Late 18C Senior Scottish Infantry Officer's
Basket Hilt Broadsword, sold
An exceptional rare "hole pierced St Andrews's Cross"
basket hilt broadsword with ivory grip for a senior Scottish infantry
officer, circa 1790 to 1798, in overall good condition.
This is such a rare broadsword that we can only find text accounts
of it, or rather like it. The punched hole St Andrew's Cross is
a rare example of what limited Scottish decoration was allowed on
basket hilts in the late 18th Century; we can find several references
to these basket hilts, but never a photo (until now). The blade
confirms late 18th Century, possibly early 19th. First is is a typical
Solingen made or at least Solingen style blade, the small ricasso
and short central fuller as you will find on many 1798P broadswords.
The blade is only 27 inches long, and it appears to be complete
/ original size wise. We suspect this was a dress sword for a senior
officer, but it could have been in the style of the shorter flank
officer swords of the time. It is very difficult to say, except
that this is a very rare sword.
The hilt is of steel, so we are fairly confident it predates the
1798 pattern. Like most other basket hilts of that era, this one
is quite thin and therefore frail; one forward-guard ring is missing,
it looks period missing. The 27 inch blade is a fighting blade rather
than a dress blade; we have seen this type of blade on many British
swords of the era that were intended for the battlefield. The blade
is firm in the hilt, the hilt, the hilt with an "O" section,
perhaps more typical of older English basket hilted swords, though
found on some Scottish basket hilts as well; the St Andrew's Cross
confirming this is indeed Scottish of course. The grooved ivory
grip is firm and in very good condition, but with the normal fine
cracking associated with genuine aged ivory.
In any event, the blade and grip confirm this to be an old broadsword
and the fact that you will not likely be able to find one anywhere
else depicted, let alone for sale on the Internet should indicate
to you what a great investment this is. Further / full sized images
available upon request. Please quote item reference number E56 (775).