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Dan Rosen

Location: Providence
Joined: 21 Jan 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2015 6:58 pm    Post subject: Seeking Information on Scots/English Baskethilt         Reply with quote

Good evening all,

I'm interested in any and all information on the sword on the far right in the attached image. I've contacted the gentleman who runs the blog it's from and he says it is now in a private collection having previously been at the Museum of Border Arms and Armour. There are scant details in the post, and he reckons it weighed just under two pounds. Has anyone else encountered anything more about this particular sword?

Many thanks,


-Dan Rosen

"One day there will be no more frontier, and men like you will go too."
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Lin Robinson

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

Posts: 1,241

PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword is dated 1560 and is one of a type referred to as a Scottish Short Sword with an "Irish Hilt." The use of the term "Irish" to describe Scots and Irish alike was common among the English until very late. Gaelic was referred to as "the Irish tongue," for example. Swords like this were carried on both sides of the border. Ultimately this early style of basket developed into the more familiar style of basket hilts produced by the Allans of Stirling and many others in Scotland.

I cannot find anything in my limited reference material that provides a clue to the maker. The blade is a backsword blade, single-edged and the one photo I have of it shows some engraving in the fullers, which I cannot read. From its appearance, I suspect the blade is a later replacement, although the basket is certainly in good shape. The blade, like nearly all those fitted to Scottish swords in early times, is probably a product of the smiths in Passau or Solingen.

One of these swords appears in Scottish Swords and Dirks by John Wallace. This same sword is pictured in The Border Reviers, an Osprey book by Keith Durham. It may be out of print but should not be too hard to find on Amazon. The Wallace book is, I believe, also out of print but it too may be available through Amazon or another used book seller.

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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