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Old 1st October 2020, 12:57 AM   #31
Jim McDougall
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Hi Bryce,
There is nothing wrong with skepticism, as an obsessive researcher myself, I often entertain same, which compels me to look harder for evidence.
As has been noted, these extremely common weapons, produced cheaply and in remarkable volume, seem somewhat disdained (of course) by the other ranks who used them in artillery units. As I noted in my post #25, from Brian Robson, 1975, but did not note the page (154), concerning the briquet in British service, I think adding more of the context might help:

"...in the early years of the 19th c. ordinary artillerymen were armed with a short curved sword with a straight brass knucklebow hilt, CLOSELY SIMILAR TO THE FRENCH INFANTRY SWORD (BRIQUET) OF ANIX (1800-01) AND ANXI (1802-03)."
* ref: Bottet, plate II, #3
"...this type of sword is shown in a painting at Windsor Castle by Denis Dighton,dated 1813, entitled "Royal Horse Artillery dislodging French Cavalry".
ref: Royal Library Catalog #15044

"...and in Charles Hamilton Smith's "Costumes of the Army of the British Empire"
ref: Royal Artillery plate 46, issued 1 Feb. 1815.

Here is where is gets confusing:
"...this is almost certainly the sword referred to in the report of the Select Committee on Artillery Equipment (1819), 'the Sub-Committee beg to remark that the sword with which the Artillery men are now armed is in itself a very inefficient weapon for any purpose".
ref: Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution , PRAI, Vol. 1. pg. 94

"...it was also the sword referred to as THE SPANISH PATTERN HANGER, which was in use in 1820 and which continued to be worn by gunners and drivers attached to field guns until 1826".

ref: PRAI Vol.1, pg. 186.

The Bottet ref. was,
De l'Arme Blanche 1789-1870 et De l' Arme Feu Portative 1718-1900,
M. Bottet, Paris, 1959.

In this Robson reference, it seems these 'briquets' were in use by British artillery in the early 19th century, about the time of the presumed Storr production I have theorized, probably more at the turn of the century.
The type or character of the briquet in British use is illustrated in the painting by Denis Dighton (1813) COMPARING IT TO THE FRENCH BRIQUET OF 1801-03.

What I am wondering is if the 'Spanish pattern hanger' could be incorrectly termed as here my impression is that the briquet (of French form) is the sword described in these proceedings.

The Spanish pattern illustrated in the article linked has a hussar style cavalry hilt similar to the light dragoon sabers of 1780 (pattern) for British cavalry, noting again that the 'Spanish' association was simply for use in the Peninsula.

Or, were there two types? one of briquet form as my example, or the one in the article and multiple examples of its form suggested.

I think the best analogy to describe the situation with the dearth of these briquets, in general, let alone British examples, and especially marked ones, is simply as Fernando noted,
these are hardly collectible, or sought after (except for a few of us
The brass in the hilts was a useful commodity, and these were undoubtedly melted down as scrap.

Military history accounts and narratives seldom EVER describe edged weapons used in campaigns or battles, but firearms, cannon and even thier ammunition is included in detail. Few are interested in the lowly privates, or their weapons save a few of these valued artists .

In my early years of collecting (60s and 70s) the authors I have mentioned were 'the' authorities on the regulation military patterns, forms and unusual types in use. Blair was renowned as an arms historian, and Wilkinson-Latham was well placed with his access to records to accomplish his incredible knowledge.
Naturally all authors face revision and rebuttal as new evidence comes available, but I felt that these observations of these gentlemen were sound so have remained in acceptance of what they have said and shown as well as the work of Robson in 1975.

However, I too would welcome a significantly marked example with British provenance, but the evidence I have gathered over these years for me is OK at this point.

The 'ref' notes from the Robson text are the footnotes for each of these comments.
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Old 1st October 2020, 04:51 AM   #32
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Thanks Jim,
I knew I had seen the illustrations you quoted, but I couldn't find them. Here they are and both show a straight bladed sword with a brass, straight stirrup guard and black grip, not a briquet.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 1st October 2020, 03:39 PM   #33
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Hi Bryce,
Thank you for these illustrations, which very much show the kind of 'Spanish pattern' you have described and in the article you linked.
Now my quandry is............why did Robson describe the 'briquet' as compared the the French ANIX and ANXI swords, which he was described as short and CURVED?
Further, why did highly reputable authors such as Blair and Wilkinson-Latham show illustrations (Blair's was in a panel of line illustrations); Wilkinson-Latham's was a photo...........while his caption notes there is a marking on the blade which he believes may be 'Trotter', who I think was a cutler of the late 18thc early 19th period.

