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Thread: British Slot Hilt Photos and Discussion

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    Below is an interesting slot hilt naval hanger I found in the 1981 Lyle Arms and Armour Review. It has a steel guard--as opposed to brass or silver--and the double-edged blade measures only 17 1/2 inches.

    Jonathon,

    The hilt of both of the short sabres I have had were steel. I'm not a naval collector, but it is interesting that this naval sword has a steel hilt. I thought that the nautical types liked brass to avoid rust and sparks. The price tag makes me sick.

    Andre

  2. #52
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    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=018

    I am not entirely sure what a saw-back blade would be used for around a ship, but hey, what do I know?! Aside from the seller's "unbased on anything" description of the sword, what do you think of it?

  3. #53
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    After Dmitry's heads up on this the other day, I was going to post a picture from that but didn't want to be spoiling a sale, or steal his thunder.



    I feel that what we're seeing on this is not meant to be a functional saw but merely decorative "jimping". Considering other rather elaborate features, I would think it a dress sword and never meant for service use at all. The old writing on the scabbard probably tells something but even the seller states it as too unclear to read.

    The dealer, meh, usually overpriced on their web pages (101 antiques). They have had a steady stream of stuff and more than a few descriptions have been vauge.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; they list on Trocadero s well

  4. #54
    Ok, here is the slot hilted cavalry saber (curved blade) I mentioned. I am posting it with the kind permission of the owner, ElJay Erickson, who may offer some commentary on this and/or other slot hilts in his collection. It is c.1780. Not sure of the measurements (maybe ElJay can fill us in). Now, for your viewing pleasure:
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by J.G. Hopkins; 08-27-2007 at 10:37 AM.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    After Dmitry's heads up on this the other day, I was going to post a picture from that but didn't want to be spoiling a sale, or steal his thunder.

    I feel that what we're seeing on this is not meant to be a functional saw but merely decorative "jimping". Considering other rather elaborate features, I would think it a dress sword and never meant for service use at all. The old writing on the scabbard probably tells something but even the seller states it as too unclear to read.[/i]
    Glen,
    Thanks for the additional image and your input on the jimping. As usual, if everything is "correct", then it is a pretty complete lot (i.e., sword, scabbard, suspension, belt).

    Jonathan

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    After Dmitry's heads up on this the other day, I was going to post a picture from that but didn't want to be spoiling a sale, or steal his thunder.



    I feel that what we're seeing on this is not meant to be a functional saw but merely decorative "jimping". Considering other rather elaborate features, I would think it a dress sword and never meant for service use at all. The old writing on the scabbard probably tells something but even the seller states it as too unclear to read.

    The dealer, meh, usually overpriced on their web pages (101 antiques). They have had a steady stream of stuff and more than a few descriptions have been vauge.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; they list on Trocadero s well
    The saw back is another indication that these swords are really cuttoes. The hilt of that one is very English reminicent of Birmingham circa 1770-80.
    The blade isn't - in fact the shape is a bit odd. Perhaps the hilt was imported.

    As for the price, I paid £450 for mine about 6 years ago and £150 for a battered one with a fractured slot (but a similar facetted pommel to the one above) last year, which I sold on later. A naval one with scabbard sold for over £1000 at Wallis' recently

    David

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Critchley View Post

    A naval one with scabbard sold for over £1000 at Wallis' recently

    David
    What indication is there other than what the seller is saying, that this is in fact a naval sword? He is giving vague references to Neumann's book and William Gilkerson's book, but there's nothing in these books ever remotely similar to this piece...

  8. #58
    None at all. On balance I'd say it was infantry

  9. #59
    Hi all,
    JG was kind enough to post photos of my slot hilt cavalry sword, so here's some details. First, this is a big sword. The overall photo makes it look like an infantry officer's sword, but the blade is 34" long by about 1 1/4" wide. The hilt, measured from grip base to capstan, is about 7 1/2" long. The original grip (damaged at base) is covered with sharkskin and bound with a single heavy brass wire. The knucklebow is engraved E/3.

    A similar sword is shown in Warren Moore's long out of print "Weapons of the American Revolution and Accoutrements", but the blade on the sword had been shortened to 32" and given a very odd stepped point.

    I saw what I think was an officer's version of this sword type at a California auction about 12 years ago. The hilt was identical in size, with a sharkskin grip, but was of steel instead of brass. The hilt was of better quality than my sword. The blade was identical, with the wide and narrow fuller, but unfortunately had been shortened to about 25".

    --ElJay

  10. #60
    ElJay,
    Thank you for providing measurements for the slot hilt cavalry sword of yours. Have you come across many such cavalry sabers in your years as a collector? I have not found any pictured in my books, nor have I come across any for sale online.

