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Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional



Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Wed 14 Feb, 2007 3:46 am    Post subject: Thumb rings on cutlasses         Reply with quote

I was just flipping through Swords and Blades of the American Revolution and a picture of a cutlass with a thumb ring caught my eye. How common were thumb rings on such swords? I know there's a picture of Nathan holding one in the albums, maybe he can chime in. Do they significantly improve control? Also, I've heard it said that thumb rings in general were mostly a continental feature. Is that correct?
Any help is appreciated,
Thanks,
Dan
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D Critchley




Location: UK
Joined: 24 Jan 2007

Posts: 85

PostPosted: Wed 14 Feb, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: Thumb rings on cutlasses         Reply with quote

Dan Dickinson wrote:
I was just flipping through Swords and Blades of the American Revolution and a picture of a cutlass with a thumb ring caught my eye. How common were thumb rings on such swords? I know there's a picture of Nathan holding one in the albums, maybe he can chime in. Do they significantly improve control? Also, I've heard it said that thumb rings in general were mostly a continental feature. Is that correct?
Any help is appreciated,
Thanks,
Dan


They don't seem to appear on English swords of the 1600s or thereafter.

David C

"The purpose of the cavalry on the battlefield is to give tone to an event that otherwise might be considered a common brawl"
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 14 Feb, 2007 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thumb rings are almost exclusively found on Continental swords. If you have another look through Neumann, you'll notice that a number of the infantry hangers from the continent also have thumb rings. The thumb ring appears to have seen minimal use in Britain on the so-called Mortuary hilted swords on the mid 17th century, but not the hanger- or cutlass-type swords (to my knowledge) . Here are two examples of English Mortuary-hilted swords with thumb rings, both from Cyril Mazansky's British Basket-Hilted Swords:

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