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Old 26th October 2017, 04:58 PM   #181
Jim McDougall
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Very well noted Ibrahim! As you note Klingenthal was very much government backed, and Solingen was actually pretty much 'overpopulated' with their becoming more commercialized and exporting widely.
Most importantly, as you have said, Birmingham was becoming ever more industrially oriented and determined to keep their market share over Solingen. No doubt the Shotley Bridge workers and demand went to the Birmingham and London area, much as we have seen with names like Mole.

Glen, great to see you here!!! You're an encyclopedia on the swords of these periods!
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Old 26th October 2017, 05:52 PM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Very well noted Ibrahim! As you note Klingenthal was very much government backed, and Solingen was actually pretty much 'overpopulated' with their becoming more commercialized and exporting widely.
Most importantly, as you have said, Birmingham was becoming ever more industrially oriented and determined to keep their market share over Solingen. No doubt the Shotley Bridge workers and demand went to the Birmingham and London area, much as we have seen with names like Mole.

Glen, great to see you here!!! You're an encyclopedia on the swords of these periods!


It has to be said that here in the U.K. where matters of government and industry are discussed, the North / South divide is usually introduced into the equation. I'm sure that a couple of centuries since, a small community of tradesmen in some unheard of corner of England, two hundred and fifty miles from the Capital would certainly not have much going in their favour.
Many people 'up here' would quickly add that not much has changed, but that's another story.
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Old 26th October 2017, 07:17 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Mel H
... Many people 'up here' would quickly add that not much has changed, but that's another story...

Definitely another story, Mel !
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:00 PM   #184
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See http://www.klingenthal.fr/anglais_2_a.htm for an interesting timescale at Klingenthal.
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Old 26th October 2017, 10:22 PM   #185
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Default Mohll versus Mole

Hey Jim, sorry to ruin a distinctly glossy sheen on the Shotley Bridge image but there is definitely no connection between Mohll of Shotley Bridge and Mole of Birmingham. It was Robert Wilkinson-Latham's book 'The Swords and Records of Robert Mole and Sons (from 2008) where he declared the sad news. Apparently it was a genealogical trace-back from the Moles of Birmingham, and forward from Mohll of SB, and no connection was found. I have to say that the dates never lined up anyway as Mohll sold his entire works to Oley in 1724.
Here is an extract from an interesting article, that Ibrahiim has mentioned before, that tells of The Guild of the Running Fox:
.....Wilkinson Sword – the crossed swords logo of that company is believed to have come from the emblem of the “Guild of the Running Fox” – the Shotley Bridge sword makers' guild. The few remaining clues left are the Crown and Crossed Swords pub (originally owned by the Oleys), Cutlers Hall (the guild meeting place, now a private house) and the crossed swords on the old logo of the Shotley Bridge Hospital.
That's a great resource on Klingenthal Ibrahiim, thank-you.
Re. Klingenthal: back then, Birmingham was the 'Second City of the Empire'; Shotley Bridge had no chance really, once the Solingen secrets had migrated to Birmingham.
I haven't looked at Birmingham's early sword-making history: does anyone know of a good concise book on the subject? Or even just a comprehensive article. Mel?
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Old 26th October 2017, 10:54 PM   #186
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I am now firmly convinced that the symbol of the bushy-tailed running fox (that - locally - has long been associated with Shotley Bridge) was started by Oley when the guild was established.
What I really want to find out is: was there, in-fact, any connection with Birmingham at any time, now we know it wasn't Mohll?
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Old 26th October 2017, 11:27 PM   #187
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Default Crucible steel

It would appear that once Huntsman invented his 'crucible steel' method in 1740, that the secrets of forging sword blades would not be far behind. It looks like Thomas Gill was in at the start (1783) probably because he was a watch and clock maker, the same as Huntsman but also because of his huge manufactory.
This is an extract from Bezdek's book 'The Swords and Swordmakers of England and Scotland'.