    Thanks,
    Jonathan

  11. #61
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    Hi all just to continue the subject here are some pictures of one of mine

    The blade has been shortened, Looking at the fluting to the pommel cap i would put this C1750 as to my knowledge this fluting was common around this time

    Any thoughts?

    “Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.” Napoleon Bonaparte

  12. #62
    Possible but nearer 1770 I think probably Dom.

  13. #63
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    Excellent ty David I am sure you remember this one from Lewes as well

    I decided to keep it

    which i am doing way to much of at the moment
    “Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.” Napoleon Bonaparte

  14. #64
    Johnathan,
    The only ones I'm aware of are the ones mentioned in my post above. I'm sure that others exist, but they just haven't surfaced yet. I first noted the type in Moore's book in the early 70s, but never saw another example until about 1992 (22 years later), when I picked up my sword at an auction in California. The sword was a last-minute entry, and hadn't been shown in the preview. When they held the slot hilt up and began the bidding, I about fell out of my chair! My bidding plans were immediately scuttled, and finances redirected, as I realized that I had an opportunity to aquire a scarce English cavalry sword type. A few minutes and a few bids later, and I was the new owner. It was one of the few times that I have been in the right place at the right time!

    --ElJay

  15. #65
    From the volume of swords in Neumann, it appears that the slot hilt enjoyed popularity amongst the Americans for curved cavalry sabers, whereas the British slot hilt cavalry sword was generally straight bladed.

    Jonathan

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.G. Hopkins View Post
    From the volume of swords in Neumann, it appears that the slot hilt enjoyed popularity amongst the Americans for curved cavalry sabers, whereas the British slot hilt cavalry sword was generally straight bladed.

    Jonathan

    Well as far as the hilt goes, I would think that a slot hilt would be easier and less expensive to manufacture as opposed to a basket or otherwise. American arms during the conflict tended to be either British or British influenced as having been colonies for so long. There were some French arms towards the end of the conflict utilized by American forces. I would imagine that the majority of the American cavalry would be best described as "light," and were used for scouting, patrolling, provost and foraging duty. Perhaps the curved blades were better suited for hacking through brush and slapping disobedient and/or awol soldiers on the back as they moved them to the guardhouse.

    Andre
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  17. #67
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    I was just skimming Mowbray's eagle pommel title again and he refers to the crinkle slots as "pie-crusted".

    Cheers

    Hotspur; up way too late commentary

  18. #68
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    Slot hilts

    I just received my issue of Man-At-Arms yesterday and there is an excellent article about slot-hilts made in New York by Potter. Potter was a loyalist so made them for the British. From January 1779 to December 1881 he made 1,580 sabers.
    "Ancora imparo - Michelangelo Buonarotti"

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert E. Ozias View Post
    I just received my issue of Man-At-Arms yesterday and there is an excellent article about slot-hilts made in New York by Potter. Potter was a loyalist so made them for the British. From January 1779 to December 1881 he made 1,580 sabers.
    What a long career! A bit slow though - only 15 sabers a year.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert E. Ozias View Post
    I just received my issue of Man-At-Arms yesterday and there is an excellent article about slot-hilts made in New York by Potter. Potter was a loyalist so made them for the British. From January 1779 to December 1881 he made 1,580 sabers.
    Note to self, subscribe to Man-At-Arms!

    Did Potter mark his name on his swords?

    Jonathan

  21. #71
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    Slot hilts

    Dimitri, you are correct. A career from 1779 to 1881 would be a long one. I meant to put 1779 to 1781 which puts it at over 750 swords per year supplied to the British army. The suggestion in the article is that he may have had imported sword blades but there exists no proof of this.

    Yes J.G., Potter marked his swords with a distinctive stamp on the riccasso utilizing his full last name.
    "Ancora imparo - Michelangelo Buonarotti"

  22. #72
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    There are a few Potter pieces shown in Neumann...can't remember page #s. Noticed them for my bed time reading lst eve that's why its stil fresh to my memory.

    Bill
    billgoodwin333@yahoo.com

    "I was born for this" - Joan of Arc

  23. #73
    Thanks, I'll take a look through Neumann this evening--now I am curious.

    Jonathan

  24. #74
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    Slot Hilts

    Johnathan. #309.s, page 164, #316.s, page 167 and #329.s, page 171 of Neumann. #309.s is probably a re-hilted weapon from the 1790's because Potter sold his business and emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1782 to a farm and town property site granted him by the British Government for his services.
    "Ancora imparo - Michelangelo Buonarotti"

  25. #75
    Robert,
    Thanks. They are quite American-looking swords. 309.s shows that some of his wares made it into the hands of the Continental Army.

    Jonathan

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