While the 'Spanish pattern' evidence is profound, and there seems no doubt of course that the artillery men were using it, I am wondering if there is a case for some alternate situation in artillery ranks.
The wording FOOT ARTILLERY seems to have been applied to the captions in the briquets I have used as cites, which both match my example.

Could there be some difference in unit structure or simply terminology?
Again, why the comparison to 'curved' French ANIX and ANXI briquets as were well known in their infantry.

Could there have been infantry units assigned to artillery in some capacity to afford defense to the working gun crews?

I guess after having this sword unresolved in identification with its curious initialed cartouche, and finally coming up with a good (and exciting) hypothesis, I am reluctant to let go yet

There have been numerous cases like this with my often unusual collection from decades ago (the briquet I got in 1966), one other was a M1796 British light cavalry saber. I know it was British (made by Thomas Bate).
It was well worn and darkly patinated, with a curious squared notch in the exact tip of the blade, not damage but a deliberate square.

Most baffling was the langet had the letters CsA 4 inscribed. Naturally I thought I had 'scored' a Confederate sword (they were known to use numbers of British swords).
However, every venue of research and contacts with authorities on Civil War arms insisted, these were NOT Confederate markings. Disappointed, I then came up with the convoluted idea that it might be Spanish colonial (Charles IV)....but no sound conclusion.
Then a revelation, it was suggested that perhaps the letters COULD be marks for the armory of Castel sant Angelo, in the Vatican! In the wars of unification in late 1860s, men came from throughout the Catholic realm including Great Britain to defend the Pope.
So while not conclusive, still compelling and I published it as such in the Swedish journal 'Varia' (2004). It had been nearly 30 years in research.

Such are my 'cold cases' and this one is clearly another. Obviously, the true story behind these and many old weapons can seldom be confidently resolved. But compelling resolution is at least of some use as long as options are all offered.
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Old 1st October 2020, 05:48 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce
...Apart from the references you cited I haven't found any convincing evidence that these briquets were used by British royal artillery gunners. There is plenty of evidence that they were using the "Spanish" pattern sword, which has a straight blade from around 1800 - 1820...

Speaking of which, during the Peninsular War period (1808-1814) the Spaniards were around with two models resembling the one you linked to, but for infantry; one with a straight blade and the other slightly curved.

Only later they came out with 'short' sabers resembling Briquets, with slightly longer blades; the first one in 1818 and another (similar) in1822; the 1818 later in 1879 ressurected with a slighly different blade.
Despite their hilt being practically a twin of the Sabre Briquet, never a word is written about such 'inspiration'; at least in my Barceló Rubí's work copy.

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Old 1st October 2020, 11:51 PM   #35
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G'day Jim,
We have one great advantage now that previous generations of sword researchers didn't have - the internet! With a few clicks of the mouse we can view more examples of any particular type of sword in one morning, than these older guys could have seen in a lifetime of collecting.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 2nd October 2020, 02:30 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce
G'day Jim,
We have one great advantage now that previous generations of sword researchers didn't have - the internet! With a few clicks of the mouse we can view more examples of any particular type of sword in one morning, than these older guys could have seen in a lifetime of collecting.
Cheers,
Bryce


\
Absolutely Bryce!
I recall some years ago when I spoke of my early days of research B.C. (=before computers), and Andrew quipped, "..yeah Jim, but they still had papyrus didn't they?"

I can recall sending snail mail letters with overseas postal reply coupons, and my letters eventually responded to in weeks (if lucky), many months, and incredibly some took years. As I recount my 'years' of research on these weapons, those factors considered as well as the dearth of books on the arms gave limited possibiility for the kind of outcomes we have today.

As one of those 'older' guys (I am 75 now) I can very heartily agree on your observation on the numbers of examples at finger tips today in just seconds. It took forever to find examples in the old days, and auctions overseas were handled by phone bids (I had to be up in the wee hours for long distance overseas calls). There were great 'gun shows' but it was essential to travel to them often long distances.

Still I treasure my hardbound books, many by the wonderful old sages of arms now gone, and still have the yellowed old letters in the pages.
It is wonderful to have those memories, and at the same time have the amazing new technology and honestly the astute brilliance of the 'new centurions' coming into the world of arms study.
I still welcome learning every day, and often actually from them
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Old 2nd October 2020, 04:31 PM   #37
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Hi Jim,
I can't think of a British sidearm that equates to the Continental briquet sabre. The only three I can think of that are remotely similar are the so called Spanish pattern sidearm the Dundas sidearm and the Pioneer sidearm.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 07:45 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Jim,
I can't think of a British sidearm that equates to the Continental briquet sabre. The only three I can think of that are remotely similar are the so called Spanish pattern sidearm the Dundas sidearm and the Pioneer sidearm.
My Regards,
Norman.