In 1783, the Earl of Surrey (a member of the Treasury Board) sent a letter to a Mr. Eyre of the town council of Sheffield, informing him of a petition by the London sword sellers (cutlers) under consideration to allow German sword blades into England duty free. (The reason was that English blade makers could not provide quality sword blades at a reasonable price.) The earl wanted sword blade quality and price information from Eyre on Sheffield makers.
• Since few sword blades were being made at Sheffield, Mr. Eyre sent a copy to Thomas Gill of Birmingham.
Gill sent a letter to the Treasury Board, saying he could make sword blades of equal quality to German blades.
In 1786 following up a demand from the east India Company for 10,000 cavalry swords,
he sent 2,650 blades; and subjecting them to the Matthew Boulton tests only four were rejected. = 0.15%
Harvey: 1,700 and 42 rejected. = 2.4%
Woolley: 1,000 and 19 rejected. = 1.9%
Runkel: 1,400 and 28 rejected. = 2%


I would say that was pretty good going for a relative novice in competition with German blades.
Please correct me if I am in error anywhere here because I am, as you know, a novice on this subject.

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Old 27th October 2017, 12:24 AM   #188
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RUNKEL: See https://www.mq.edu.au/macquarie-arc...ord/runkel.html

Quote"RUNKEL, Johann Justus (c1751–1808)
One of the most important London merchants dealing in Solingen blades was the sword cutler Johann Justus Runkel. His trading premises were located at 8 Tookes Court, Holborn and he was a member of the Cutler's Company (the trade guild), though his business was mainly importation – blades, fully made up swords, and even unmanufactured steel. In the period 1795–1808 he was probably the most important London merchant dealing in Solingen blades."Unquote.

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Old 27th October 2017, 12:45 AM   #189
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Harvey; Example of Sword blade mark. ...A British Militia Sword - maker Samuel Harvey (no scabbard) Marked to Rutland Militia. A nice militia sword 28'' polished curved blade, once polished, but now dark. A few lightly pitted areas, but the blade is pretty good. Maker marked on both sides with a running wolf and SH (Samuel Harvey - swordsmith in Birmingham 1730-1748) Brass heart-shaped hilt, with a turned down short quillon. Wooden handle, round pommel.
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Old 27th October 2017, 01:03 AM   #190
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The following website seeks details on a number of our suspects viz Gill, Harvey, Deakin, Woolley ~http://birminghamhistory.co.uk/foru...-woolley.11996/
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Old 27th October 2017, 02:02 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Harvey; Example of Sword blade mark. ...A British Militia Sword - maker Samuel Harvey (no scabbard) Marked to Rutland Militia. A nice militia sword 28'' polished curved blade, once polished, but now dark. A few lightly pitted areas, but the blade is pretty good. Maker marked on both sides with a running wolf and SH (Samuel Harvey - swordsmith in Birmingham 1730-1748) Brass heart-shaped hilt, with a turned down short quillon. Wooden handle, round pommel.


Thank you Ibrahiim another nice mark for my collection, I collected together a picture of every Shotley Bridge name stamping or fox of any type that I saw, in the flesh, as it were, or from books or catalogues, for more than twenty years. I had over sixty different ones and unfortunately lost them all in a hard disc crash a couple of years since. No ones fault but my own, we all know the risks we take in not backing up. I've started again and will keep at it.
I had pictures that showed only the words, sometimes full spellings, sometimes abbreviated and occasionally, together with straight line 'wolf'. they tended to be earlier swords. I can not remember seeing a named one that had a bushy tailed fox. Maybe they wanted to show a sign of quality without giving away the name of the place that they had taken refuge.
One of the things that I remember was that the SH in the Harvey ones was not always in the same place within the body of the fox, which would indicate that the fox may have been stamped onto the blade first then the letters added. It has to be considered that his blades may have been made at Shotley Bridge and stamped there with the trademark together with the additional SH letters, as part of the contract.
Just food for thought.
Having said all of that I'm sure that over the time they were operating there they must have produced a large amount which would mean that they are not as rare as we think they are, we just simply don't recognise them because many were never marked.
Mel.
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Old 27th October 2017, 06:45 AM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
Thank you Ibrahiim another nice mark for my collection, I collected together a picture of every Shotley Bridge name stamping or fox of any type that I saw, in the flesh, as it were, or from books or catalogues, for more than twenty years. I had over sixty different ones and unfortunately lost them all in a hard disc crash a couple of years since. No ones fault but my own, we all know the risks we take in not backing up. I've started again and will keep at it.
I had pictures that showed only the words, sometimes full spellings, sometimes abbreviated and occasionally, together with straight line 'wolf'. they tended to be earlier swords. I can not remember seeing a named one that had a bushy tailed fox. Maybe they wanted to show a sign of quality without giving away the name of the place that they had taken refuge.
One of the things that I remember was that the SH in the Harvey ones was not always in the same place within the body of the fox, which would indicate that the fox may have been stamped onto the blade first then the letters added. It has to be considered that his blades may have been made at Shotley Bridge and stamped there with the trademark together with the additional SH letters, as part of the contract.
Just food for thought.
Having said all of that I'm sure that over the time they were operating there they must have produced a large amount which would mean that they are not as rare as we think they are, we just simply don't recognise them because many were never marked.
Mel.


