SILVER MOUNTED 1758 DATED HUNTING SWORD, CUTTOE, OR HANGER

$795.00

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Item Code: 490-3090

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This short sword is typical of the hunting swords initially used to dispatch wounded game, but which then became indicators of a gentleman’s social status and at the same time came to be used officers in the army and by light infantry which became popular in the 18th century. They are generally termed hunting swords, cuttoes, or simply hangers. This one has a horn grip and what seem pretty clearly to be silver mounts, bright metal with some bluish tarnish.

The pommel is oval, rounded, with a raised leaf or fan design and high capstan rivet.

The lower grip has a ferrule with two bands at top and lengthwise channels or reeding at the bottom. The quillon is present on the upper side, but is missing from the lower. The quillon tip has fan or leaf design similar to the pommel cap. The small guard is shield-shaped, flat on top, and incorporates a scabbard cap engraved in small letters in its upper channel: “No. 467 1758.” The mounts have some tarnish spots, but are a soft silver in color overall. The grip is a greenish-cream color, perhaps originally stained green, with a good fit, but one crack on the underside, coming up from the lower ferrule.

The blade is gently curved, has a wide central fuller and secondary narrow fuller along the top edge. The long ricasso is etched on both sides with an intricately interwoven panel at top that has a central oval with an anchor, and near the guard a tombstone shaped panel with a smiling sun looking down on an arm holding a set of scales. The blade shows light pitting overall, but the etched portions are very visible and show remnants of a thin gold wash. In the fuller on the reverse of the blade, just forward of the ricasso, is deeply etched a dog chasing and antlered deer. The back edge is also worked, with four narrow converging lines, with remnants of gold fill, two of which in the center are fletched near the guard, indicating arrows, with the other two possibly being lances, which end short of the arrows that merge and terminate in a large arrowhead or spearpoint with a flared base.

This is a nicely made weapon, clearly dated, and elegantly decorated. We hesitate to give it a specific country of origin. “Continental” is perhaps the best category. The presence of a number along with the date is interesting, perhaps suggesting it was in fact an issue piece for some elite troops.  [sr]  [ph:m]

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