Thank you Norman! That is most helpful and now I need to look further into the examples illustrated in the references cited by the late Mr. Blair (which was admittedly a line drawing, not a photo) and that photo in Wilkinson-Latham.
There are a number of other references which may be helpful that I will loom into......these gentlemen must have had the notion of the 'briquet' as shown from somewhere.

In years of research, I do realize the possibility that as authors of references on arms classifications, they may well have virtually copied material from another reference without further primary research.

I sincerely hope that is not the case here, as obviously my entire hypothesis for Paul Storr(due to initials in hilt) will be defeated categorically if there is no evidence of a briquet of French style in British service.

There was another case of 'cross influence' between French and British weapons in the latter 18th century with the officers spadroon with five ball decoration on the guard of c. 1780 . The style apparently took hold in England, but by about 1800 became popular in France and was shown in their references as ' l'Anglaise' as a type.

This returns me to Brian Robson (1975) who (as I previously noted) describes the artillery sabers of early 19th c. as 'like the French ANXI and ANIX briquets and with short curved blade (obviously contrary to the 'Spanish pattern'.
Looking at the art works he cites, the weapons shown are clearly not like mine which IS like the French briquet, so the comparison is obviously contrary to his previous comment.

In looking at the many types of briquet (the curved knuckleguard integral to the entire brass hilt cast in one unit) of other countries I have never seen a cartouche with two initials in it as on mine. It seems invariably there are various kinds of numbers instead.

With that, what was most compelling to me is that British hilt makers early (in latter 18th c.) did sign (with two initials) hilts they made even if not of precious metal.
Either my example is in accord with that reference as I have suggested and perhaps even more an anomaly than I had earlier thought, or entirely a fluke in the maelstrom of truly similar briquets in other European armies.

While the Spanish style artillery sword being noted clearly had considerable presence in issue to British ranks, is it POSSIBLE? that a French style briquet type sidearm was indeed tested in small production numbers to British gunners in the latter 18th century period in which Storr did operate a metal work factory?
And that the authors I have cited used some now lost reference which showed this instance and which was understandably obscured by the notable volume of 'Spanish style'?

I wish these gentlemen were still available to ask directly.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 09:30 PM   #39
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Default Further on my sources Foot Artillery Gunner sword

As I presented this briquet hanger in my original post, I only cited my sources, which were of course effectively my words. I have taken to get illustrations of the pages of these references to show how I formed my opinion.
While it is suggested that there is apparently an absence of awareness of this type sword in British context......these sources might at least show my reason for my hypothesis.

These pages, top to bottom:
1,2,3: "European & American Arms", Claude Blair. N.Y. 1962 pp.96-97

4: "Swords for Sea Service" (2 Vol.) W.E.May & P.G.W. Annis, HMSO, 1970,
p.333

5,6,7: "Swords and Sword Makers of England and Scotland" Richard Bezdek
2003
8: "British Military Swords 1800-to Present Day", 1966, #66

In the volume by Blair, example (e) is shown as a FOOT ARTILLERY GUNNER sword, in the plates of British swords.

In photo 4, the page from May and Annis (p.333) describes makers of hilts, using the convention of marking their hilts with their initials (c.f. as per example FT= Francis Thurkle)....even if NOT silver.

In photos 5 and 6 are the Bezdek entries concerning Storr, and various partners including his apprenticeship in 1790s with silver workers as well as hilt makers.

Most compelling was this photo of one of these 'foot artillery gunner' swords taken from John Wilkinson-Latham (1966, example 66) which is noted as c. 1814 (shown here as photo 8). In the text he notes a mark on the blade which he believes is TROTTER (though indecipherable).

Photo 7 shows the page from Bezdek with Thomas Trotter, sword cutler 1814-1820.

So in a reference from 1966, by John Wilkinson-Latham identifies one of these briquets as British foot artillery gunners sword c. 1814-20, and that a mark on the blade even indecipherable he considers Trotter, an established English sword cutler.
Since Blair (1962) has identified this same hilt as foot artillery gunner sword, it would seem that Wilkonson-Latham was in accord.

As Paul Storr was working as a silversmith 1790s onward and took over manufacturing factory in 1807 with Rundell, and was in that setting until 1819, is it possible he may have absorbed the convention of the two initial marking of hilt even of cast brass?

