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Old 30th April 2022, 06:41 PM   #1
Panoleon
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Default Scottish basket hilt sword

I could use some help with the determination of this sword. I suspect it is a Victorian piece. But some parts (like the guard) has a much older feel to it. The blade is quite large. 91 cm in lenght and 4,5 cm wide. The blade has a number, like the one they use in musea and collections. I have got zero experience with Scottish swords, so I am looking forward to your reactions and opinions.
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Old 30th April 2022, 07:02 PM   #2
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Some more pictures.
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Old 1st May 2022, 08:32 AM   #3
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Not an expert either but that blade appears to be an enlarged copy of the British Regimental Broadsword 1828/1865 pattern blade, between that and the hex nut holding the pommel I think your Victorian era display piece idea has a lot of merit.

Robert
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Old 1st May 2022, 09:12 AM   #4
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Thanks for your reaction Robert. The blade indeed looks like the blade from a British Regimental Broadsword.

I have done some more rechearch on the guard. It looks a lot like the style used for 18th century dragoon swords. See the picture below.
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Old 1st May 2022, 03:08 PM   #5
Peter Andeweg
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I noticed this sword at auction. The thing that kept me off was the modern bolt attached to the pommel which seems to be a clue of more recent manufacture (a copy) and so did the velvet inside the basked compared to the rest of the steel.
It woke my suspicion, yet the patina made me doubt since it looks old and worn.

All the best!
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Old 1st May 2022, 03:31 PM   #6
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The velvet and the tassel are indeed a new alterations. I suspect that the sword was reassembled to fit these decorations and that the new bolt was fixed to the pommel. I also suspect that the wooden grip was renewed during the same action. But these are just speculations. I hope someone has more information about the age of the blade and guard.
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Old 4th May 2022, 04:03 PM   #7
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The pommel nut could have been added at a much later date due to disassembly for cleaning etc. The pommel, guard and blade appear to be professionally made and in my opinion has good age to them.
The lines on the pommel suggest early 1800's possibly before.
If the sword turns out to be authentic I would have the grip professionally replaced with a period looking grip.
It looks like a very sturdy sword made to fight.
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Old 4th May 2022, 08:06 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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I agree with Will, this is a composite and generated from what appear to be genuine old components, but the grip as noted is obviously new, along with the liner, guard which seldom survive.
The blade is by the numbers correct but not of the period, but well made and either Victorian at best, reasonably modern quite likely. These old 'Scottish' swords (actually British dragoon, which wouldnt have had the red liner but probably buff leather) are much in demand, so the 'renewal' of this is well understood.

The good thing is that these components are likely authentic and placed in a suitable context for display.

As seen on, p.23, "Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting", Vol.7#3, Jan. 1974, p. 88,89, fig. 10, this type hilt is used on these squared lattice dragoon hilts c. 1740+ and these were most commonly assembled in London or Birmingham (Harvey, Dawes, Jeffries, Drury).
The blades were usually backsword (single edge) and from 34-39". While often German blades, there is evidence many of these were made either in Shotley Bridge in the north, or by Harvey himself.

The pommel on this (Mazansky, "British Basket Hilted Swords", 2005, type 11E, is a match and described as a very tall bun. It is seen on a very Scottish looking dragoon hilt c. 1750. It should be noted that hilts put together in these regions by cutlers and outfitters pretty much mixed and matched pommels, though there was obviously a push for consistency. As swords were refurbished in working life, it was not uncommon to have variations like this, or as shops ran out of one form or another supplied by vendors.

In my opinion, as a historian, I prefer swords left in as found state, aside from checking any active corrosion etc. This (illustration 3) is a 'ribbon hilt' that has been static for over 40 years, the grip missing and pretty much a relic hilt but intact. The blade of course is German , Andrea Ferara lettering, note the characteristic broadsword triple fullers center, fluted fullers at forte .
It is mid 17th century, possibly earlier according to some sources (the blade corresponds to Hounslow swords 1640s).

The blade on the similar type guard you posted is more in line with the dragoon swords of 1770's into 90s with a backsword blade (in section) known as 'montmorency form' . The broadsword blade (double edge) was pretty much phased out in early 18th century for dragoon swords, which remained straight blade until end of 1780s, with the advent of light dragoons and later hussars.
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Last edited by Jim McDougall; 4th May 2022 at 08:27 PM.
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