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Old 13th June 2020, 12:38 PM   #1
Cathey
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Default English Civil War Officer’s Carbine Cross Belt c1630

Hi Guys

We recently purchased a collection of English Civil War Armour and also on offer was a 17th century English Officer's Carbine Cross belt. I have never come across anything like this before, and I was wondering if anyone can give me more information about this item. It certainly has significant age to it, hard to beleive it has survived in this condition. It has the prince of Wales Feathers which apparently have been in use since the Black Prince Edward in 1330 and where in use during the Civil War. Apparently, it was only from the beginning of the 17th century that the badge become exclusively associated with the Prince of Wales. During the English Civil War, most coins minted by Charles I at his various provincial wartime mints carry the feathers.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 13th June 2020, 02:35 PM   #2
Fernando K
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Hello

Just an opinion. I am not familiar with these articles, but it seems to me that the metal part (the carabiner) is much more recent, and not from the 17th century. It is very elaborate

Affectionately
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Old 14th June 2020, 03:20 AM   #3
Cathey
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Default Carbine Shoulder Belt c1630

Hi Fernado,

My pictures make the clip newer than it does in the flesh. I have had a friend who works with metal examine the clip and he is certain it is of the period. Attached is a picture of the clip from BLACKMORE, David Arms & Armour of the English Civil Wars Pp 52, the only reference I have found so far.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 14th June 2020, 03:17 PM   #4
Fernando K
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Hello

Just to say that the photographs of Blackmore may have been taken with a more modern clip (MOSQUETON in Spanish) I still think that it is very elaborate, mechanically speaking. It's just a poor opinion

Affectionately
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Old 27th June 2020, 08:06 AM   #5
Tordenskiold1721
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I have seen a few Carabiner's and it looks as the real thing to me and based on the good photos I have no reason to believe otherwise.

My question, and it is not only a question as in a challenge or doubting the information given.

What makes this an English officers carbine Cross belt ?

I understand the belt was bought with English civil war items, is this the basis of identification ?
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Old 27th June 2020, 09:21 AM   #6
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The embroidered symbol is the Prince of Wales feathers, complete with his motto 'Ich Dien', which is a pretty good indication this is English
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Old 29th June 2020, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdavid
The embroidered symbol is the Prince of Wales feathers, complete with his motto 'Ich Dien', which is a pretty good indication this is English
Very nice and very rear. Congratulation !!
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Old 30th June 2020, 11:39 AM   #8
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What color would have been the cloth originally? Red?

I read from a XVIIth century military tract long ago (no idea which, possibly Crose or Basta), that carabin derived from calabrin, because the first units were raised from Calabria (habsburg army in the valois wars). No idea how reliable is that.
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Old 12th July 2020, 06:58 AM   #9
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Default English Civil War Officer's Carbine Belt

Hi Guys

It is with great relief that I can now confirm that this item is authentic. I must thank Keith Dowen is Assistant Curator of Armour at the Royal Armouries in Leeds for authenticating this piece. I contacted Keith after reading his book Arms and Armour of the English Civil Wars. The belt's exact dating will require further reseach and on Keith's advice I have contacted the Victoria and Albert Museum textile department, however Covid-19 will impact on any response I am afraid.

What we can confirm is that it probably dates between 1620-1688. Aparently due to the addition of the Prince of Wales feathers badge it can only relate to two individuals: Charles Stuart who was Prince of Wales from 1638 to 1649 and James Francis Edward Stuart held the title from 1688 to 1701, although legally he ceased to be Prince of Wales later in 1688 when his father was deposed. It may, for example, have been made to celebrate the birth of James Edward Stuart in 1688.

Now all I have to do is wait, put the belt in a glass frame and find somewhere to display it.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 12th July 2020, 12:09 PM   #10
DavidIEvans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathey
Hi Fernado,

My pictures make the clip newer than it does in the flesh. I have had a friend who works with metal examine the clip and he is certain it is of the period. Attached is a picture of the clip from BLACKMORE, David Arms & Armour of the English Civil Wars Pp 52, the only reference I have found so far.

Cheers Cathey

This is one of the various pieces from the former Littlecote collection and now generally considered to be post Civil War, 1660-1690 ish
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Old 13th July 2020, 12:29 PM   #11
Richard G
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The problem here then is that through most of this period there was no Prince of Wales. Charles II reclaimed the Crown in 1660 but had no legitimate male heir, which is why his brother James II succeeded to the throne.
James II had no male heir until Jame Francis Edward Stuart (the 'Old Pretender') was born in 1685. In 1688 James II was deposed in favour of his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, who had no children.
Charles II was declared Prince of Wales in about 1640 when he was 10, altho' never formally invested. Presumably from 1649 he regarded himself as King, rather than Prince. He was an active participant in the Civil War before fleeing to the continent in 1646.
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Old 25th May 2023, 06:42 PM   #12
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I know it is a bit late to be responding to this thread, but figured it might help someone to see this reply.

