Circa 1936 Scottish Infantry Officer's Basket
Hilted Broadsword, sold
In very good condition, a very interesting circa 1936 British
/ Scottish Infantry Officer's Basket Hilted Broadsword.
You will not find many basket hilts like this one! The blade has
"GR" for King George but no "V" or "VI"
to say which one, and lacks any maker / retailer mark; not just
left out as can happen when officers bought through a smaller retailer,
but replaced with thistle decoration. The grip is faux fishskin,
so not early 20th Century. We are sure this sword was for an officer
during Edward VIII's short reign (1936) where the officer was not
happy with having that king's cypher on the blade, probably because
of Edward VIII's affair with an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
We believe the sword maker, unable to etch to George V as he was
dead, unable to etch to George VI because he was not king, could
only put "GR" for King George and would not put their
name to the blade because of this disrespect to the then current
monarch, King Edward VIII. It is a military officer's sword because
it has "GR" and the British Royal Coat of Arms. And, the
wear / damage to the scabbard's chape indicates this sword was worn
in active service during WW2.
The 33 3/8 inch blade is supremely well grey etched and in very
good near new condition, plus firm in the hilt. The guard hilt has
age, which means a creamy tarnish (can be removed with a good metal
cleaner) and some small spots / patches of plating loss but is good
and sound. The black faux fishskin grip and twisted grip wire bindings
are very good; the grip may be a later replacement. The original
scarlet red buff guard insert is aged but sound. The scarlet tassel
is losing its threads. The leather field service scabbard is aged,
worn and battered but sound. The sword sheathes and draws well.
It is a real shame this sword does not speak (reveal its original
owner). A superb and exceptionally bespoke (rare) sword. A bargain
at just £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference
number AF49 (1115). Further / full sized pictures available upon
NB Believed to have been owned by Major Eustace Maxwell of the
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders as it was purchased
as a pair with this one.