Gill 1796 HC sword

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Will
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Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Will » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:31 pm

New acquisition is a 1796 heavy cavalry sword with 35" blade and marked I GILL. Two modifications are the spear point and cut down guard. Blade is in good shape, no edge dings and only some staining with very minimal pitting here and there. The grip retains all the leather covering. Scabbard has the wood slat liners.
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Richard
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Richard » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:55 am

Hi Will
Here’s my Gill 1796, also with modified point which is asymmetrical and I assume modified by regimental armoured in the field.
Richard
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Will
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Will » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:39 pm

Richard I see that the scabbard rings are the split type similar to modern key chain rings. My other 1796 HC less scabbard is by Gill and has a slightly wider grip.

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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Will » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:22 pm

My photos did not shot the asymmetrical point very well, here is a photo looking down the blade.
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Richard
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Richard » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:33 pm

Will wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:39 pm
Richard I see that the scabbard rings are the split type similar to modern key chain rings. My other 1796 HC less scabbard is by Gill and has a slightly wider grip.
Will,
Are you referring to my sword? If so, they are not split rings but solid butt-ended.
Richard

Jim McDougall
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Jim McDougall » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:57 pm

With the M1896 heavy, it seems to me that one of the most typical dilemmas is the scabbards mismatched to the sword itself. I have a Gill M1796 which had a scabbard from an entirely different unit than that marked on the hilt with rack number etc. I have another scabbard for 1796 which was somehow paired with a M1829 heavy cavalry officers sword.
Were the scabbards actually made by the blade makers or by shops aligned with them? The only scabbards I have ever seen marked to makers were of course officers and marked to outfitters providing the fully mounted sword i.e. Prosser etc.

In my mind I have always thought of the mismatching of scabbards to possibly suggest post battle collection of swords and scabbards and possibly these being sold off. Scabbards remaining on troopers wounded where swords had been lost on the field were perhaps returned to armouries and paired with other swords?

The 'spear' point as far as I have known on the 1796 heavy was an alteration used on them post Waterloo, and as langets wre often removed as well as the inside of the disc ground down. I have a 1796 by Craven which has the spear point, but the blade has at some point been welded together at mid point after apparently having been broken (it was one of my first swords c. 1966 !) I still have it! :)

Will
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Will » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:17 pm

Richard I was referring to my sword regarding the rings. I've seen this type of ring on other swords of the era.
Jim the spear point was an oder given to make the swords pointed pre Waterloo.
I do not believe a blade would be welded by an armourer as a break would have to be forged together in the early 1800's, electric welding did not come until 1880's.
No broken blade would be dependable if repaired, they were replaced as welding destroys the temper. Most likely the blade was broken post being in service and was later welded together.

Jim McDougall
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Jim McDougall » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:46 pm

Thanks Will, I know the order to 'grind down backs of blades' was given to Scots Greys as they left Gravesend for Belgium. It seems after Waterloo there was a move to continue this reshaping of the hatchet points along with trimming off the inside of the disc. I remember some of this from research with John Morgan who wrote some articles on these for "Classic Arms & Militaria" in the 90s (I think).
On the Craven sword I am not sure why the blade in the center had an odd deviation which looks like it had been somehow repaired from what seemed like a break. Actually I cannot imagine why someone would try to repair a blade this way.
There are any number of things that might have broken the blade, but in combat is not a likely answer......in that case it would have been lost on the field entirely, and even scavengers would have passed it over.

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Richard
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Re: Gill 1796 HC sword

Post by Richard » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:09 pm

Jim McDougall wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:57 pm
With the M1896 heavy, it seems to me that one of the most typical dilemmas is the scabbards mismatched to the sword itself. I have a Gill M1796 which had a scabbard from an entirely different unit than that marked on the hilt with rack number etc. I have another scabbard for 1796 which was somehow paired with a M1829 heavy cavalry officers sword.
Were the scabbards actually made by the blade makers or by shops aligned with them? The only scabbards I have ever seen marked to makers were of course officers and marked to outfitters providing the fully mounted sword i.e. Prosser etc.

In my mind I have always thought of the mismatching of scabbards to possibly suggest post battle collection of swords and scabbards and possibly these being sold off. Scabbards remaining on troopers wounded where swords had been lost on the field were perhaps returned to armouries and paired with other swords?

The 'spear' point as far as I have known on the 1796 heavy was an alteration used on them post Waterloo, and as langets wre often removed as well as the inside of the disc ground down. I have a 1796 by Craven which has the spear point, but the blade has at some point been welded together at mid point after apparently having been broken (it was one of my first swords c. 1966 !) I still have it! :)
Jim
With regard to 1796 pattern troopers’ swords - both heavy and light - when regimentally marked, I think it is more often than not that there are different troop letters and sword numbers on sword and scabbard. I have never considered such as mismatch between sword and scabbard, rather a naturally occurring consequence of repairs and reissues within regiments. However, I would consider it a mismatch where sword and scabbard are marked to different regiments or different makers. As to those makers, amongst others, Osborn & Gunby marked heavy Cav scabbards and Woolley Deakin etc. Marked light cav scabbards.

Richard

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