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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 21 Jul, 2006 6:28 pm    Post subject: English and Scottish Basket hilts of Mazansky type G16         Reply with quote

My questions are: When, where, and from whom did this style originate? Could it be considered a relative of the so-called "pinch of snuff" basket hilts? They all appear to be horsemans' swords as they feature oval reins rings--do any infantry variations exist? Are they all backswords (all of the swords I have found ARE backswords)? In an older thread on SFI, Eljay stated that hilts of this type tend to date to the 1750s or so. Any input on the design of the basket, answers to my questions, or additional images of this type of hilt would be appreciated. If this design was at all common, it is certainly underrepresented in the literature.

Please visit my Picturetrail album ( http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=99...id=5940225 ) for examples of this type of hilt and some of its possible relations. (I had trouble getting the images to post directly to this thread. I apologize for the extra step necessary to view the images. Also, thank you to Mac and ElJay for supplying some of the pics.)
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E.B. Erickson
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jul, 2006 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi JG,
Here's more info that i don't think I mentioned on that old thread: the POS was apparently invented in the late 1600s. Thomas MacDonald sent me an article by Oakeshott several years ago entitled "An Appreciation of an English Cavalry Sword" (or something like that; the article is in Thailand, and I'm in Calif. right now). The subject of the article was a POS that Oakeshott dated to the late 1600s. It doesn't have quite the form/feel of most of these hilts, and I think that the vast majority of extant POS hilts and their close relatives are fom the 1700s. Hilts that have a bit of an odd appearance may (and that's a very tentative may) be examples of earlier baskets.

--ElJay
--
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The article to which Eljay referred , Mac

The Nineteenth Park Lane Arms Fair, 2002, copyright D.A. Oliver



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'Gott Bewahr Die Oprechte Schotten'
XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan,

Here's a pic of a Horseman's basket c1750, that belongs to a friend. The oval ring on this is a bit hard
to make out, but it's the best pic I have of it. This is the one I told you about that's hanging in my workshop now. Some igit painted the basket with silver paint, so I'm trying to gently remove it and restore/preserve it the best I can.

Cheers,

Bill



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Gary's  basket hilt & Tulwar.jpg


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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ElJay and Mac, that is a very interesting article--thank you for sharing. I look forward to re-examining my basket hilt with an "unconditioned" eye (although the approximate date of ca.1750 probably won't change). I bought it from a well-known dealer in London, and it was (if I remember correctly) described as being ca.1780-1790. That date sis certainly possible, but all of the examples I have come across have been dates to ca.1750. I have always had the suspicion that the blade is older, mostly because of the faint king's head mark (and there is also just something about the blade).

Bill, I hope you can share some pics of the horseman's basket hilt post restoration/preservation. It looks like it should clean up nicely! (And perhaps it would be a good advertisement for your services?)
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is that Anthony Darling example, which he wrote about in The Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting, Vol. 7, No. 3, entitled: "The British Basket Hilted Cavalry Sword", by A.D. Darling, August 1969.

Just figured you'd want it for your album, Jonathan !

Mac



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'Gott Bewahr Die Oprechte Schotten'
XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantastic! Thanks, Mac! I wilI add this to my album. Is Anthony Darling still living? I thought I heard him referred to as "the late Anthony D. Darling" at one time. What ever became of his collection, I wonder?
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.G. Hopkins wrote:
Fantastic! Thanks, Mac! I wilI add this to my album. Is Anthony Darling still living? I thought I heard him referred to as "the late Anthony D. Darling" at one time. What ever became of his collection, I wonder?


Hi Jonathan

Yes, Mr. Darling passed away. .... I am not sure what has happened to his collection ?

Here is a pdf of that excellent article he wrote on Cavalry swords.
http://www.pec.on.ca/armscollecting/files/darling_optimized.pdf

Mac

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XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 22 Jul, 2006 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mac, I am grateful for your kind assistance. Until I get Mazansky's book in my hot little hands, I have some terrific supplemental reading! Now I think I will google "Anthony D. Darling Collection" and see what I get. I hope it is not sitting in a museum basement somewhere.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 01 Jan, 2007 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While visiting my parents for the holidays, I spent some time with the swords that still reside at my childhood home. I took some time to photograph a few of my better swords. One of these is the basket hilt that inspired this thread. I thought I would share some photos along with some detailed statistics. (Be sure to click on the links to view all of the photos I have attached.)