Mel...Maybe the running Fox never appeared on Shotley swords. Notwithstanding the name given in some quarters ...and reiterated by me ...and noted by Kieth...The Guild of the Running Fox:
.....Wilkinson Sword – the crossed swords logo of that company is believed to have come from the emblem of the “Guild of the Running Fox” – the Shotley Bridge sword makers' guild. The few remaining clues left are the Crown and Crossed Swords pub (originally owned by the Oleys), Cutlers Hall (the guild meeting place, now a private house) and the crossed swords on the old logo of the Shotley Bridge Hospital.
It never stated and I believe never meant to associate bushey fox tails on blades by this guild...but fits in with the Wilkinson crown and crossed swords of course...

But was this a guild that placed bushy tail foxes on blades...? I suspect not...and since none have been found ? What did that mean? Did it perhaps mean that the so called running fox of Shotley was in fact the wolf of Passau...? and that the running Fox wasn't being used at Shotley... but the Passau Wolf was...because the sword makers were all Solingen people...When Birmingham kicked in they used the Bushey tail Fox.... often if not all done by SH Samuel Harvey in Birmingham. Birmingham is much nearer Stratford than Shotley Bridge is... and it was W. Shakespeare who noted the Fox sword in his plays...and where did he live? Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon ...but anyway he had a house in London as well. Surely if Shotley had been turning out bushey tailed fox swords there would be loads of them about... There aren't any... I think I have only seen one probably spuriously applied..

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Old 27th October 2017, 05:59 PM   #193
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Default Oley and the fox

This was the sale that began to convince me (see image); I called the auctioneer and asked him how he knew it was an Oley blade and he said the vendor had come from nearby SB and had personal experience of its provenance. The bushy tailed fox is obvious.
It also matches the style of sword Nicholas Oley is seen holding that was his grandfather's final sword (i.e. c.1830) so we know Oley was making this style of sword in the 1800s.[IMG]
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Old 28th October 2017, 08:18 PM   #194
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Salaams Kieth ~ Some caution here...I suspect the auctioneer is being frugal with the truth of the matter...and anyone who says he had some personal experience...what does that mean?... is implying a whole lot...if it is to be believed. The sword may be vaguely similar in structure to the black and white picture but is it absolute proof ? It's a difficult one... Can someone show another Shotley Bridge sword with a bushy tail Fox on it... ? If they were using that motif there should be hundreds or thousands out there...and there are none to my knowledge.
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Old 28th October 2017, 08:51 PM   #195
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I would venture further that there is a mix up with the Guild of the Running Fox and the apparent use of a Crown and Crossed Sword seen on Wilkinson Swords, the bushy tail Fox emblem..and the Passau Wolf form.

In my view the animal placed by Shotley swordmakers was the Wolf. The same as the Wolf of Passau.

The Bushey Tail Fox emblem was I suspect only put by one swordmaker.. SH Samuel Harvey in Birmingham.


.

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Old 28th October 2017, 10:33 PM   #196
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Default Solingen

This may be a stupid question to the cognoscenti, but I confess to being a novice as you should know by now, so here goes:
Solingen apparently had the famous 'hollow' grinding machine causing much unrest in the 1680s; has anyone seen a hollow-blade/colichmarde marked from Solingen.
This was before Klingenthal and before Shotley Bridge; who else could be supplying the French? Were the blades from Solingen going to France signed in any way?
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Old 29th October 2017, 12:00 AM   #197
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Here is an example of the many swords mistakenly presented as from Shotley... In this case said to have been; A scarce late 17th Century Shotley Bridge sword, with 33 1/2in. blade and three-quarter length fuller bearing the Running Wolf mark with the initials `SH` incorporated, brass knuckle guard and wire-bound shark skin grip, 40in. long overall; contained in a modern mahogany presentation case. ~ But a more spurious description there can hardly be ...since this is a Samuel Harvey Birmingham sword. The so called running wolf in this case likely to be a Bushy Tail Fox! with the initials SH inside that.

