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Scottish Basket Hilted Sword Dating to Circa 1715

A fine, nicely balanced and boldly constructed Scottish basket hilted sword dating to the first quarter of the 18th century and the years surrounding the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. The sword is in firm original condition and mounted with a robust hilt formed from thick structural bars with attractive contours and without damage or repairs. The sword is mounted with a double edged blade and retains its scabbard. 

Fig 1: Scottish Basket Hilted Sword Dating to Circa 1715

The primary and secondary guard plates are finely fluted and pierced with stylised triangles and circles and filed with decorative edges of cusps and merlons. The two primary plates also have the additional feature of a heart-shaped extension both top and bottom and a saltire radiating from a circle in the centre.

Fig 2: Full length Left
Fig 3: Full length Right

The main guard bars to the front of the hilt plus the loop guards are also filed with fluted grooves. Underneath the hilt retains its broad scrolled wrist guard. The basket guard has been intentionally forged to appear slightly asymmetrical when viewed from the front with the basket appearing slightly swollen to the right compared to the left. This a mark of a master sword smith indicating that the hilt was made for a right hand user. The right side is wider to accommodate the fingers of the user whereas less space is required to the left to accommodate the thumb. 

Fig 4: Hilt from the Front
Fig 5: Hilt Oblique Left

The pommel is of domed cone shape with a pronounced button on top. Four sets of incised triple lines radiate from the button which consist of a broad middle groove flanked by two narrower lines in each case.

Fig 6: Hilt Right Side
Fig 7: Hilt Left Side

The spaces in the segments between are filled with crescents of lines formed in the same manner. The guard arm terminals tuck into a pronounced groove which is cut around the pommel just below its middle.

Fig 8: Inside the hilt showing grip and fringe
Fig 9: Grip and fringe at an angle

The original grip is formed from a spirally grooved wooden core and retains its shagreen cover with a portion of its original flat wire binding at the base.The hilt retains its woollen fringe at the top of the grip and a small portion of its original leather liner at the bottom.

Fig 10: Guard arm terminals and pommel from the Left Side
Fig 11: Guard arm terminals and pommel from the Right Side

The double edged tapering blade is 35 inches long (89 cm). It has a pronounced ricasso extending for 2 inches (5 cm) from the hilt with a pronounced fuller running close to each blunt edge on either side. From the end of the ricasso a broad shallow fuller runs down the blade for 6 inches (15 cm) each side after which the blade is of lenticular section to the tip.

Fig 12: Blade markings
Fig 13: Underneath the hilt

The blade smith’s mark “ANDREA FERARA” is incised into the fuller, the two words separated by crescent and cross marks. Crosses are also present at either end of the fuller. Two inches beyond the fuller terminal an incised Running Wolf mark is present each side probably indicating that the blade was made in Solingen. The overall length of the sword is 41 inches (104 cm).

The sword retains its stitched leather scabbard with chape and mouthpiece. Overall the sword is in fine condition for its age, well balanced and of high quality.

Provenance: The collection of the late Mr Eddie Sutherland, Glasgow, Scotland until circa 1989 then the collection of the late Baron of Earlshall until circa 2012.

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