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An attractive Scottish basket hilted sword dating to circa 1730. The sword is in good condition and retains its scabbard.
The basket guard is forged from thick, flat, structural iron bars resulting in a finely contoured hilt. The two main frontal guard panels are decorated in traditional style, with vertical and horizontal lines incised into the exterior surfaces towards the panel edges. Each panel is pierced with a circle in the centre, surrounded by a pattern of four pierced hearts. A further circle is pierced in each corner of the guard plates. The smaller, secondary guard plates to the sides, together with the similarly sized centre front guard plate, are finished with decorative lines, with two circles pierced in the middle, and a heart shape above and below.
The dome-shaped pommel has a flat circular button on top and is decorated with four pairs of incised lines, equally spaced apart, which radiate from the button. The upper guard arm terminals of the basket fit into a pronounced chiselled groove which extends for the full circumference of the pommel just below its middle.
The spirally grooved wooden grip retains some of its original shagreen cover together with its copper wire binding. A leather washer is present at the top of the grip and most of the leather liner is present below.
The single-edged tapering blade is 33.5 inches long (85 cm) and has a ricasso extending for just over an inch (3 cm) from the hilt. A pronounced fuller extends from the hilt and terminates 10 inches (25 cm) from the tip after which the blade is double-edged to the point. The fuller has the remains of floral engraving near the hilt on both sides. A second fuller begins 7.5 inches from the hilt, runs underneath the first, and terminates further along at 5 inches (12.5 cm) from the tip
The scabbard is made in the early manner, formed from two tapering slats of wood hollowed into concave section on the inside to house the blade. These are bound together with leather stitched down the middle on one side. On the reverse side two decorative iron suspension mounts are fixed into the scabbard which also has a blackened brass mouthpiece and chape.
For a similar style hilt see “British Basket-Hilted Swords”, Cyril Mazansky, The Boydell Press, 2005, page 115 fig F15h for a sword in the Marischal Museum at the University of Aberdeen, and, page 106 fig F12 for a sword in a private American collection. The overall length of the sword is 39 inches. The condition overall is good, the hilt with some minor pitting and age-related staining.