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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
Joined: 06 Feb 2011

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 7:49 am    Post subject: Scottish Broadsword c. 1740         Reply with quote

Hi all! my first posting to the forum, I hope you can help!

I bought this as a bit of an impulse buy and want to check it out as i'm just getting into Scottish Sword Collecting. It was described to me as a scottish broadsword circa 1740. It has sharskin handle (apparently) and there are marks on each side of the blade that say 'I M I H I N I'.

I've done a bit of googling and i think it may be of probably of English manufacture. Its distinctive heart-shaped cut-outs identify it as being like those used by the Royal Horseguards from 1750 to 1775.

Also it looks like has been roughly cut on the basket, not sure if this was somones attempt to clean it but regardless its not a finely made sword, so guess it was just a foot soldiers basic version?

so what do the experts thing?

Cheers Mike

















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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike and welcome to the Forum.

Thanks very much for the excellent photos of your sword. Often a member will ask for assistance without supplying an adequate likeness which makes it very difficult to determine anything.

Unfortunately I am stumped. There are basketheads out there who are a lot more knowledgeable than I who will hopefully respond with some information. It does look like a horseman's style sword and I would guess that it is early to mid-18th c. Someone certainly treated it roughly prior to your acquiring it, which is too bad. Minimal cleaning is the best way to handle any antique weapon.

The ball pommel with which your sword is equipped is found on early swords as well as some made much later so I am afraid that doesn't help much in dating. Nor do the markings on the blade. Andria Farara, in various spellings, is found on swords of Scottish and English provenance with both early and late origins. The markings on yours are totally unknown to me.

Again, someone else will reply but it is Super Bowl Sunday in the US and a lot of us here, at least, are or will be glued to our TVs very soon.

Thanks for showing us your sword. You will surely hear from someone about it soon.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
Joined: 06 Feb 2011

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin

Thanks forthe honest reply! Yes I agree I like to see lots of pictures it really helps! I would say its pretty crudely made so doubt it was a regimental sword BUT I really dont know, still waiting for my first book to arrive!!

Look forward to some honest discussions about the sword as I have 'full refund' if it turns out to be something other than 1740's Scottish as its to go with my Grant targe!

Mike
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Ed McV




Location: Ontario,Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2006

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is the Grant targe you mentioned the Laird's of Grant targe? I am about to make a replica.
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
Joined: 06 Feb 2011

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed McV wrote:
Is the Grant targe you mentioned the Laird's of Grant targe? I am about to make a replica.


Its this one;



I guess you make replicas then?
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Ed McV




Location: Ontario,Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2006

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although its a nice targe its not the one. The one I am thinking of is in "Scottish Arms and Armour" by Fergus Cannan p. 74.
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R. Connors




Location: Canada
Joined: 24 Sep 2009

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks as if it has been recently ground. That bright steel looks strange. Looks aged for certain, but interfered with.
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
Joined: 06 Feb 2011

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. Connors wrote:
Looks as if it has been recently ground. That bright steel looks strange. Looks aged for certain, but interfered with.


Yes I think somone has tried to grind off the deep rust on it, at least partially, or at least thats what I'm hoping!
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
Joined: 06 Feb 2011

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 06 Feb, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed McV wrote:
Although its a nice targe its not the one. The one I am thinking of is in "Scottish Arms and Armour" by Fergus Cannan p. 74.


Any chance of a picture?
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
Joined: 06 Feb 2011

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm, no takers!? I guess this must be a pretty rare or unique sword? Eek!

Cheers Mike
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

Well, the things that I don't know about basket hilts would fill volumes so I'm clearly not the guy to ask but there ARE people here whose knowledge is truly encyclopedic about basket hilts, targs, lochabar axes and implements of mayhem and destruction that I'm probably happier not knowing about! Just kidding!

My totally unasked for advice is don't give up. Someone here knows something about your sword or knows someone who does or knows someone who wrote a book about baskethilts, etc.etc.

