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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The hilts on the Hanwei swords are made of stainless steel.
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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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well this is a tough one for sure..................

for starters i think what is bothering most of us is the general condition of the basket which looks either very poorly cleaned or , quite frankly, almost looks like it has been deliberately abused to give it an appearance of age. whats with all of the filemarks? i just dunno...

and then there is the basket construction itself. there is nothing similar in any of my books including Mazansky. it seems to have a combination of features that could place it both early or late in the 18th c. - there are no rams horns - and the guards fit into a slot in the pommel rather than to a ring under the pommel. those things point to an earlier construction. but the shape of the shields, the rather constant thickness of the flat ribbons of steel, the additional rear guard, the additional rear guard terminating so low on the basket, that all seems very English late 18th century to me.

I am not bothered by the indistinct type xviii piercings nor the shape of the shields. i am bothered by the way the forward guards meet the forward quillon. i am also bothered by the way the rams horns are welded to the side bars

the blade is also hard to tell. i have never seen those markings before. but there are a fair number of rather enigmatic blade markings on late 17th c early 18th century blades.

my conclusion: i don't think it is scottish. as far as authentic vs fake i wouldn't be quick to dismiss it yet. could be one of those odd 18th c English military baskets, but then that doesn't match the blade. i have never seen an English military basket mated with a blade like that one. sorry I can't be more helpful! maybe ElJay will comment.
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Mike W Grant




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

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 1:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many thanks for the comments! Here are a few things that may help after looking at it in more detail and some thoughts:

It was sold to me buy a reputable dealer who has given a written money back guarantee (I wont name him here), so I dont have any worries if its a fake or if its good! But he was quick to drop to a lower price when I negotiated - always a bad sign... LOL

Looking at the inside of the hand guard, it looks very heavily rusted with deep pitting, but it then looks like somone has painted it with black paint, possibly a mis-guided attempt to prevent further rusting. The outside was similar in places BUT I think somone has used a sanding maching to try and sand down the rust and paint. Hence the scratch marks. It appears they could not get down to the deeply pitted parts. After being painted it does look as if it has been covered in some sort of mud or dust, as I had to clean this off (using silver polish), in order to identify the blade markings. so yes it could have been buried but why is the shark skin in such good condition?

If you notice it does appear crudely made however, there are 2 holes out of alignment on one of the guards for example.

Yes the top guards fit into a slot in the pommel, one has come out slightly. The pommel is heavy cast metal and very crudely designed and created.

Question? What do you mean by "xviii piercings" Thom R? I just need to clarify what you mean as I'm a newbie!

I think thats about it! Look forward to some more comments especially the blade markings - does the font give any indication of heritage?

Mike
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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 3:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK, here's my two cents. The blade, with the "INIMINI" inscription is authentic, and probably from the 1600s. There's an old SFI thread on this type of inscription, and as I recall, it's a shortened version of "IN TE DOMINI", which means "In you, Lord" and is the opening words of one of the Psalms.

The pommel seems to be authentic: the pommel shape, with it's little "slots" for the ends of the basket members, is seen on some English baskets from the early 1700s (at least one is shown in Neumann). Sometimes you find this pommel type on Scottish swords of the late 1600s ( A sword with one of these is in my collection).

The basket is mainly authentic, but with some restored parts. The restorations are the saltire plates and associated arms. Note the very deep, roughly cleaned pitting that is on both hilt and blade, and then look at the saltire plates. While there is some light pitting and discoloration, there is NO heavy pitting at all, and the plates have a rather smooth appearance overall.

I suspect that the grip is modern, although heavily aged. With all the pitting on the rest of the sword, those grip wires shouldn't have survived! Alternatively, the grip could be antique, but from another sword

I think that probably the sword is of English military origin, probably early 1700s.

Take all of this with a grain of salt: it's hard to be sure about something like this just from photos!

--ElJay
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Mike W Grant




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

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ElJay and All

Many thanks, this is really interesting!

so just to get this correct and I realise that it is only based on the pictures not 'in hand':

The blade is genuine from 1600's - English or Scottish or ANO?
The pommel is genuine, either English or Scottish?
The basket is mainly geniuine but - English?
The restored parts - are they modern or period restored do you think?

so the only Scottish part is possibly the pommel and this is unlikely given the rest of the parts?

Does all this sound correct do you think?