The Wilkinson-Latham example (#66) is identified c. 1814.
Thomas Trotter (if indeed this was the mark) worked 1814-20 as a sword cutler. Which means he was procuring blades in that period, the same time that Storr was running the factory for Rundell.

In these early days of establishing contracts between Board of Ordnance, the varied cutlers and blade makers as well as hilt makers, when the idea of regulation patterns was just in early stages. ...the idea that a pattern of this type does not exist in British context just does not seem likely. We know the 'Spanish' pattern was widely known and used, it is strange that the pattern or type I have known and supported by these authors is deemed non existent.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 02:49 AM   #40
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In "The American Eagle Pommel Sword", Andrew Mowbray, 1988, p.24, discussing Birmingham, England,
"...as diverse as the city's talents might have been, it is clearly revealed by a close reading of the various directories published during the period that nearly all the trades came together at some point to join in the manufacturing of military goods. There was also an extensive cross over between various specialists in order to keep busy. Candlestick makers would have been produced brass castings as well as turnings for muskets, pistols and fowlers and swords when the need for such work exceeded the capabilities of those more intimate to the trade".

In reviewing Robson's revised 1996 "Swords of the British Army", it seems there s a great deal of confusion on the Spanish pattern swords for artillery gunners as opposed to the 'saw back' pioneer type of the same time which he denotes as from 1820. The paintings by Charles Hamiliton Smith and Denis Dighton were with these 'Spanish' type depicted but the works date from 1813 and 1815.

Returning to the possibility of Storr perhaps producing this type of hanger for use in artillery units, these were times of war with Napoleonic campaigns of course, and if he ran a factory in 1807-19 in a partnership, would he perhaps have placed his touch mark in a cast brass hilt?

In photo 4 of my previous post I mentioned Francis Thurkle the silver hilt maker, and found an old article showing his initials in a rectangular cartouche like the one on my PS hanger. As noted, Thurkle placed his 'mark' on hilts regardless of metal used, would Storr have followed this convention?
If it was a subcontract in a partnered company?
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Old 3rd October 2020, 04:25 PM   #41
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Looks like it will be hard to determine that Paul Storr, on his own senses, went on producing Briquets, unless factual evidence is found out there; not just by association of ideas.
Whether Thurkle made silver (and other metal) hilts, these seems (to me) that were 'one of a kind' examples, not a production in numbers. Then thinking of Storr, a silversmith Guru; to make a (one) sword you need an atelier (workshop); to cast a number of brass hilts for an army contract you need a factory... and a different attitude, i guess.
On the other hand, while joining two (or more) letters in a cartouche of a certain shape may give an idea of a determined silver smith mark, this is a recurrent procedure; their "trick" to distinguish one from the other, is basically the detail within the cartouche form. Even rectangles may be seen "by the dozen"; Storr himself registered a few different ones.


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Old 3rd October 2020, 07:36 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Looks like it will be hard to determine that Paul Storr, on his own senses, went on producing Briquets, unless factual evidence is found out there; not just by association of ideas.
Whether Thurkle made silver (and other metal) hilts, these seems (to me) that were 'one of a kind' examples, not a production in numbers. Then thinking of Storr, a silversmith Guru; to make a (one) sword you need an atelier (workshop); to cast a number of brass hilts for an army contract you need a factory... and a different attitude, i guess.
On the other hand, while joining two (or more) letters in a cartouche of a certain shape may give an idea of a determined silver smith mark, this is a recurrent procedure; their "trick" to distinguish one from the other, is basically the detail within the cartouche form. Even rectangles may be seen "by the dozen"; Storr himself registered a few different ones.


.



Fernando, thank you! That was exactly what I was looking for, examples of the 'touch mark' of the silversmiths. The rectangular cartouche enclosing the maker's initials just as I showed with the Thurkle example in my previous post was placed to illustrate the convention of doing this with silver smiths and in the time period late 18th into 19th and surely considerably beyond.

As you noted earlier, there is profoundly no way anyone could possibly be aware of all makers marks, touch marks, punzones etc. as there was not as much consistency as one would like to imagine. It has been said that as makers mark stamps wore out or broke, it was not necessarily the case that an exact copy would be the replacement.
In many articles on sword examples such anomalies as flaws in the punches or stamps were strong indicators of authenticity in examining individual swords, just as the case in authenticating mint marks on coins.

With the possibility of a silver smith such as Paul Storr handling a contract of brass hilts for government supply of munitions grade hangers seems heightened by the facts that he was a hilt maker, and he was indeed running a factory for his partner.

