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A fine and important Scottish basket hilted broad sword dating to the middle, or third quarter, of the 17th century. The guard is of the earliest type of fully developed Scottish basket hilt. The sword is a rare survivor and in unusually original condition, mounted with a fine broad blade well marked with armourers stamps. The sword is attractively proportioned and well balanced.
The fully formed basket is comprised of fine and sturdy structural bars between which two frontal panels and secondary guard plates are mounted and pierced with circles and rectangles, engraved with vertical and horizontal line decoration, and cut with fretted edges consisting of squares and merlons. The rear quillon is incised with lines and crosses underneath.
The pommel is dome shaped with four sets of triple lines radiating from the integral tang button on top, the central grooves being wider than those on the flanks in each case. The three upper arms of the guard are tucked into a groove cut around the lower half of the pommel.
The tapering double edged blade is of exceptional quality, of lenticular section, with a rounded tip. Pairs of deeply cut fullers extend down the blade from the hilt either side of the middle line for 8 inches (20 cm). Between the pairs of fullers a series of bold stamps, interspersed with letters, are applied. Beyond the ends of the fullers on both sides trefoils of similar stamps are applied plus an incised running wolf on one side indicating Solingen as the probable place of manufacture.
The original grip is of wood, spirally grooved, complete with its original shagreen cover, multi-coloured woollen fringe on top and leather liner beneath. The sword is in wonderful original condition, with some wear commensurate with its age and a russet patina overall. The grip lacks its wire binding. The blade is 33.75 inches (85.5 cm) long and overall the sword is 39.25 inches ( just under 100 cm) long.
Provenance: From the early 1960s the sword was in the collection of John Wallace (author of one of the first ground breaking works on Scottish weapons, “Scottish Swords & Dirks”, Arms and Armour Press, 1970) and passed into the collection of the late Baron of Earlshall in circa 2007 where it remained until recently.