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Thread: Late 1790's Black Watch Officer's Spadroon (?)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine (US)
    Posts
    15

    Late 1790's Black Watch Officer's Spadroon (?)

    This is my favorite Sword. I tried to post it here a couple of months ago but only recently figured out how to add photos.
    I got it from an auction a couple of years ago, that had a lot of Scottish Basket Hilt Swords. This one was poorly photographed and had no information about markings.
    The blade is somewhat stained, but the hilt and brass are fine. Old enough to possibly have been at Waterloo.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    17
    G'day Charlie,
    Great sword. I have never come across one like this marked to the 42nd Regiment before. I had assumed they carried basket hilts. Fantastic to have the original sword knot which is very rare. What are the blade dimensions? Any chance of some better shots of the blade? It may just be the photos, but the scabbard looks a bit odd? Do you think it is original?
    Cheers,
    Bryce

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine (US)
    Posts
    15
    Hi Bryce,
    Thank you for the reply. I will get some photos of the blade up along with dimensions. I do believe that the sword knot is original. The scabbard fits it perfectly, but seems in too good shape to be original to the sword. Also, I took these pictures when I first got the sword, and I didn't know that the seam faces to the rear. Remember, I am an accumulator trying to work my way up to being an actual collector. (:
    The collection that this one was auctioned with was almost entirely Scottish Basket Hilt's. In researching it, I came across a couple of paintings of circa 1790's Scottish Officers of the Black Watch carrying very similar Spadroon blades.
    Best, Charlie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine (US)
    Posts
    15
    Here are some additional photos and dimensions of the Black Watch Spadroon. There are no markings that I can find on it. The scabbard is now turned in the correct orientation. The blade is as I received it, with some oiling to inhibit active rust. The blade is about 33 3/4 in length. It is about 1 1/8" in width at the widest point.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    12,250
    Great sword!

    I see in the first set of pictures, the scabbard was backwards and now happy. The blade condition is a hint that the scabbard may be a later marriage. The blade type and length lend it to have possibly been for a mounted officer. Perhaps an unmounted dress sword parallel to a p1796 heavy cavalry dress sword.

    I have files for a number of Georgian spadroon like swords with a half basket. This one seems unique to me but as soon as one turns up, we usually find more. ?8^)~

    A couple

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    Those have typical backsword type blades with the broad fuller we think of for spadroons. The first urn pommel shown is blade decorated for a dragoon. The second with a grenadier figure.

    There are a couple of facebook groups you might visit, an Oldswords affiliate and a dedicated spadrooners group.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/iascpost/

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/273431699946620/

    Cheers
    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-19-2021 at 10:01 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    17
    G'day Charlie,
    The scabbard is a much later replacement, but still a very nice sword.
    Cheers,
    Bryce

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine (US)
    Posts
    15
    Glen, thank you for taking the time to post some photos of spadroons. Certainly both differences and commonalities. When I first got the sword, I did a fairly extensive internet search. I was able to locate a number of spadroons. Most of them dated from the late 1780's to 1790's. Some were Scottish but none looked to be identical either to my sword or to each other. I wondered if the spadroon was somehow an evolution of the Small Sword, or if it followed a separate sequence of development/popularity.

    Bryce, I do so appreciate your enthusiasm, despite the much used condition of the blade. I agree with your thinking that the scabbard is a likely later replacement.

    Best, Charlie

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