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A Mid-18th Century British Dragoon Basket Hilted Sword

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Price: £2,500

Ref: AA.09.23

Item Description

A horseman’s basket hilted back sword made for an Officer, or Trooper, of a North British / Scottish Regiment of Dragoons towards the middle and third quarter of the 18th century. These swords were issued by the Board of Ordnance to British regiments and were manufactured usually in Birmingham in the Scottish style. They were first issued in the second quarter of the 18th century and were used during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Britain’s wars in Europe and the American Revolutionary War.

The fully formed basket is pierced with hearts and circles in the main front and side panel guards which are also fretted at the edges with chevrons and merlons. One of the more usual frontal guard plates has been fashioned in this design with an oval ring in the “horseman” fashion.

The arms of the guard are forged onto a circle of iron into which the base of the bun shaped pommel sits. The pronounced pommel button is integral and not of separate manufacture. The spirally fluted grip is of hardwood, covered with shagreen and bound with brass woven wire. The hilt retains a leather liner and red fringe underneath the pommel.

The 34 inch (86.5 cm) long robust single-edged blade has a thick spine and is double edged for the last 17 inches (43 cm) towards the point. It has two fullers which commence 4.5 inches (10.5 cm) from the hilt. One wide broad fuller runs down the middle of the blade to the point and a second narrower fuller runs just underneath the spine to where the blade becomes double edged.

For a further example of this sword type see Cyril Mazansky, British Basket-Hilted Swords, Boydell Press / Royal Armouries, 2005, plate F1e page 97 for a sword in the National Museums of Scotland, collection reference LA33.

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