1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Bryce
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Bryce » Thu May 09, 2019 9:57 am

Captain William Tyrwhitt Drake's sword is one of these also.

https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php ... 01-06-16-1
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Richard
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Richard » Fri May 10, 2019 5:10 pm

Some interesting observations there Bryce. I have to admit that I have never before noticed the number of curling bars each side of the hilt of these swords (I suppose if you call this the 'ladder hilt', then we are counting the rungs ...). Anyway, all of the four examples I posted above have 5 bars each side.
So, are we saying that the asymmetric 4 bar/3 bar hilts that you posted are characteristic of Osborn made examples? Its always been quite clear that 1796 light cavalry officers' swords bear different characteristics in their detail between different makers so logically it ought to be the same for heavy cavalry swords.
Richard

Chris A
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Chris A » Fri May 10, 2019 6:03 pm

I think the “rungs” are the bars in the centre of the knuckleguard hence the name ladder hilt. The scrolling bars either side are sometimes referred to as honeysuckles but like you, Richard, I’ve never counted them or realised that some hilt were asymmetrical.

When will we ever stop learning more nerdish details about Georgian swords ?

Chris.

Bryce
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Bryce » Fri May 10, 2019 10:27 pm

G'day Richard,
I think several makers made asymmetrical hilts, but perhaps Osborn was the first. My "starburst" ladder hilt also has this feature. The Osborn ladder hilts can be characterized by the combination of all the features I listed above.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Bryce
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Bryce » Fri May 10, 2019 11:11 pm

Michaeldlong has a 1796 ladder hilt for sale at the moment which superficially resembles an Osborn, but if you look closely it is not quite the same. It has all of the characteristics I listed except it differs in the area bound in red and it isn't finished as nicely.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Will
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Will » Sat May 11, 2019 9:38 pm

Here is another photo showing 5 bars on each side.
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Bryce
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Bryce » Sun May 12, 2019 10:29 pm

G'day Will,
I like to think of these symmetrical hilts as the original form of ladder hilt. Here is my G stamped example. It only has 4 "honeysuckles" plus langets.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Bryce
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Bryce » Sun May 12, 2019 10:34 pm

Osborn and Gunby also made a much rarer symmetrical version of their hilt with 4 "honeysuckles" each side. I have only come across a couple of examples, both marked to the 4th Dragoon Guards.
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Bryce
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Bryce » Mon May 13, 2019 3:44 am

I have never come across an Osborn asymmetrical hilt with a decorated blade. All of the examples I have seen have bare blades. The National Army Museum make the claim in their description of Drake's sword that Household Cavalry officers preferred their swords to have bare blades without makers names or regimental markings. Does anyone know the source of this claim?
Cheers,
Bryce
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Richard
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Re: 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer Undress Sword Variants

Post by Richard » Mon May 13, 2019 8:06 am

Bryce wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 3:44 am
I have never come across an Osborn asymmetrical hilt with a decorated blade. All of the examples I have seen have bare blades. The National Army Museum make the claim in their description of Drake's sword that Household Cavalry officers preferred their swords to have bare blades without makers names or regimental markings. Does anyone know the source of this claim?
Cheers,
Bryce
I do not know the source of the claim but it certainly holds true as far as the (misnamed) 1814 pattern is concerned.

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