My idea has been, this is not a single sword made on a whim by a famed silver smith, but a contract of indeterminate number of munitions grade swords. The suggestions are that this type of hilt or in fact sword did not exist in British other ranks because of the confusing representation (as per Robson, 1996) of the so called Spanish pattern, the 'pioneer' pattern hangers shown in art of 1813,15 for artillery, seem to compellingly sate the case.
However, with the degree of inconsistency in government and ordnance protocol and procurement of the periods from 1780s through the Napoleonic wars, the notion of a singular contract of a number of swords such as this does not seem unreasonable.

The best evidence we have of such a possibility is the examples I have shown from highly reputable arms authors (Blair, 1962 and Wilkinson Latham 1966) which clearly show these brass (French infantry style) briquets as British.
The example in Wilkinson-Latham (1966) implies a name on the blade may be Trotter, an English cutler 1814-20.
Storr ran the factory 1807-1819.
If he oversaw such a singular contract, perhaps in special arrangement with the Crown (the Prince Regent was keen on military matters, indeed having a number of sabers made for his cavalry regiment)......does iit not seem possible Storr might have placed his 'touch mark' in these hilts, even though brass?
We know that Thurkle and others did so even on hilts that were NOT silver.

This hanger is not a single one off sword, but I think a survivor of possibly a defined number of these 'European' style briquets (not just French) that may have been made by Paul Storr, a silver smith strongly connected to the Crown during the Napoleonic wars period.

Thank you Fernando for helping keep this investigation fluid, as I know I am learning a lot, even if my theory ends up not being proven.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 08:29 PM   #43
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All the briquets shown so far have had D-guards.
Here's one they made earlier:
(1789)
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Old 3rd October 2020, 08:32 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
All the briquets shown so far have had D-guards.
Here's one they made earlier:
(1789)


Thanks Wayne, all of which briquets? Who they?
Is this British or French?
Interesting pommel capstan or fixture.
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Old 4th October 2020, 03:18 AM   #45
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Just to ramble a bit further, as have been locked in this pile of books and notes it seems hopelessly, and cannot let this dilemma go.

I looked again at the Wilkinson-Latham (op. cit 1966) reference, and on p.38, he notes that '...information on swords for artillery and other ranks is very sparse and contradictory'. !!!! ya think?

Further, '...artillery privates, later to be called gunners are shown by Col. Charles Hamilton Smith in his DRAWINGS in 1814 as armed with a brass hilted artillery hanger (plate66) which it appears they carried until 1853".



Moving to 1975, with Robson (op. cit. p.154) he notes,
"...in the early years of the 19th c. ordinary artllerymen were armed with a SHORT CURVED SWORD with a straight brass knucklebow hilt closely similar to the FRENCH ARTILLERY SWORD (BRIQUET) of ANIX and ANXI (1801-03).

Here he then notes the sword as same as Denis Dighton 1813 and Charles Hamiliton Smith 1815, both specifically titled and illustrating the 'Spanish pattern' sword.

When Wilkinson-Latham described his 'FOOT ARTILLERY GUNNERS' hanger of c.1814, he notes the Charles Hamiliton Smith DRAWINGS......but does NOT specify the title.

SO:
Could there be OTHER Charles Hamiliton Smith 'drawings'? which Wilkinson-Latham was referring to?

In 1794 there were corps of captains commissaries and drivers to provide drivers and teams for the field guns. In 1793 the Royal Horse Artillery already had its own horseand teams for each troop. In 1801 this corps was replaced by corps of gunner drivers. The Royal Artillery were referred to colloquially as 'the gunners' (as opposed to Royal Horse Artillery who carried cavalry pattern swords).

As Paul Storr, per the plate Fernando shows, used a rectangular touch mark registered 1793 (as on my example), is it reasonable to think that perhaps hangers of that of my example were in use by 'gunners' (possibly the drivers moving the guns) from 1793 until the advent of the Spanish pattern (sometime pre 1813 probably about the time of beginning the Peninsular campaigns). Since the Spanish pattern is much like the example Fernando shows in previous post, possibly then was the transfer.

So this COULD be a Paul Storr contract c. 1794 to c. 1807 (?).
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Old 4th October 2020, 05:23 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thanks Wayne, all of which briquets? Who they?
Is this British or French?
Interesting pommel capstan or fixture.


The Google source said French, I've read they used that style hilt up to the French Revolution. I used that photo as I couldn't find a photo of mine which apparently is a Spanish Grenadier version that looks just like it, but appears to have a slightly longer and straighter blade (and it's scabbard).

As these had to actually be carried, I also include a photo of the baldric attachment for the scabbards that have a staple rather than a mushroom post to secure them, just to round out the info of this thread.