Samuel Harvey (born 1698) who was making swords between 1748 until his death in 1778 his mark was the running fox which can usually be clearly seen on both sides of the blade. The family business was continued by his son and grandson of the same name, the last of which died in 1810.
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Old 29th October 2017, 12:24 AM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
This may be a stupid question to the cognoscenti, but I confess to being a novice as you should know by now, so here goes:
Solingen apparently had the famous 'hollow' grinding machine causing much unrest in the 1680s; has anyone seen a hollow-blade/colichmarde marked from Solingen.
This was before Klingenthal and before Shotley Bridge; who else could be supplying the French? Were the blades from Solingen going to France signed in any way?


Salaams Kieth,
See http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16753

The whole thread is less than a page but is important reading. There is another example at #22 on that thread.. Clearly Solingen were exporting to France swords for refinishing but the essential German data was included on the blades.

Obviously the German sword makers of Solingen were confident that their Colichemarde blade machines could not be copied and in this regard they appear to have been right.
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Old 29th October 2017, 03:28 AM   #199
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Regarding Samuel Harvey and at http://doczz.net/doc/617698/british...0%94an-overview It is noted that Samuel Harvey had a son Samuel Jr. who continued the business til 1795 viz;

Quote"Some research with cutlasses having viewer’s
marks and manufacturers names also enables one to generally identify the supplier according to the viewer mark.
Plate 29 on reference shows the hilts for three of these cutlasses.
The one on the left is early and without a viewers mark indicating it predates 1788. The blade has a spear point and is 28
1/2 inches long and 1 3/16 inch wide. It is marked with a
running fox and Harvey on the reverse and a different fox
like mark on the British. The iron hilt is solid (no seam), its
disks are essentially round, and the turned down quillon is
relatively wide. Samuel Harvey Sr. was a Birmingham sword
maker that provided cutlasses to the Royal Navy from 1748
to 1778 and his son, Samuel Jr. continued through 1795.
The absence of viewer marks would indicate that Harvey Sr,
made this cutlass.
The middle one is a later version of a similar cutlass.
The blade is similar but slightly shorter—27 1/2 inches long
and 1 1/4 inch wide. It is marked with a Crown/4 viewers
mark, and a running fox with initials (undecipherable) on
the guard. There are also undecipherable marks on the blade
tip. The disks are oblong, the iron hilt has a seam, and the
turned down quillon is relatively narrow. The viewer’s mark
indicates this cutlass was supplied by Gill, another
Birmingham supplier (1783–1803)"Unquote.

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Old 29th October 2017, 11:44 AM   #200
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Default Something's fishy here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Kieth,
Obviously the German sword makers of Solingen were confident that their Colichemarde blade machines could not be copied and in this regard they appear to have been right.


Thank-you Ibrahiim, that is exactly what I was looking for.
So, my questions now are these: if such swords exist i.e. the ones finished in France from Solingen blades, and are relatively easy to locate, where are the British equivalents?
While I am inclined to agree with the apparent singularity of the grinding mill, I cannot understand why applications for patents were attempted prior to 1685, if no-one here in Britain had 'the machine'. Unless they thought they could either make one... or procure one.
And why not set-up shop anyway? If no-one else had a machine, they didn't need a patent, other than to protect themselves from Solingen imports. There's something fishy about this whole business. It sounds to me like they were attempting to corner the market on Solingen hollow-blade imports, not make the blades themselves.
If anyone, prepared to pay or smuggle, could nip over to Rotterdam and pick up a chest of hollow blades, then only the smiths in Solingen and the finishers here were going to profit. The patent applications were from blade-smiths and grinders, hence my suspicions.
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Old 29th October 2017, 01:19 PM   #201
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Thank-you again Ibrahiim. The article covering cutlasses was very interesting as it mentioned the relationship between the Viewer's Mark and the blade maker.

This is especially interesting, as I was given to understand (by an unremembered dealer - probably the one trying to sell me a Samuel Harvey as a Shotley Bridge sword) that the number beneath the crown was deliberately kept un-attributed in order to protect the Viewer from corruption.

So, it can be established from the Viewer's number where the blade (or sword???) was made and by whom. How does one do that? Do anyone know?

