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Thread: Need help dating Basket Hilt by Garden NCO?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Need help dating Basket Hilt by Garden NCO?

    Hi Guys

    Looking for assistance with this NCO Basket Hilt Crimea Period by Garden.
    Nationality: British
    Date: 1852 pattern
    Maker/Retailer: GARDEN
    Overall Length: 40 3/8” 102.4 cm in scabbard 39” 99cm sword only
    Blade length: 33” 83.9 cm, fuller 8 ½” 21.7 cm
    Blade widest point: 1 ½”
    Hilt widest point: 7” 17.5 cm
    Inside grip length: 4 ¼” 10.5 cm
    Marks, etc.: Stamped I over 4 on the Wrist Guard, Etched GARDEN 200 Piccadilly LONDON in the fuller

    Scottish NCO Sword
    Extremely Large Steel Basket with Fishskin grip bound with copper wire. Plain Broadsword blade with short central fuller etched GARDEN 200 Piccadilly LONDON. Leather scabbard with two steel mounts and frog.

    Interestingly it is marked with a 1 over 4 on the wrist guard, no idea what this means but it has lead me to believe that this is a NCO sword not an Officers. As this sword in etched GARDEN not Garden and Sons it is likely by Hugh Garden 1827-1851 of 200 Piccadilly, Army Accoutrements and Saddler. Whilst this sword appears to comply with the general description of the sword introduced in as the Staff Sergeant Mark 1 pattern in 1857, the maker Hugh Garden died in 1852, and there are similar examples that pre-date the Indian Mutiny.

    In Robson’s it states that “The steel-hilted pattern of broadsword introduced for officers of Highland regiments in 1828 was also prescribed for NCOs of those regiments as soon as the old brass or bronze-hilted ones had worn out. Ordinary sergeants in all infantry regiments ceased to carry swords in 1852, only staff sergeants retaining them.” This would support the sword being produced prior to the 1857 pattern.

    I have some questions that I am seeking assistance with:

    1. Did Hugh Garden have a contract to provide NCO swords?
    2. Did NCO’s buy their own swords as this may be a private purchase?
    3. What level of rank would the NCO most likely be? i.e warrant officer, staff sergeant etc
    4. Does anyone have some thoughts as to the actual date of this sword?
    5. What might the either I or 1. Over 4 on the writs guard mean?

    Cheers Cathey and Rex
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