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Thread: Identify police cutlass, please help

  1. #1

    Identify police cutlass, please help

    Hello
    Can anyone with knowledge of police cutlass help me with this piece. I believe it is a British police cutlass. The blade is 60 cm.
    Sincerely LarsName:  07F9D902-5EE2-451F-B9EE-4EB20C34D62E.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Yes, that's what it appears to be, has it any markings?

  3. #3
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    Also used by Victorian Prison Officers. Datewise 1890s. Some are marked to particular Constabularies or prisons but many have no marks. You also see variations with a retaining catch to lock the blade in eth scabbard.
    The journey not the destination

  4. #4
    No marking alas.
    Lars

  5. #5
    No marking alas.
    Lars

  6. #6
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    I've seen a lot of them, more without markings than with. There are some variations including ones with a flat fronted Knuckle bow rather than the normal 'D' seen on yours. Several makers names are seen but the most often found is, Parker, or Parker Hale. Occasionally examples turn up with interesting police force addresses nicely etched onto the blades.

  7. #7
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    Not disputing, just curious- I thought they were more first half of the 19th Century productions. I know they stayed in inventory for, um, special occasions into the 20th century, but stylistically every one I've ever seen was early Victorian. Or did they just keep making the same thing?

    What's the newest made British police hanger/cutlass you all have seen?
    hc3

  8. #8
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    I've never had more than a passing interest in these very well designed and practical little swords, so have never done any research into them, I generally accept that they were around in the mid nineteenth Century. I do remember seeing somewhere in the past, a reference to the blades of some being made from redundant 1796 cavalry sabres.

  9. #9
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    The police hanger(cutlass) is of the 1865 Pattern, normally made by either Parker or Parker & Field. The OPs picture shows the common version, brass ilt, leather scabbard and brass fittings. There are several hilt shapes as noted above and even a few with steel guards. Many have etched blades detailing the original issuer. They are, indeed, very handy little swords.

  10. #10
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    Hi Phil, like many of us, I have one, as they are relatively inexpensive and a nice addition to any collection. However, I have never heard of a reference to a specific pattern date before and I’d be very interested to hear the source of that info. Many thanks, Ben.

  11. #11
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    Hi Ben I collect police weapons , particularly tuncheons, I found out about the pattern during a visit to the Metropolitan Police heritage centre. There is a "long" sword too, a brass gripped sword of normal length issued to ranking officers and particular to the Met.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Phil, useful info, I always thought most of these constabulary cutlasses were post 1850 ish, I’ve seen the ‘long’ sword that you refer to and also the River Police version. My local police museum also has a couple of ‘Mamalukes’ worn by Chief Constables of the era.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel H View Post
    I've seen a lot of them, more without markings than with. There are some variations including ones with a flat fronted Knuckle bow rather than the normal 'D' seen on yours. Several makers names are seen but the most often found is, Parker, or Parker Hale. Occasionally examples turn up with interesting police force addresses nicely etched onto the blades.
    Edit, just realised, slip of the old memory bank, should of course have been, Parker Field. Parker Hale are usually associated with shooting products.

  14. #14
    This may be of interest. http://www.oldpolicecellsmuseum.org..../police_swords

    Regards,
    Norman.

  15. #15
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    Great link Norman. Some interesting insights into the keeping of peace during the turbulent 19th C.

  16. #16
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    Most interesting about the dates given, I had ought the swords slightly later but this is great information. would like to raise a point about Norman's article though. That is the statement about the grips having a wire wrap. My sword and several others I have seen have no wire present, nor does it look as though they ever did. No remnants, no holes where the ends fitted, nothing. In fact looking closely at the illustrations in the article, none of those swords have any wire either. Anybody got pictures of any that have a wire wrap intact?
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    The journey not the destination

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy C View Post
    Most interesting about the dates given, I had ought the swords slightly later but this is great information. would like to raise a point about Norman's article though. That is the statement about the grips having a wire wrap. My sword and several others I have seen have no wire present, nor does it look as though they ever did. No remnants, no holes where the ends fitted, nothing. In fact looking closely at the illustrations in the article, none of those swords have any wire either. Anybody got pictures of any that have a wire wrap intact?
    I would have to agree re the wire wrap. I've handled and seen quite a lot of these and never once have I seen a wire wrap and again it did not look like there was ever one present.
    Regards,
    Norman.

  18. #18
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    Re:the wire wrap, I have two swords here and have handled dozens, never seen any sign of a wrap of any sort.

  19. #19
    I guess that just goes to prove..even experts can get it wrong occasionally. I wonder how many of these swords have been classed as 'suspect"..because the expert said the grips were wired ?

  20. #20
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    That is too true Ralph, when first looking fpr one of these swords I passed on several that were "missing" their wire wrap.

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