Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Scottish Backsword with Wrigglework to Hilt Circa 1730 Ref: 07.13



Price: £3,750

Item Description:


A good Scottish basket hilted backsword dating to the second quarter of the 18th century with the scarce feature of "wrigglework" visible on the main guard panels. The sword is of robust proportions and in tight condition.


The fully formed basket is constructed in the usual manner from thick iron forged into two main guard panels and three secondary guard panels which are pierced with circles, hearts, dots and linear designs. The panels are held in place by well made rounded bars. The pommel is cone shaped with a central groove seated just below the middle which extends around the whole circumference of the pommel and into which the three upper arms of the basket are secured. Three grooves radiate from the pommel button which are flanked by narrower incised lines.


The decorative lines incised into the main guard panels are accentuated by "wrigglework" or "dog tooth" zig zag lines - a known but rare feature on period Scottish swords, now more vague with age, but distinct. The incised hearts and circles to the panels are similarly highlighted.


Of tapering backsword form the blade has a pronounced central fuller extending from the hilt underneath the spine to a place two thirds down the blade after which the blade becomes double edged to the tip. A second, shallower fuller, is present underneath this extending from the hilt down the centre of the blade to the tip.  The blade is unmarked with any maker's name or marks. The grip is of wood, spirally grooved with a shagreen cover bound with wire. A leather liner is also present. The metal surfaces are generally in good condition. There are patches of pitting.


The overall length is 39.25 inches (99.5 cm). The blade is 33.5 inches long (85 cm).


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