Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Good Scottish Basket Hilted Backsword Circa 1740 Ref: 10.57



Price: £2,550

Item Description:


A good Scottish basket hilted backsword from the second quarter of the 18th century. The fully formed basket is of bold manufacture and pierced with hearts, circles and engraved with angular border line decoration to the main front and side panel guards. The basket is built from well formed bars and the guard panels are cut with fretted edges consisting of squares and merlons. An oval ring, the signature of a sword made for a horseman, is built into the front of the hilt in place of one of the two frontal square guard panels more usually found on Scottish 18th century basket hilts.


The pommel is dome shaped with three sets of triple lines radiating from the tang button on the upper surface, the central groove to each set being wider than the two on the flanks. The three upper arms of the guard are securely tucked into a groove cut around the lower half of the pommel. There are no repairs or obvious damage to the basket apart from an unrepaired break to one of the frontal guard bars located towards the pommel and a slight dent to one of the pierced flattened side guards. The sword hilt is tight and secure with no looseness.


Of tapering backsword form the blade has a ricasso of approximately 1.5 inches (3.75 cm) in length. A double fuller extends for most of the blade length which is double edged for the last 3 inches (7.5 cm) towards the tip. The upper fuller, which sits just below the blunt spine of the blade, starts at the hilt and terminates at the point where the blade becomes double edged. Below this, the second fuller runs in parallel and begins 9.5 inches down the blade (24 cm) from the hilt and terminates at the blade point. The blade is not marked with any maker's identity or stamps.


The original grip is of wood, spirally grooved, but the cover and wire binding are now missing. The grip is split top to bottom towards the front. This seems to have been caused by swelling of the tang due to rust. The grip is still secure.


In general the sword is in good original condition with a brown russet patina overall. The overall length is 35.5 inches (90 cm) and the blade is 29.25 inches long (74.5 cm)


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