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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2021 6:06 pm    Post subject: My First Basket Hilt! (From Rob Miller / Castle Keep)         Reply with quote

Hi All,

I just want to show off my latest acquisition, and hopefully show it off more when it comes home.

I'm generally a collector of medieval sword replicas, but being half Scottish on my father's side, always intended to get my hands on a classic Basket Hilt. To make it special, I wanted it made in Scotland (by the way, my ancestors hail from the West Coast). So Rob Miller of Castle Keep, based on the Isle of Skye, was the natural choice. So I contacted him a couple of years ago and away we went.

As for the project, I tend to gravitate toward big swords, and found this big beauty on an antique web site, described thus:

"A Wonderful Antique Early 18th Century Large Scottish Basket Hilt Sword, circa. 1720-1740. Massive 34.75" double-edge blade with (3) separate narrow fullers on each face. Iron hilt of the form, circa. 1700-1740 with domed pommel. Original shagreen (ray skin) grip with twisted brass wire and 'Turk's Heads'. 40" overall length."

And here are some pictures of the original below (which of course I hope is authentic).



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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,861

PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2021 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And, joyous occasion, I just received pictures of the finished product today!


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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 828

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2021 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Now that's a sword! Eek!

Poor targes... Congratulations!
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2021 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is certainly a departure from your usual collecting. Will be interesting to hear how it handles compared to your medieval swords.

It looks cool.
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 465

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2021 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful piece, I love the aesthetics of those Scottish basket hilts from whatever reason I can't quite express.

This one looks like an absolute beast too, wonder what's the weight like.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2021 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rob says its a beast. I'll be happy to provide detailed measurements and impressions when it comes. And yes Jeremy, compare it to some similar sized medieval swords. In the mean time, its awaiting a simple scabbard.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 813

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2021 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great looking addition to the collection J.D.! I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it compared to some of you big one handed medieval swords.
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 777

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2021 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, it looks great JD! I've liked every thing I've seen Rob Miller make, but never have done anything with him. The blade is awesomely big. A lesser maker, I'd be concerned if they could get the handling right, but I think Rob is top shelf and will make it a fine sword. The original you posted looks pretty legit to me, though I'm not an expert.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,861

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2021 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
Wow, it looks great JD! I've liked every thing I've seen Rob Miller make, but never have done anything with him. The blade is awesomely big. A lesser maker, I'd be concerned if they could get the handling right, but I think Rob is top shelf and will make it a fine sword. The original you posted looks pretty legit to me, though I'm not an expert.


Thanks J. Rob is definitely a basket hilt broadsword expert (see his web site) but I don't know if he's ever made one this big.
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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
Joined: 02 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2021 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. D.

Have a couple of basket hilts, but nothing comparable to this. The hilt work is certainly well done and crisp. However, the blade is enough to give me shortness of breath, don't recall seeing anything quite like this before. It may be a beast, but it certainly is a beauty.

Regards,
Dan
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 591

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2021 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantastic looking sword, J.D. Can't wait to hear more about it when it arrives!
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2021 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both are fine looking swords. You are a fortunateman!
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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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2021 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I enjoy seeing pictures of your collections and I'm pleased to share mine with you.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,861

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2021 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And here's the scabbard (looks like its laying on the beach of Skye!). The package should be crossing the Atlantic soon, much like my Scottish ancestors did 190 years ago. (But hopefully the trip will be bit faster and easier).


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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2021 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks fantastic! Congratulations on a fine piece of Scottish history!
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2021 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arrived yesterday! Looking forward to reviewing it when I have time.


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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Burien, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2021 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a monster!



(And the sword is impressive, too.. Big Grin )
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,861

PostPosted: Sat 13 Feb, 2021 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Maccarrone wrote:
What a monster!

(And the sword is impressive, too.. Big Grin )


Heh, heh. Yeah.
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