I found the photo of mine! (below) the odd pommel bit seems to be an extension of the casting to cover an apparently longer tang without extending the grip area. half of it is a threaded cylindrical domed pommel 'keeper'with an end slotted section. It is a bit odd... I note the D-guard one in the baldric photo also has a flat white leather sword knot with a bit of red (tassle/slider?) showing. And the bayonet. Blue uniform? Is it US/UK? Looks a bit like it might be similar to the above artillery photo with the windmills. My scabbard is missing it's chape, has a brass staple on the other side of the throat piece. To complicate matters, the blade has an etched and bordered panel that says 'GRENADIER'. - the French for Grenadier is oddly, 'Grenadier'.

See also https://www.histoire-pour-tous.fr/h...s-francais.html - use google translate to read it in english.

or https://translate.google.com/transl...s-francais.html

I am getting rather confused...a bit of information overload...
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Old 4th October 2020, 12:58 PM   #47
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Wink No Google engine ... only a homemade extract.

The article titled "LES BRIQUETS DE L'ANCIEN REGIME/ THE BRIQUETS OF THE OLD REGIME", does not mean that short sabres were titled with such name by then. The one sword first shown shown was actually called model 1767, an evolution of the XVII century Grenadiers sabre.
The nickname Briquet, a term colloquially used in earlier period for more than one thing, incuding pejorative approaches, was only officially applied to short sabres in the Premiere Empire, as my be read in a 1806 regulation.
Meaning that, even the most spread versions like the An XIX (1800-1801) model, are nowadays called Briquets, not in the period.
Am i correct, Wayne ?


.

Last edited by fernando : 4th October 2020 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 4th October 2020, 01:50 PM   #48
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...That was exactly what I was looking for, examples of the 'touch mark' of the silversmiths...

I am afraid the "touch" is the fineness of noble metals, not the mark of makers ...

" Contrary to what the ordinary citizen often supposes, jewelery pieces are not made of precious metals in their pure state.
In fact, precious metals in that state are very little workable.
If an ordinary wedding ring, for example, were made of fine gold, its resistance to deformation would be so low that the usual day-to-day activities of an ordinary user would be sufficient to constantly damage it.
Therefore, goldsmiths have always had the need to add other metals to the precious metals they worked with, in order to obtain an alloy suitable for the type of work they aimed to produce.
The amount of precious metal in the alloy is translated through the indication of its touch, meaning that the higher the touch of a piece, the greater the content of precious metal per unit of mass of that piece.
Quoting J. Almeida Costa and A. Sampaio e Melo (in Portuguese Dictionary), it can be said, therefore, that touch is the percentage of pure metal in an alloy in which it is fundamental.
The term "title" is also often used in place of touch.


Usually a good sterling silver has a 925/ooo touch... or fineness. The mix is ussually copper. Same criteria goes for gold,
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Old 4th October 2020, 02:06 PM   #49
Norman McCormick
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Hi Jim,
I'm a bit stuck here, in more than 50yrs of playing with sharp and pointy's I have never seen a Continental briquet type sword with British issue marks or British regimental marks. I do not claim by any manner that such an item is not out there but if it is it must be the proverbial hen's teeth. However hen's teeth do exist, e.g. the sword in this post, http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=1796+sergeants was confirmed recently by the Royal Armouries as indeed a 1796 pattern nco's sword and it seems the very few examples they have do not have the scabbard, so a scarce item but a known pattern. Privately raised regiments and militia were outfitted by the raiser/s and of course export/commerce was practiced extensively so maybe this is a possibility although I'm not hopeful. Texts and Museums do get things wrong as we all know and in fact looking into your Briquet I delved into the Royal Armouries collections and found a Briquet, museum no IX.1182, tagged as French but it is in fact Swiss as it is described as having a crowned double A which is the Bern Armoury mark so mistakes are still out there. I have attached images of the British sidearms that I know of with brass stirrup hilts.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 4th October 2020, 02:28 PM   #50
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Hi Jim,
I just noticed your Briquet has had the quillion terminal removed. I have a French ANXI sabre with the same modification. Made in Klingenthal, poincons J.A. Kranz inspector 1812, F.L.Lobstein reviser 1804/21, J.G.Bick controller 1812/15. Might be something.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 4th October 2020, 02:37 PM   #51
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Hi Jim,
Here is another ANXI sabre of mine for comparison of a similar vintage to the first and has not been modified. The P.D.L. is a later stamp that signifies Propriete De L'Etat meaning Property of the State and was probably marked as such when it was assigned to the National Guard post 1831.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 4th October 2020, 03:15 PM   #52
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For whatever is worth, Jim's Briquet, potentially not being British production, shows no undeniable evidence of being French, as it does not bear the traditional poinçons, those applied at KLINGENTHAL.
Notwithstanding plenty other casters/makers produced them in non State facilities ... as it appears.
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Old 4th October 2020, 03:50 PM   #53
Jim McDougall
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[QUOTE=fernando]I am afraid the "touch" is the fineness of noble metals, not the mark of makers ...

