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A British Infantry Grenadiers’ Hanger or “Scimitar” of the Royal Regiment of Foot dating to the middle period of the 18th century. Grenadiers were picked men in infantry regiments, selected for a more than usually dangerous job, and issued with a distinctive side arm in recognition. They were choice targets for opposing forces particularly in the early stages of an engagement. Of curved form the blade is very suitable for close quarters defensive combat in expectation of a position being stormed by opponents.
The half basket hilt is of asymmetrical form designed to ensure most protection is provided for the upper part of the right hand. The frontal part of the hilt is formed around two diamond shaped apertures supported by loops. The bars of the basket converge into two arms which are forged onto a ring into which the bun shaped pommel sits.
The pommel has an integral button and is similar to many others produced for mid 18th century British swords with various hilt designs. The spirally fluted wooden grip is covered with shagreen and mounted with steel bands top and bottom and bound with steel wire. The robust, curved, single-edged blade has a single fuller running beneath the spine from the hilt for most of its length. The maker, Samuel Harvey of Birmingham, has applied his mark S . HARVEY to both sides.
An almost identical example housed in the Royal Armouries (Ref: IX.2138) is illustrated in “British Basket-Hilted Swords”, Cyril Mazansky, Boydell Press, 2005, page 230, example VIII6. The overall length is 36.5 inches (93 cm) and the blade is 30.25 inches (77 cm). See also “A British Grenadier’s Scimitar of the 18th Century” by Anthony D Darling, Arms Collecting, Vol 28, No 1, 1990.