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Old 8th June 2021, 02:14 PM   #23
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by Norman McCormick View Post
In general this says to me P1796 Infantry Officers sword apart from the pommel which would normally be the urn type and the grip which was normally round and wire wrapped. The blade shape, folding guard and the stirrup guard all look typical for a P1796. There are quite a few variations on these P1796 officers swords but I haven't seen the aforementioned variations to date. Volunteer militia? An interesting piece.
I think you are onto an important observation Norman, the absence of the urn pommel as noted did not suggest the M1796 pattern infantry officers sword. Also, as Mark astutely noted, these 'fixtures' are for a folding guard shell.
The folding apparatus was an innovative feature becoming popular at this time of fledgling sword patterns, which became better known just before mid 19th c.
As these officers swords were by commission, to the cutlers of London as a rule, such innovative devices would have been notable for the variations noted.
The use of horn and the heart device as also previously noted, may well be toward a Scottish preference (heart=Catholic; Catholic= Jacobite; Jacobite=Stuarts, and other British supporters for them).
The horn would have been used in the sense of stag horn, popular on hinting hangers, favored by the gentry and upper echelons from which officers came and their sense of fashion prevailed.

These kinds of variations are almost maddening for those who focus on regulation patterns, as officers swords, while loosely following standard conventions, had almost carte blanche in private purchase. The keen sense of fashion among officers, the innovations and styles of varied makers led to these kinds of anomalies.
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