Incidentally: I was told about an aspect of my blade that I had noticed but not questioned, and that was its 'scarf weld' near the hilt. Does that have any maker significance that anyone is aware of?
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Old 30th October 2017, 09:17 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Thank-you Ibrahiim, that is exactly what I was looking for.
So, my questions now are these: if such swords exist i.e. the ones finished in France from Solingen blades, and are relatively easy to locate, where are the British equivalents?
While I am inclined to agree with the apparent singularity of the grinding mill, I cannot understand why applications for patents were attempted prior to 1685, if no-one here in Britain had 'the machine'. Unless they thought they could either make one... or procure one.
And why not set-up shop anyway? If no-one else had a machine, they didn't need a patent, other than to protect themselves from Solingen imports. There's something fishy about this whole business. It sounds to me like they were attempting to corner the market on Solingen hollow-blade imports, not make the blades themselves.
If anyone, prepared to pay or smuggle, could nip over to Rotterdam and pick up a chest of hollow blades, then only the smiths in Solingen and the finishers here were going to profit. The patent applications were from blade-smiths and grinders, hence my suspicions.


This is a good point. Where was the money in colichemarde swords? In the blade or in the adornment? So there was a sort of dual profit but more being made on the fancy hilt and scabbard than on the blade perhaps? The London sword makers/finishers were often ex Solingen people and must have had a hand in this subterfuge...No one was making colichimarde blades in England... but they were fitting them up with gold and silver hilts and fancy scabbards..Swords were being sold not only by sword smiths but by a host of Gentlemans outfitters in the city...I think that is the point about these weapons...
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:26 AM   #203
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Here is a most puzzling blade mark... This not only does not look like the average Fox...more like a dog... and H ?? Is this Hounslow??

https://myarmoury.com/feature_engswords.html whilst a thorough description is noted of Hounslow Swords nothing is mentioned about the strike mark of an H inside a fox .
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Old 30th October 2017, 01:28 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Thank-you again Ibrahiim. The article covering cutlasses was very interesting as it mentioned the relationship between the Viewer's Mark and the blade maker.

This is especially interesting, as I was given to understand (by an unremembered dealer - probably the one trying to sell me a Samuel Harvey as a Shotley Bridge sword) that the number beneath the crown was deliberately kept un-attributed in order to protect the Viewer from corruption.

So, it can be established from the Viewer's number where the blade (or sword???) was made and by whom. How does one do that? Do anyone know?

Incidentally: I was told about an aspect of my blade that I had noticed but not questioned, and that was its 'scarf weld' near the hilt. Does that have any maker significance that anyone is aware of?


Hi,

'Swords for Sea Service' states that in 1788 Joseph Witten made four each of the viewers marks - a crown over 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8.
The National Maritime museum have associated the viewers marks with particular makers as they have examples of blades marked also with the manufacturer. That does not preclude the mark being used by another company. They also have identified a crown over 2.

Redell and Bate 2
Woolley 3
Gill 4
Osborn 8
Tatham and Egg 8

So although not conclusive to identifying an otherwise unmarked blade they are another piece of information and also date the blade to between 1788 and 1815 when their use ended.

I have seen many cutlasses with scarf welds near the hilt sometimes clearly visible while others are almost imperceptible. I do not think this relates to any particular manufacturer.
There is a theory that the hilt end is iron to help absorb the shock of impact.
This is hard to prove as there is no good - non intrusive - way to distinguish between iron and steel.

Regards, CC
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Old 31st October 2017, 01:25 AM   #205
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Default Scarf Analysis etc

Would smiths weld short hunting sword blades to new tangs to benefit from a high quality blade on a cutlass?
I've been told it was a question of making the high grade metal go further as it was not needed up at that end of the sword; any comments?

Surely all that is needed to establish the materials involved is a few file shavings from the edge of the blade; the back being the most acceptable. Any metallurgists out there want samples from my blade - just ask and I'll happily file off a few grains.

I understood that Samuel Harvey used an H as well as SH.
I think there was a WH too: as yet unattributed I believe.

I've tracked down and contacted the current owner of Danby Castle (it's the same family since Edward the Confessor) who has indicated the present whereabouts of the chest of SB swords discovered in a Priest Hole back in 1855 and said to have been destined for the Jacobite cause. I'm on my way to view them soon and salivating.

