17th Century Dutch Sword Hilt?
Hello All,

I work for the Office of Archaeological Research at the University of Alabama and am hoping to get some further information about a sword hilt that was excavated in 1958. I believe that it is brass, but the weight of the grip made me suspect bronze. From what little I have been able to research, it seems to be 17th or 18th century and dutch in origin. I would really like to know for sure and maybe somebody knows more about their history than I do. I am not too shabby with trade gun hardware, but I almost never have to deal with sword hardware. The blade was still present when it was excavated but was unrecoverable. Thank you in advance.

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Sword Hilt

What you have is not Dutch. It is English from the early part of the 18th Century and is made of brass. This particular type of sword is called a hanger and was used as an infantry side-arm. I have an original in my collection that is identical to your specimen. These type hangers are very often associated with naval service rather than army use. In many instances, the older weapons in storage were issued to the navy and the newer type (which were often lighter and less expensive) were issued to marching regiments. My guess is what you excavated is something that was a trophy or a trade good. Hilts of this type have been excavated before in Amerindian sites, especially in the Southeast.

Hope this helps!
Oh, BTW, a firm called The Rifle Shoppe makes a reproduction of this very hilt as a rough casting. You can find them on the internet.
Well, hush my mouth. Thank you.

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