Cheers Mike
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Mike W Grant




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

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 4:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

E.B. Erickson wrote:

The basket is mainly authentic, but with some restored parts. The restorations are the saltire plates and associated arms. Note the very deep, roughly cleaned pitting that is on both hilt and blade, and then look at the saltire plates. While there is some light pitting and discoloration, there is NO heavy pitting at all, and the plates have a rather smooth appearance overall.


ElJay

I think the basket is not restored (but what do I know ) Wink I think it has just been cleaned up better in places with the dreaded angle grinder, than others. When you look at the inside, it is all heavily and evenly pitted/rusted, although it is difficult to see this in the pictures!

p.s. what are the saltire plates are the parts with the 4 hearts?

Mike
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Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike,
Basically I would agree with ElJay - your sword is genuine (more Scots than English) with some restoration, the plates on the basket and a replaced grip. Nearly all blades on Scots swords of 17th &18th centuries are German imports so Scots/English doesn't apply. As Thom hinted, if you're getting into Scots swords get a copy of Mazansky: 'British Basket-hilted Swords', pub. by Royal Armouries in 2005. So in conclusion: old German blade, perhaps late 17th cent. with very modest quality hilt of mid - late 18th cent, + restorations. You can ignore the 'heart' piercings on the hilt plates - they are very common over a long period and do not indicate any particular regiment.
Cheers
Neil

N Melville
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I found the Psalm:

http://www.newadvent.org/bible/psa030.htm

Although the spelling is slightly different!
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Mike W Grant




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

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 4:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil Melville wrote:
Hi Mike,
Basically I would agree with ElJay - your sword is genuine (more Scots than English) with some restoration, the plates on the basket and a replaced grip. Nearly all blades on Scots swords of 17th &18th centuries are German imports so Scots/English doesn't apply. As Thom hinted, if you're getting into Scots swords get a copy of Mazansky: 'British Basket-hilted Swords', pub. by Royal Armouries in 2005. So in conclusion: old German blade, perhaps late 17th cent. with very modest quality hilt of mid - late 18th cent, + restorations. You can ignore the 'heart' piercings on the hilt plates - they are very common over a long period and do not indicate any particular regiment.
Cheers
Neil


Neil thanks for this - but if the basket is english wouldn't this make pretty much the whole thing english as I'm guessing they used the same German blades, the only thing Scottish being (possibly), the pommell?

p.s. just bought the book!

Mike
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Todd Salazar





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Mike,

The personal feelings that I get from your basket-hilt is that it could be a varient of an English made basket-hilted infantry sword made for a Scottish regiment possibly dating from the 1760s through to the end of the 1790s. It reminds me a lot of a Drury made basket-hilted sword from around that time with a pommel that looks like it came from the mid 17th century. A lot of these English made baskets attempted to somewhat mirror the look of the early 18th century scottish basket hilted swords. Good luck with the research of your sword.

Thanks,
Todd
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Todd Salazar





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another observation that I just made is that somebody probably during the 19th or 20th centuries did some very careless restoration work on it that has greatly affected its value. Its too bad as the sword had probably lost a lot of its original character after this work was done.

Thanks,
Todd
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Mike W Grant




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

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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many thanks - your comments and others on another forum confirm to me that the sword is not 100% original (not messed with) and I'll be returning it!

Back to the drawing board to find an original mid18th centrury or earlier Scottish Broadsword!


Cheers Mike
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Karl Schlesien





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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 11:49 am    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!



People have missread Mr. Osbornes post. He said " but this looks a whole lot like a Hanwei sword ". A whole lot like a Hanwei sword and not exactly a "Hanwei sword". And I still think it is a new basket done into a old antique.
I have some where seen this very basket with the distictive overlap front bars. It was 7 -8 years ago at a history show where the seller had four - five of these same style from all from India.
I am very surprised that people did not observe closely the letters on the blade. How the letters are all struck over new power grinder marks in the centre grove. And the leters are not internaly coorroded like the rest of the baldes sirface is.
Some leters are even struck over the corrosions. In one area the letther was struck wrong and filler was added to the blade and the letter restruck over. You can see were the filler ran into the corrosions. Look at the basket grip, all the groves and joins are clean-clean-clean. Like it was aged then assembled.

Quote:
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.


