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British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officer’s Hanger

£675.00
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British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 2
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British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 4
British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 5
British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 6
British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 7
British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 8
British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 9
British or American c1770 Slotted Hilt Officers Hanger Sword 10
Description

Curved, double-fullered (a la Montmorency) hanger-type blade with false edge, D-guard single bar fluted hilt with two pierced slots on either side of the hilt. Urn or olive-shaped pommel. Wood grip with steel band. No scabbard.

The ‘slotted-hilt’ or ‘4-slot’ type of sword became popular from around 1770 until the end of that century in both Britain and America for army and navy officers: a light curved hanger optimized for cutting, with the same distinctive hilt and urn/olive shaped pommel, albeit with variations in the materials used and level of craftsmanship. Naval versions sometimes have telltale decorative elements like a foul anchor motif this was by no means universal. I would lean towards this example being for army use purely due to its steel guard: naval examples would more commonly have brass hilts to better resist corrosion. Swords of this type were used on both sides of the American Revolution.

Blade is unmarked, which is common for this type: American blades were often made locally by individual blacksmiths, while British ones were sometimes unmarked German imports. The wooden grip has three old worm holes, one crack and has lost its wire binding. All metal parts have a dark patina. The steel band at the top of the grip is loose and there is very slight movement to the grip, both probably due to the wood shrinking with age. The hilt remains solid. Three nicks to the edge of the blade.

For examples and discussion of this type see Plate 11, page 30 of Naval Swords by Annis, or page 36 of British Naval Swords & Swordsmanship by McGrath and Barton, or pages 106 and 107 of Swords & Blades of the American Revolution by Neumann.

 

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