In the meantime, welcome, hang around, learn, have fun!
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 474

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really hate to make this guess, but this looks a whole lot like a Hanwei sword that has been soaked in saltwater and burried in someones back yard for a month or two. There may have been some work done on it, but I have to say it just doesn't look authentic to me. Sorry. Just my two cents!
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Karl Schlesien





Joined: 15 Sep 2010

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
I really hate to make this guess, but this looks a whole lot like a Hanwei sword that has been soaked in saltwater and burried in someones back yard for a month or two. There may have been some work done on it, but I have to say it just doesn't look authentic to me. Sorry. Just my two cents!


I to must agree with this assesment. It appears contrived. The metals colour does not make me comfortable and the hardness of metals edges look wrong to me (like he is stamped from flat steel). I am sorry the hole sword looks bad to me from here. The surfaces textures are strange. We have made such things with putting steel in the dung pile for many weeks. Ammonia from the fecal eats steel this way in. You could not cause me to make a purchase of this sword.
Double strike on the" I" is strange on the blade. Good luck sir.
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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
Joined: 02 Jun 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I really hate to make this guess, but this looks a whole lot like a Hanwei sword that has been soaked in saltwater and burried in someones back yard for a month or two. There may have been some work done on it, but I have to say it just doesn't look authentic to me. Sorry. Just my two cents!


I know next to nothing about baskethilts, but this particular theory doesn't seem possible to me. The hilt on the Hanwei baskethilt, while similar, has clear differences with that of Mike's. Let's play "spot the seven differences" :





See especially the outer portion (the topmost bit of the basket on all three images) and how it extends far further down on Hanwei's model than on Mike's.

Or the pommel construction and how the basket is joined to the pommel... Very dissimilar too.

Doesn't mean it's an authentic sword, I'm far from knowledgeable enough to make that call, but I don't see how it could be a Hanwei.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On Mike's sword the pommel looks like it is peened over the pommel button and the way basket is attached to the pommel looks pretty much historical. Modern cheap replicas like Hanwei usually don't have that kind of features. It is either a good forgery or an original. I really don't think it is regular lower or mid range replica aged to look old.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is not a Hanwei sword. I have both and this one doesn't resemble either. It could be a modern made sword which has been "antiqued" - make that abused - but I am not so sure. The jury is still out Mike but you are beginning to get some interest so there may be a succint answer coming. Hang in there.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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Posts: 474

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How could the metal be so shot and the shagreen look so good? Relatively. The only two differences between the Hanwei and this sword are the wider guards on the basket and the pommel but neither one would be that hard to alter.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The blade also can't be Hanwei because of a different fuller. And there are more details on the basket which don't match.
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The more I look at the basket the more i see differences, and not differences that could be changed by file work.

In top picture the two small holes between the "hearts" on the side plate. The centers form a line that is oblique to the top of the basket while the centers of the corresponding holes on the Hanwei form a line that is parallel to the top. So unless they filled in and re-drilled the holes. Plus there are a few other places where the original has more metal than the Hanwei (and vice versa)

Not sure what that means but they do like quite similiar (copies of the same sword perhaps or it just a common pattern) My knowlege of baskets is a little lacking
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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
Joined: 02 Jun 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The blade also can't be Hanwei because of a different fuller. And there are more details on the basket which don't match.

I'll second that... For instance, the finger-ring (well dunno if it's what it's called, but the ring protruding forward from the basket-hilt) is constructed very differently and is made from a very different stock (flat and pierced on the Hanwei, thicker and not pierced on Mike's sword). Frankly I don't see how all these differences - notably finger-ring and pommel construction - could stem from modding a Hanwei hilt, there's just too much work involved, including quite a number of welds that I just can't see on Mike's sword.

Again this does not mean that it is an authentic original but it looks to me like making Mike's hilt out of a Hanwei would be a very time- and energy-consuming process requiring a great deal of skill, if possible at all. Not a very likely choice for someone looking to make a fake or even for a potential modder without any evil intentions.
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