Vince Evans Browned Backsword
Original: Scottish, circa 1750
A great deal of variety of design and adornment can be found amongst British basket-hilted swords. While it is thought that the complex classic fully-fledged styles developed from simpler 16th century precursors, the goal of creating a network of bars to enclose the hand remained consistent.
An exemplary hilt form representative of those from the middle of the 18th century is featured here. While it is not based on any single extant original, it is perhaps most inspired by the early work of John Allan Jr. (1741-?) of Stirling. The entire hilt has been browned, serving to protect it from the elements as well as to provide a beautiful finish. The color is deep and consists of hues ranging from reddish-purple to golden-bronze.
The pommel is a fluted biconical shape. The bars forming the basket are of rectangular section and are plain. The shields are pierced with fully-formed hearts and circles and are framed by simple incised lines. The side-plates and that of the knuckle-guard are pierced similarly. Pronounced forward-guards, additional rear-guards, and a wrist-guard complete the hilt.
The grip is covered by gray dogfish skin, is spirally bound at regular intervals with twisted brass wire, and is terminated top and bottom with a brass ferrule.
Two deep fullers extend nearly the entire length of the straight one-edged blade. The blade starts thick at the hilt and tapers to a much thinner tip-section with the last few inches of the back-edge sharpened. A small Passau running wolf
mark sits within one of the fullers as inspired by many German (Solingen) antique blades that were fitted to Scottish basket-hilts.
The well-fitting scabbard has a hardwood core and is covered in black textured leather. The mouth, belt-hook, and tip are made of antiqued brass.
Overall length: 37.5"
Weight: 2.6 pounds
Width of guard: 5"
Blade: 31.625" long; 1.375" wide tapering to .875"
Grip and pommel: 5.75" long
Point of Balance (PoB): 2.5" from cross
Center of Percussion (CoP): ~22" from cross
Maker: Vince Evans
This item has been retired from the collection.