I am not really a historian, just someone who loves to dig into details, and have recently been doing a lot of research into cavalry carbine spring clips, including the one in this thread. This included studying the carabiners that Keith Dowen knew about (an impressive set from the mid 1600s held by the Royal Armouries), and many more examples from different eras. It was amazing to see such a beautifully detailed carabiner thought to be from such an early era, so I have tried to find out the origins of each of the features that can be seen in it, which can be used to work out how old it actually is. These are specifically:
  1. The swivel joint is not there, suggesting that this was a display piece only, not intended to be used in battle. (Date unknown.)
  2. There is a chain connecting the spring clip (carabiner) to the carbine sling (belt, baldric). (1751+)
  3. The spring clip has a captive eye connected to the chain. (1643+)
  4. The chain is connected to the carbine sling using a single connection plate with three screw holes. (Date unknown. Not 1641-1675.)
  5. The flat spring is not made from the gate itself, it is a separate piece of metal. (1640+. Not seen in ceremonial pieces from 1641-1675.)
  6. The gate has a very important dovetail latch. (Early 1790s+)
  7. The carbine sling and its ornamentation. (1850s+?)

During the 1600s, carbine sling carabiners had the swivel joint on them directly (point 1). This approach was used in all other countries until at least the 1700s, and most of them never used anything else until the 1800s. No countries used a chain, as far as I have been able to establish, during the 1600s (point 2). I have found a single British design from 1641-1675 that used a captive eye connected to a swivel joint (point 3), but even the ceremonial pieces it was used for had a distinctly different method of connecting to the strap (point 4) ("Military Illustrated" issue 95 1996, and "A treatise on Ancient Armour and weapons, illustrated, etc. (Supplement)", 1786). At that time, the strap was not even slightly as elaborate as this one (point 7), in spite of being created for a British knight.

I have found none from any country that used a chain during that century (point 2). In 1751, the British designs used a chain connected to the carabiner via a captive eye (point 3), and the swivel joint at the other end of the chain. In those cases, the gate was made from the spring (point 5).

In 1751, the gate did not have a dovetail latch (point 6). The dovetail latch was almost certainly not in use during the American revolutionary wars (1775-1783), because the Americans never learned about it until they purchased British swivel carabiners during the American Civil War 1861-1865. It is a useful feature, and they would have used it if they knew about it.

The British carabiner swivels developed in the early 1790s had dovetail latches (point 6). Examples which had been used in 1815 were drawn in great detail in "Soldiers' Accoutrements of the British Army 1750-1900", 2006, by Pierre Turner. The carabiner in this thread has that feature, so it is extremely likely to be from some time after 1790. In fact, it exactly matches the design that Pierre Turner depicted, so it is definitely that era's design. I have attached an image showing the dovetail latch.

The British light dragoon uniform used a carbine sling with a central stripe and two side stripes (like the one shown here) around the Napoleonic Wars (point 7). They used a red central stripe and black borders in the 1850s, and it is my presumption that the sling in this thread used to be red in the past, but that the red dye has faded to yellow, as it often does. The developments of these carbine sling colours can be seen here:
https://en.topwar.ru/191036-istorija...a-i-kaski.html
(The rules of this forum do not allow linking directly to the pictures, but I do not own the copyright for the pictures, and cannot upload them.)

These regiments have the right colours:
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales from 1856.
South Devonshire from 1861 (and possibly earlier?).
The Hampshire Regiment from 1895 (and possibly earlier?).
The Highland Regiment from 1895 (and possibly earlier?).
The Royal Welsh (or Welch) Fusiliers from 1897 (and possibly earlier?).

I am less sure about the three feathers badge (in spite of living in Wales), so maybe someone else can confirm my suspicions here. The three feathers logo (point 7) has the two ends of the "Ich Dien" scroll pointing downwards. Some of the crown ornaments (crosses) on the crown are missing, but presumably they used to be there originally. The shape of the jewels cannot be distinguished. This is the format used in the 1600s (not the 1500s, where one end of the scroll pointed upwards), but it also matches the format used much later, including the current three feathers design for the current Prince of Wales. Princess Charlotte Augusta never used the three feathers, as she was not the next in line to the throne - her father was the Prince of Wales, but she died before she could take that place. And I don't think that princesses use the three feathers badge anyway.

The Royal Welch Fusiliers did use the three feathers, and their design of the three feathers badge has the right features.

It is possible that the sling could relate to a celebration of any Prince of Wales, not a specific regiment, but it is most likely that the carbine sling dates from 1850 onwards, and was most likely a ceremonial piece belonging to the Royal Welch Fusiliers, a highly celebrated regiment, notable for the battle of Rorke's Drift:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Rorke%27s_Drift

It would be interesting to know if the fabric got dated to something other than that.
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Last edited by tarquinwj; 26th May 2023 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Adding an image
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