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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

* That Tower ribbon hilt, with the 'Black Prince' inscribed blade that Eljay spoke of, is pictured in one of my earlier posts, above!

Yup, lots of speculation ..... I surely would have thought the English would have kept better records of these things ?
Ah well, perhaps something will come to light oneday that gives us the positive proof, oneway or the other !
Meanwhile I'll just put on my Scottish blinders and say the English nicked the idea from them Alba Barbarians ;-)

One wonders too about the German influence on all these quillioned basket-hilts .....

Mac

Photo: Mid-16th century basket-hilted backsword of German manufacture.
-Scottish Swords from the Battlefield at Culloden, E. Andrew Mowbray, 1971.



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Thomas Hoogendam




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 20 Jun 2004
Reading list: 8 books

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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

E.B. Erickson wrote:
Here's a couple more for the thread.

The left hand hilt has had its quillons removed, but you can see that it's a ribbonhilt version of the SW11 pattern. Interesting that this one has some engraving as well.

The one on the right is another example of the "short quillon" ribbon; also Sw11 pattern.

As to nationality, I think that the earlier, long quillon versions are English. When the Scots adopted the ribbon construction is a good question. Certainly by the middle of the 1600s (?) there's portrait evidence of the Scottish ribbonhilt, but these don't show the earlier short quillon types. The Tower has one of these with a curved blade engraved "Edwardus Prinz Anglie" which I suppose you wouldn't expect to see on a Scottish weapon. Ribbonhilts, Sw11s, and thin bar English hilts all show up on English colonial sites in America from the first part of the 1600s, which raises the possibility that these are all English in origin, and not Scottish. But this is only a hypothesis, and it doesn't automatically exclude the possibility that the short quillon ribbons are Scottish in origin.

I guess that last paragraph muddled things nicely!

--ElJay


You learn something new everyday.
I didn't know that, about the ribbonhilts appearing in the colonies at that time. Knowing this, I stand corrected. But like I said, you learn something new everyday, and I'm glad I did learn about this.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:
One wonders too about the German influence on all these quillioned basket-hilts .....


The subject of evolution, influence, and the migration of design and concept of these things has always fascinated me. I wrote about some of the Germanic influence in my Schiavona. This is only slightly relevant to this subject, of course, as I believe that the British basket-hilts mostly evolved separately from the continent.

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Brian McConaghy




Location: Canada
Joined: 28 Apr 2013

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 28 Dec, 2018 9:54 pm    Post subject: Found a basket hilt with Quillons on Craigslist!         Reply with quote

I'm new to the forum and am an experienced collector of British Ordnance Flintlock weapons. My experience of swords is, however, very limited and I am seeking to learn from the obvious experience represented in this thread.
A few weeks ago I stumbled on an add on Craigslist - a person was selling three swords. Two of them were tourist trinkets (not actually swords), one appeared to be a British Victorian sword with the grip broken off but the third was a basket hilt. The Craigslist photo was terrible with the swords being almost silhouettes, but the outline of the basket hilt made me suspicious that it wasnít junk. So, I met the person in a dark and gloomy house but even in the darkness I could see enough to know it was a real sword. I purchased it and took it out to the car in a garbage bag where I could have a real look in the daylight Ė I was not disappointed. It is a nice sword but Iím still not quite sure what I have. I was initially thinking a 17th century blade with a late 18th century hilt. The hilt, at first, looked like a later style but the presence of small curved quillons and short langets tends to point to something earlier. Am I right here? The more I looked at it (the overall condition and pommel riveting) it looked original and un-messed with. A gentle clean of the blade revealed markings which look old. So, do I have a 17th century Scottish sword? Internet searches reveal very little to guide me and the only text reference I can find to anything similar in form are on page 61 and 62 of Mazanskyís British Basket-Hilted Swords. But all of this represents my guesswork. I'm hoping some of you can guide me since the sword learning curve is extremely steep and Im having trouble putting this sword in some sort of age and ethnic context.

Any ideas/advice would be appreciated?

Anyway, Iím thrilled to have found this sword in a pile of unrecognized junk on Craigslist!

Thanks for your time.



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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Dec, 2018 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You found that on Craigslist!!?? If I wasn't in Thailand I'd pay more attention to CL ads! Nice sword!

At any rate, my initial thought is English, very late 1500s/early 1600s (assuming that someone hasn't done an absolutely great job of forgery on the basket). There are a number of English characteristics on the hilt that are similar to other hilts of the period, like the quillons, which are actually fairly long, but bent back upon themselves.

The main item that would make me think Scottish is the pommel; it has rectangular slots to receive the ends of the hilt, which, as far as I know, may be an indicator of Scots manufacture. The little "langets" at the blade shoulder is also something that hints at Scotland.

Interestingly, look at the crude, undecorated, though nicely shaped, pommel and the rather nice workmanship on the basket. And yet everything appears to have a similar amount of pitting, and the pommel shape is certainly consistent with the early 1600s.

So I guess my vote is English, as per paragraph 2 above. That is not a dogmatic statement, though: feel free to sway me to Scotland with evidence!

By the way, how long is the blade?

--ElJay
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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Dec, 2018 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking at the photos again, is that pommel facetted?

Thanks! --ElJay
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Brian McConaghy




Location: Canada
Joined: 28 Apr 2013

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat 29 Dec, 2018 10:22 am    Post subject: the pommel         Reply with quote

Yes the pommel is faintly facetted and the construction is all good. Having worked in the museum environment for so many years and seen lots of made up pieces I can safely say it is all uniform re rust and pitting. There is no indication of any alteration. I'm on a ferry now and don't have the blade measurement - I'll get that to you in a few days. I think it is about 34" if memory serves.
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 30 Dec, 2018 4:12 pm    Post subject: Ribbon Hilt with quillons         Reply with quote

Kirk..... Several years ago, ELJay made me a copy of the second illustration you shared when starting this thread. I am trying to pare down my collection to a specific period and that sword is a little early for me. I mated the hilt with a modified Hanwai broadsword blade which fits nicely and gives good balance. I can provide some photos if your interested and we can discuss price. When I sell one of my swords, I try to recover what I actually paid so there isn't really any profit motive...just don't want o take a loss. The hilt and blade are in pristine shape, never cut with or otherwise abused, just displayed. PM if interested.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Brian McConaghy




Location: Canada
Joined: 28 Apr 2013

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2018 11:47 pm    Post subject: help with a Basket Hilt         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice.

Here are the measurements...

Overall 41 inches.
Blade 35.25 inches

All looks like originally assembled this way. I'm really pleased it is looking to be 17th or maybe even 16th century. Lots more research to do.

Now, English or Scottish?



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