" Contrary to what the ordinary citizen often supposes, jewelery pieces are not made of precious metals in their pure state.
In fact, precious metals in that state are very little workable.
If an ordinary wedding ring, for example, were made of fine gold, its resistance to deformation would be so low that the usual day-to-day activities of an ordinary user would be sufficient to constantly damage it.
Therefore, goldsmiths have always had the need to add other metals to the precious metals they worked with, in order to obtain an alloy suitable for the type of work they aimed to produce.
The amount of precious metal in the alloy is translated through the indication of its touch, meaning that the higher the touch of a piece, the greater the content of precious metal per unit of mass of that piece.
Quoting J. Almeida Costa and A. Sampaio e Melo (in Portuguese Dictionary), it can be said, therefore, that touch is the percentage of pure metal in an alloy in which it is fundamental.
The term "title" is also often used in place of touch.


Usually a good sterling silver has a 925/ooo touch... or fineness. The mix is ussually copper. Same criteria goes for gold,[/QU




EXCELLENT EXPLANATION Fernando!!! Thank you. I clearly had not understood the intent and meaning of the 'touch' in presuming its use as a makers indicator. The dialogue I had read in several references noting the use of the 'mark' of these workers in precious metal ALSO placing IT on non precious metal hilts.
You can see how I would arrive at that perception.

Cast metal hilts , brass, I have not seen others with these initialed cartouches in them. My point was that my example seems to be an anomaly just as its very existence as a type of 'briquet' not in wide use in a time when regulation or standardization was not the case.
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Old 4th October 2020, 04:51 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
...
Meaning that, even the most spread versions like the An XIX (1800-1801) model, are nowadays called Briquets, not in the period.
Am i correct, Wayne ?
.


True, just like the ubiquitous name we call swords of the renaissance with long narrow blades and complex handguards "Rapiers" when they didn't use that appelation at the time...and the Iberian recurved swords we call 'Falcata' instead of Kopis.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

As long as we all use the same name for these briquet style hilts now, Alles In Ordnung.

(p.s.- Thanks for finding the 'y'. )
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Old 4th October 2020, 05:00 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ...

What a romantic vein, old chum .
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Old 4th October 2020, 05:02 PM   #56
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Wow guys!!! These are quite a volley of entries!!! and EXACTLY what I always hope for, great observations with perfectly supported data. Thank you!

Fernando, I have understood that the term briquet was colloquial as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, which was explained in one of my cited references I believe. Actually the term was minimized or parenthesized if I recall in the descriptive test.

Wayne thanks very much for the additional information and explanations, I agree there is a great deal of information presented and evaluated in the great discourse, so I too am 'blowing circuit breakers'!

Norman, again, excellent input and examples well presented. I will be the first to admit I have little experience with French swords. I had never been able to afford the amazing Aries series and I miss Jean Binck's expertise.
The instance you note with the quillon terminal removal is most interesting
though I have trouble understanding such a deliberate and innocuous adjustment.

I can relate to your notes on there not being Continental briquets (of this type) having British markings of any sort, presumably issuance or inspection.
All the poincons all over French swords are these types of administratiive marks of course.

Your notes on the Royal Armouries are telling, and I will say here that it is my impression that the two examples from the 1962 and 1966 references on which I based my identification of my example (over the past 54 years!) did cite the Royal Armouries as one source, National Maritime Museum the other.

Your noting of the error on the 'briquet' (IX1182) being French but actually being Swiss due to Bern armoury marks is concerning. Did the Swiss ever receive French weaponry into their military stores? I have seen instances where markings were regarded Swiss rather than the presumed other origin.

In summary, these are all wonderful facts in rebuttal toward thorough examination of my example, and very much key data which absolutely must be considered in the proper evaluation (again profoundly appreciated).
But, my theory remains that my example which has a rectangular cartouche with the PS initials of Paul Storr (the only maker of the period whose initials correspond) is of a type well known on the Continent (as infantry briquet). The distinct anomaly of a precious metal type 'mark' to a particular maker is British (based on the individual) and only seen in similar context in a similar case (Thurkle).
In these other ranks weapons, notably cast brass examples, this type of stamp or mark in this location on the hilt, does not exist as thus far seen.
The marks that do exist are of course mostly issuance or acceptance poincons.