Thank-you CC, those marks and names are very useful; but - sorry: who is Joseph Witten?
My hanger is marked with a crown over a 9, but I suspect it was put on the blade when it was re-hilted, as the steel in the base of the stamp is brighter than the rest of the blade. Of course, it's stamped onto the hilt end of the scarf weld so... ???

Any military historians out there know where and when 2nd Battalions appeared in the ranks of British Militia? My hilt is marked S d B.
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Old 1st November 2017, 05:49 AM   #206
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Salaams Kieth, Indeed there is a further puzzle inside this conundrum with the appearance of a W HARVEY ..Below. No Fox there however. Was this a miss strike? Was it done at the same time because Harvey also appeared on its own but with no initial see below...in several formats. ? I will try to address that in my next post...

The point about the H is that it is said to be a Hounslow mark. The confusion is underlined by it appearing inside an animal which looks more like a Labrador than a Fox... I have only seen one of these. Harvey senior had a son also named Samuel... and Samuel Jr had a son. Both were in Swords but I cannot find the grandsons name...was it also Samuel?

Below are various Harvey blade strikes...plus some randomly applied Passau Wolf and one from Solingen.There is an apparent Shotley sword with a Passau Wolf...There is an H inside a fox? There's an empty Fox. There is an altered SH made to look like SB...for whatever reason and the odd W HARVEY.
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Old 1st November 2017, 06:18 AM   #207
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The only W Harvey I can find is as follows below
however some doubts were cast upon it because of its apparent date of manufacture about 1840...however the firm had been operational since 1820 ! I believe therefor putting this mark W HARVEY in range.

However... things never being so simple ...especially on this subject please see http://americansocietyofarmscollect...62_Darling1.pdf

Where there is a sword with the stamp W HARVEY ...used 60 years before W Harvey came to be as a sword maker ...with his mark on the blade... very odd. However are we looking at a rehilted later blade ?
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Old 2nd November 2017, 08:00 PM   #208
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Default Hounslow

Has anyone ever come across a Hounslow blade with a Fox or Wolf mark?
It seems odd that Solingen smiths in Hounslow didn't use the Passau wolf-mark but, allegedly, Shotley Bridge did.
I think this issue is beginning to point to the blades with the wolf as being smuggled in, then stamped Shotle Bridg to deflect away suspicion from the crime.
There's a lot of time and effort involved in applying all these marks.
I'm hoping my inspection of bulk collections of Shotley Bridge battlefield swords in the very near future will help to establish some acceptable facts.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 12:04 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Has anyone ever come across a Hounslow blade with a Fox or Wolf mark?
It seems odd that Solingen smiths in Hounslow didn't use the Passau wolf-mark but, allegedly, Shotley Bridge did.
I think this issue is beginning to point to the blades with the wolf as being smuggled in, then stamped Shotle Bridg to deflect away suspicion from the crime.
There's a lot of time and effort involved in applying all these marks.
I'm hoping my inspection of bulk collections of Shotley Bridge battlefield swords in the very near future will help to establish some acceptable facts.



Salaams Kieth ~ It will be interesting to see this group of blades you speak of... The only fox I saw said to be Hounslow ...and with an H in it... is above at #206 last photo, though it is a picture repeated many times around the web...but its the only one I have ever seen.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 12:53 PM   #210
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Default Hounslow

Hello Ibrahiim. Does the sword with that alleged Hounslow mark tally with the date of Hounslow production? Somewhere down the line (in my case a very short line) I read an emphatic declaration that Hounslow never used such a mark. I thought that "Me Fecit", or something of the sort, was used when wishing to identify a Hounslow worker. I still keep coming back to this 'time and effort' issue of marking swords: if you are paid to produce as many blades as possible in as short a time as possible, for battlefield weapons, then I would have thought a single, simple tang stamp, or such, was the best you would consider. If you were producing something for a London cutler to retail then the prestige of the workmanship warranted the work involved in sophisticated emblems.
I will know more when I've surveyed the armouries of some of our castles up here. We have a lot! This was not a comfortable place to retire-to for most of its history. I grew up on a 1930s built street that had, until 1932, a castle at both ends, with a provenance dating back to pre. Norman times in one case, and Norman in another (that one is still in existence) . Dig down anywhere round there and you would probably find a Viking sword eventually. But I digress...
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