Fine Antique Arms & Armour

British Dragoon Basket Hilted Back Sword - First Half of the 18th Century Ref: 040.16


Price: £2,925


Item Description:


A fine example of a British Basket Hilted Back Sword of Horseman type almost certainly manufactured for a British Regiment of Dragoons in the middle of the 18th century. The basket hilt is particularly sturdy and well constructed from thick metal which despite its age is in excellent condition.


The long heavy 36 inch blade (91.5 cm) is of Harvey type with a short ricasso worked with three shallow equally spaced adjoined fullers. Just over 3 inches (8 cm) beyond this a central broad fuller commences and terminates at the blade tip. Above this, running beneath the spine of the blade, a narrower fuller commences in the same place to terminate some 11 inches (28 cm) from the tip after which the blade is double edged.


The fully formed basket consists of primary and secondary guard plates mounted between structural guard bars of rectangular section. The guard plates are finely forged and in difference with the more traditional fully developed basket hilt design, this "Horseman" basket hilt, is mounted with an oval guard ring which replaces one of the two more usual main frontal guard plates. The arms of the guard are forged onto a circle of iron into which the base of the bun shaped pommel sits. The pronounced plain pommel button is integral, not of separate manufacture.


The original grip is of spirally grooved wood which retains its shagreen cover anf brass twisted wire binding plus "Turk's Heads" top and bottom. Overall the condition of the sword is excellent with only a few light patches of age related staining in parts. The overall length is 42.25 inches (107.5 cm).


For an identical example of this hilt see "The Swords and the Sorrows", National Truct for Scotland, 1996, page 48, reference 1:51, in the Royal Armouries Collection and dated 1740 to 1755.


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