1620-1640 Scottish Horseman's Backsword,
McAllister Hilt, sold
In very good condition for its age, a rare early to mid 17th Century
Scottish horseman's basket hilt backsword, McAllister hilt, earlier
Mid-16C Passau Wolf marked blade by Herman Klein.
Museum quality rare sword alert! Very few of these early 17C horseman's
swords survive. This one has an impressively long 38 3/4 inch blade
and elegant twin fullered back edged blade with middle 16th Century
Passau Wolf marks, with "Herman Klein" either side of
each; the Klein family were blade grinders in Solingen, so the blade
was probably bought by them in Passau, ground, and then shipped
to Scotland. It is not uncommon for good blades to receive new hilts.
It is quite possible this basket hilt was still being carried at
the tome of Culloden, an incredible 100 or more years after the
sword was made, around 200 years after the blade was originally
made; that is how old and rare this sword is.
The 38 1/4 inch blade is lovely, very well made and yet light enough
to make it practical for use, held at arm's length in a charge;
this sword makes English cavalry swords of the same era look very
primitive indeed; the blade even longer then 19C French Cuirassier
blades. Clearly designed as a thrust weapon, this elegant blade
is still firm in the hilt. The hilt type is known as a McAllister,
and this one is in exceptionally good condition, though aged of
course. The grip is not original but still has a great deal of age
Forget the price, you will never come across a better example in
our opinion. If you want to know how good this sword is, buy it,
then buy a copy of Sword and Sword Makers of England and Scotland
(Bezdek), turn to page 365 and gloat that you have a better example
than shown in this iconic reference book. OK, do not hesitate, it
is yours for £2500. Please quote item reference number H21
(1024). Further / full sized images available upon request.