Thank you for the additional clarification on the 'Irish' appellation on the hilts. It seems Claude Blair offered a detailed analysis in his work on basket hilts in "Scottish Weapons and Fortifications"ed. David Caldwell) as well.

Eljay, thank you for this interesting example. I always wonder as well on the occurrence of these spherical hilts, which often seem entirely incongruent with certain set styles. I once had one of the British dragoon basket hilts (a huge blade of 40") similar to the one Robson suggested to be a M1788 heavy cavalry officers, and instead of the typical urn type pommel it had a distinct sphere.
Since pommels were I believe often piece work obtained by hilt makers at times, I was wondering if perhaps this might have accounted for these kinds of anomalies.

Fernando,
Nice example!! I think it is certainly 18th century and the blade earlier probably. The 'kings head' (konigskopf) was typically associated with the Wundes famiy of Solingen, and its pairing with the ANDREA FERARA name clearly indicates that 'name' as being used as more of a 'brand' in these blades.
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Old 18th April 2015, 03:22 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathey
Hi Guys,

When it comes to blade marks this sword has a huge variety of them.

Date Circa 1610-40
Overall Length 39 ¾” 111cm
Blade length 34 1/8” 86.7 cm
Blade widest point 1 1/8” 2.8 cm
Hilt widest point 4 ½” 11.6 cm
Inside grip length 3 ¼” 8.2 cm
Marks, etc. running wolf mark, Orb and Cross, Early Anchor mark

Description
English basket hilt sword of early form, approx. 102cm overall length with approx. 86cm straight backsword blade. Wire bound fish skin grip, steel guard of early type with the unusual feature of a loop for a sword knot in the Spherical pommel. The single edged blade with a single broad fuller in inlaid in pattern with the running wolf mark, Orb and Cross, Early Anchor mark and what appears to be a cross and circle near the hilt.

General Remarks
Complex Anchor Mark looks like that of Johannes Stam Circa 1612 Germania

References:
LENKIEWICZ, Zygmunt S. 1000 SWORD MARKS OF EUROPEAN BLADEMAKERS Pp65
MAZANSKY (C.) BRITISH BASKET-HILTED SWORDS: A TYPOLOGY OF BASKET-TYPE SWORD HILTS. Pp67
MOWBRAY, Stuart C BRITISH MILITARY SWORDS VOLUME ONE 1600-1660 The English Civil Wars and the Birth of the British Standing Army Pp122

OAKESHOTT, Ewart EUROPEAN WEAPONS AND ARMOUR
“by the last years of the sixteenth century, these basket hilts had begun to become associated with the Highland Scots and the Irish. This was probably because many of the Highland Chiefs had holdings in Ulster, and in the Irish wars of Queen Elizabeth’s time there were many Highland mercenaries in Ireland. Whatever the reason, these hilts became known as ‘Irish hilts’ in the early years of the seventeenth century.

Cheers Cathey and Rex



Hi Cathey,

beautiful basket hilt mounted with a beautiful German imported rapier blade.
it's nice to see that rapier blades with a blunt ricasso were also used on basket hilts because it is not possible to bend the index finger around the ricasso due to the basket, so the ricasso has no function here.
This diamond shaped rigid blade is ideal for the thrust.

Anchors are often wrongly perceived as a makersmark, however these anchors are purely decorative and placed for example, at the end of a fuller, or in the middle of a diamond shaped blade.
Attribution to Johannes Stam can not be made merely on basis of a similar anchor and without his other marks the typical IS under a crown.
In Albert Weyersberg Solinger schwertschmiede 1926 ,p 27 is a Solingen blade described with an almost identical in copper inlaid Passau wolf and orband cross .see image
this blade is attributed by Weyersberg to Johannes kirschbaum.

best,
Jasper
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Old 18th April 2015, 05:01 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.B. Erickson
This is a follow up post to the German basket from the last half of the 1500s that I submitted earlier. Most of these basket types that I've seen have a conical pommel, but here's one with a round pommel. The sword was/is in the Higgins Armoury collection, and there doesn't appear to be any info online; just these two photos. The description listed the sword as a baskethilted rapier.

--ElJay


it is Higgins (old) inv nr 1979.04.06
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Old 19th April 2015, 02:18 AM   #117
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Default The last mark

Hi Jasper

Great to see you join the thread, I am always thrilled to see your early swords. Sorry to disappoint you on this one though, I wish it was a rapier blade; the photograph must be misleading as it is a fairly typical back sword blade. With regard to the attribution to Johannes Stam I was going by LENKIEWICZ, Zygmunt S. 1000 SWORD MARKS OF EUROPEAN BLADEMAKERS Pp65, as he pictures the exact same anchor mark which is quite elaborate. However, you are correct this alone is not positive proof of the maker.

I don’t have Albert Weyersberg Solinger schwertschmiede 1926, I do have a publication Geschickte der Klingenindustrie Solingens von Rud Cronau 1885. Sadly for me this publication is in German, however I should persevere as it does cover a range of early marks. Interestingly the one mark it does not include is any version is the Anchor mark. Tell me is Solinger schwertschmiede worth tracking down, I think Amazon have a reprint available, how many pages are there etc.

The mark I would really like to get some idea of if the one attached. Unfortunately this is as clear a picture as we have been able to get and the mark is quite hard to make out. My best guess at this point is a circle on top of a cross, possible just another orb and cross mark.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 19th April 2015, 11:48 AM   #118
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Hi Cathey,


re: rapier blade
I am definitely not disappointed that it is a backword blade, it is beautiful and also it is more useful here in this basket hilt.
Actually it was the long ricasso that was remarkable for me in a basket hilt, but I have no doubt that this is the original blade.

re: Zygmunt S. Lenkiewicz. 1000marks
This book is like Wikipedia, a collection of marks from various old and new literature. it does not indicate which weapon has the marks and copies blindly faulty assumptions out of other literature.
see illustration p65, the anchor matches but the personal marks of Johannes Stam are missing on your blade, and as is generally believed, the anchor is only a decoration and not a trademark.
In this instance, only the anchor gives too little support to ascribe the blade to Johannes Stam.
It also not clear where the 1612 comes from, according weyersberg Johannes Stam is registered in 1640 as a swordsmith.

Re: Solinger Schwertschiede des 16 und 17 Jahrhunderts und Ihre Erzeugnisse by Weyersberg.
it is a "must have", there are 100pages of the leading sword smiths in Solingen from the 16th and 17th centuries with their different marks.
there is a reprint made in 2012 by Ken Trotman publishing, around Euro20,-



the mark on your blade, the orb on the ricasso, I have seen before.
I hope I will find it again.


best,
Jasper
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Old 19th April 2015, 01:49 PM   #119
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Hello Fernando,
Regarding the brass basket posted above, I think that it's OK. Somewhere I've seen something similar (but I can't remember where!), but I don't think that it's a product of the British Isles. The pommel shape and grip treatment seem to echo continental Europe. Perhaps another example of a French basket?

The blade is for sure a good one, and that type with the king's head stamps interspersed with Andrea Ferara is usually found on swords of the first half of the 1700s.

The only thing that has me wondering is what that cast brass scroll ended thing at the shoulder of the blade is? It doesn't look original, how it's fastened to the hilt is a puzzle, and the brass isn't the same color as the rest of the hilt.

--ElJay
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Old 19th April 2015, 01:52 PM   #120
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Wait a minute! That cast brass thing is a wall mount for suspending a sword. No wonder I couldn't figure out how it attached to the hilt!! The white background threw me - I didn't realize that it was a wall.

--ElJay
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