As Norman has well noted, misteakes of course do exist in records and classifications, which is why I noted the disparity in the references I was citing in the earlier part of this discussion. This pertained primarily to the perception that the only artillery 'briquet' (using the term that typically is mindful to my type hilt despite its collective use) was the 'Spanish pattern'.

In the early days of the efforts toward the standardization and regulation of weaponry in the British army toward the end of the 18th century, the case for other ranks weapons was understandably a maelstrom of inconsistency.
While the 'Spanish' pattern sidearm for artillery is well represented in the art and records c. 1813.
But this selection did not begin until the deployment of forces into the Peninsula in the Napoleonic campaigns.
What of the type sidearm in use in the Royal artillery from c. 1794 (as I noted in earlier post in organization changes) by 'gunners' (again a collective term applied to various participants in the artillery group). ??

The mark in my example is the same as the PS in Paul Storr's registration of 1793. If a contract was issued (as per the protocols of the period by regimental commanders) for a select number of these cheap brass hilt sidearms, why is it not possible that these would not have virtually disappeared in the past two centuries (probably melted down for metal)?
As these were clearly disdained as weapons, not considered collectible by any means nor of stature worthy as trophies etc. what would prevent them being scrapped.
Though Paul Storr was a stellar figure in precious metal art, who would expect his mark in such a pedestrian implement?

As you note Norman, such a weapon would indeed be as rare as 'hens teeth'. You discovered such a case with your NCO's sword and the Royal Armouries.

Thank you again guys, for your patience and taking the time to present arguments in this case. I really do not mean to be obstinate but I really want to seriously evaluate all possibilities in a case which is from a period and situations which were fraught with inconsistency.
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Old 4th October 2020, 05:49 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Wow guys!!! These are quite a volley of entries!!! and EXACTLY what I always hope for, great observations with perfectly supported data. Thank you!



Your noting of the error on the 'briquet' (IX1182) being French but actually being Swiss due to Bern armoury marks is concerning. Did the Swiss ever receive French weaponry into their military stores? I have seen instances where markings were regarded Swiss rather than the presumed other origin.



Hi Jim,
The Briquet I have which has the Berne armoury marks was manufactured in Solingen by Gebruder Weyersberg and not sourced from France. I guess they were contracted by the Swiss from Solingen manufactories. I got in touch with the Bernisches Historisches Museum. Quirinus Reichen of the Military Dept supplied me with the details. It is the sword of an infantry orderly 1843 pattern used by Berne and several other Swiss Cantons. The pattern was in use by them for approx 20 years. I erroneously gave the date in a previous post as 1830.
My Regards,
Norman.


P.S. I did have a conversation over 10 years ago with someone at the National Maritime Museum about mistaken identification of some of their items, had a good chat with a lovely lady about shooting the .303 Lee Enfield
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Old 4th October 2020, 06:43 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Fernando, I have understood that the term briquet was colloquial as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, which was explained in one of my cited references I believe. Actually the term was minimized or parenthesized if I recall in the descriptive test...

I wasn't clear ... enough, Jim. After 1806 the term Briquet did become its actual documented name. But don't give it much notice .
What is more noteworthy is that, in the day you produce or find evidence that Paul Storr took off his cufflinks and rolled up his sleeves to cast a brass hilt, you will win a whole case of Drambuie .
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Old 4th October 2020, 08:39 PM   #59
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G'day Jim,
Here is another example of a set of initials in a cartouche on a brass hilt. In this case it is on a French ANXI light cavalry sabre.

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

Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 4th October 2020, 08:47 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Jim,
The Briquet I have which has the Berne armoury marks was manufactured in Solingen by Gebruder Weyersberg and not sourced from France. I guess they were contracted by the Swiss from Solingen manufactories. I got in touch with the Bernisches Historisches Museum. Quirinus Reichen of the Military Dept supplied me with the details. It is the sword of an infantry orderly 1843 pattern used by Berne and several other Swiss Cantons. The pattern was in use by them for approx 20 years. I erroneously gave the date in a previous post as 1830.
My Regards,
Norman.


P.S. I did have a conversation over 10 years ago with someone at the National Maritime Museum about mistaken identification of some of their items, had a good chat with a lovely lady about shooting the .303 Lee Enfield


Hi Norman,
I misunderstood in your post #49 when you noted Royal Armouries IX1182 tagged as French but with the Swiss mkg. from Berne and the comment about mistakes.
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