Blade:
34 long
1 3/8 wide at the shoulder
7 false edge
Fullers:
1/8 wide (each)
Two fullers run the entire length of the blade
One fuller measures approximately 17
Tang:
13/16 wide at the shoulder, peened at the pommel
Hilt:
6 long
Basket:
4 long
4 wide
3 deep (not including quillon)
Bars are between 3/16 and wide and are approximately 1/8 thick
Reins Ring:
2 long
1 9/16 wide
Quillon:
1
Pommel:
1 long
1 9/16 wide at base
1 wide at center
5/8 wide at terminus
Grip:
4 3/16 long
Weight:
2 lbs. 7 oz.
CoP:
Approximately 23 from hilt
PoB:
Approximately 4 from hilt



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Close-up of basket including oval reins ring.

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Close-up of inside of basket and grip.

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Close-up of basket--view from the blade.

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Close-up of blade point.

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Overall view. [ Download ]

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Overall view. [ Download ]

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Close-up of basket. [ Download ]

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Close-up of basket. [ Download ]


Last edited by Jonathan Hopkins on Mon 01 Jan, 2007 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 01 Jan, 2007 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a few more photos including a close up of the ANDREA FARARA marking, a king's head mark, and damage to the basket that appears to have been caused by a blade trying to penetrate an opening. Basket-cases, enjoy!

Jonathan



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Close-up of fullers and ANDREA FARARA marking.

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Close-up of king's head mark.

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Close-up of possible battle damage to the basket
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 4:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jonahan

Thanks for sharing the details on this nice piece of yours (excellent photos, too).
Is the overall length, including pommel, 40-3/4" inches ?

Interesting how the wrist guard terminates ... does it appear a piece is missing, or is that its design ?
Also the blades tip, with fuller running out, looks to have been shortened/reground ?

Happy New Year, Mac

'Gott Bewahr Die Oprechte Schotten'
XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Mac.
Yes, the overall length is 40 3/4" including the pommel. The blade appears to have been sharpened and resharpened many times, including the tip. I would guess that the blade was either shortened through repeated sharpening or that it was perhaps shortened deliberately. The third fuller ends where the false edge begins.

The quillon is strange. It looks incomplete, but if it is really broken then the break was pretty clean and probably happened during the sword's service life. I brought this sword back to VT with me, so when the back steps are dry I'll go outside and get some better photos that do not feature a reflection of my camera's flash!

Jonathan
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:
Here is a pdf of that excellent article he wrote on Cavalry swords.
http://www.pec.on.ca/armscollecting/files/darling_optimized.pdf


Er...the PDF only includes the odd-numbered pages?
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The weather in VT is great today, so I snapped a few more photos. First up is a mediocre shot of the quillon to help answer Mac's question. The other photos are the obligatory sword in hand shots (which demonstrate the close fit of the basket around the hand), as well as a shot of the inside of the basket.

Jonathan



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Quillon

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Sword in hand

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Sword in hand

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Sword in hand

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Grip and inside of basket
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
The weather in VT is great today, so I snapped a few more photos....

That puts "a new light on the subject" Big Grin Very nice looking sword, Jonathan. What steps do you take to conserve it? Just a light coat of oil, like the rest of us with our repro's? Or something more exotic?

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
That puts "a new light on the subject" Big Grin Very nice looking sword, Jonathan. What steps do you take to conserve it? Just a light coat of oil, like the rest of us with our repro's? Or something more exotic?


Thanks, Steve!

Luckily this sword has never required any extensive work. It was my first big purchase as a collector--I was 16 years old at the time. The dealer, of Peter Dale Ltd., recommended simply using a silicone gun and reel cloth, and that is what I have used ever since. A decidedly less exotic method than oil. The drawback is that the sword will attract dust, but I never mind handling it to give it a wipe! I have found several articles on conserving antique swords and I will probably follow some of the reccomendations therein for some of my other swords that are not as well preserved.

Jonathan
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Isn't wiping and cleaning just great? Big Grin Gives one another reason to handle ones weapons and admire them!

You've got a very nice sword, Jonathan. And interesting. I find that the side-panels are particularly interesting.
Those last pictures you've shared are excelent.

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik,
Thanks! The conditions were right for me to take pictures--it was dry outside and I had time to take them. I really like the side panels, too. I bought this sword during a family trip to the UK when I was 16. I had been looking through Lyle's Price Guides and daydreaming about buying a basket hilt. I really wanted a traditional Scottish basket hilt, but this one was the only one in my price range. I am glad I bought it because its relatively unique design inspired more inquiry on my part than would have a more traditional basket. The basket might even be signed, but it is hard to photograph to get second opinions. Maybe I'll try to make a rubbing to see if that helps. It looks like there are initials 'IMH" engraved to the inside of the hilt near the quillon. This is definitely one of my very favorite pieces; thanks for having a look!

Jonathan
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