When these sell for thousands of dollars it is most worth while to make some up. This thing is no more than three days work at my bench, I will work three days for Three thousand dollars? You bet!

Quote:
Many thanks - your comments and others on another forum confirm to me that the sword is not 100% original (not messed with) and I'll be returning it!

Back to the drawing board to find an original mid18th centrury or earlier Scottish Broadsword!


Cheers Mike



Mike I am happy you chose this path, a wise man!






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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Karl Schlesien wrote:

I am very surprised that people did not observe closely the letters on the blade. How the letters are all struck over new power grinder marks in the centre grove. And the leters are not internaly coorroded like the rest of the baldes sirface is.
Some leters are even struck over the corrosions. In one area the letther was struck wrong and filler was added to the blade and the letter restruck over. You can see were the filler ran into the corrosions. Look at the basket grip, all the groves and joins are clean-clean-clean. Like it was aged then assembled.




Karl

Yes I agree, looking at the channel on the blade it does now look like it has been ground down and then stampped. You can see very faint markings where there was corrosion before! Thaks you for the close up picture and explaination!

Cheers Mike
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting analysis on the blade ... and good to hear that a refund is in the works.

I just want to say well done Mr Grant .............. here and especially at SFI we get a lot of "validation of authenticity" types of requests and often when the validation / positive feedback is not in the offering, people can get very defensive about their antique. you listened and asked great questions and thought it through.

many many folks want a pre '45 Scottish made baskethilt. don't get me wrong - they are out there, but good authentic ones are hard to find, and I can count on just the one hand how many early 18th c scots baskets I have seen with dealers in the past 10 years, even the UK ones like MDL or Lanes. generally the best bet is to keep apprised of auctions which is where i have seen some of the better swords.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe it would be good to buy a nice custom replica first to have fun with and then wait for the antique to appear on some auction... Wink
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Karl, for an in depth look at this sword. I see very clearly what you are talking about. When I looked at the copies of Mike's photos which I saved for my file, after I read your piece, and blew them up, the doctored markings on the blade are clear. I am glad Mike is able to get his money back.

I have attached a couple of photos of original swords, two of which are by the Allans of Stirling. Sorry, but I cannot remember which is which. These swords belong to a friend of mine who had them at his clan tent in Georgia last year. The values of these swords are in the five figure range and they are all original. This is something for the younger members to aspire to own. At my advanced age and impecunious state, I can only dream....



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 Attachment: 45.12 KB
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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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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Karl Schlesien wrote:

Quote:
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.


When these sell for thousands of dollars it is most worth while to make some up. This thing is no more than three days work at my bench, I will work three days for Three thousand dollars? You bet!


Oh I didn't mean it wouldn't be worthwile to fashion a fake period hilt like this one, I was saying it would be (in my humble, totally-uncompetent-at-smithing opinion) more complicated to try modifying a Hanwei hilt to get this one, than starting from scratch.
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Maybe it would be good to buy a nice custom replica first to have fun with and then wait for the antique to appear on some auction... Wink


And much cheaper! LOL
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Mike W Grant




Location: UK, Exiled Scot in England
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK is there a twist in the tale - I found this on the net - apparently it belonged to Rear-Admiral L.R. Oliphant. The hilt of the broadsword consists of a steel basket guard. The conical steel pommel has five grooves. The grip is made from leather. The broadsword has a straight, double-edged, steel blade.

The broadsword was given to Rear-Admiral L.R. Oliphant by a relative of John Scott, who was Secretary to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) and was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar, together with correspondence from and about John Scott. Tradition has it that the broadsword belonged to John Scott, this is supported to some small extent by papers, which accompanied the broadsword, and which in 1960 were still in the possession of Commander L.A Oliphant, Rear-Admiral L.R. Oliphant's son. Rear-Admiral L.R. Oliphant was Superintendent of the Greenwich Hospital School until its removal to Holbrook. During his employment at the Greenwich Hospital School he lived in the Queen's House at Greenwich.

Its in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

ok so leaving out the blade, could this be a similar (or copy) of the Admirals Sword? It looks almost an identical version and with similar corrosion on the inside! So could the basket be a Naval sword and possibly explains the corrosion! The blade could have been added at some point with the fake markings!



Thoughts appreciated? - p.s. not jumping at straws here just amazed I came across almost identical one (the basket that is)!

Mike
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