British Quill Point Swords

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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:30 am

G'day Guys,

The needle-like point they have is definitely good for thrusting, but why don't they have a symmetrical point? As it is they appear optimized for the back slash rather than the forehand cut, which would generally be more employed. The oversized false edge makes the point look downwards. Maybe this was meant to help in the thrust somehow?

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Brimage » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:42 am

Hi Guys

Looking at the sword Bryce posted, I pulled out some of my mamelukes that I haven't looked at for a while and at least two of them turned out to have Quill points.

This one is a British Officer’s Cavalry Mameluke Sword
Nationality British
Date Circa 1700-1800’s
Overall Length 37 1/8” 94.1 in scabbard, 36 ¾” 93.2 cm
Blade length 31 4/8” 80 cm
Blade widest point 1 3/8” 3.5 cm
Hilt widest point 5 3/8” 13.6 cm
Inside grip length 3 5/8” 13.6 cm

Description
English Officer’s Cavalry Mameluke Sword, large curved piped back blade, 8 inch sharpened back edge and clipped point, slabbed ivory grips with minor age cracks, steel scabbard with two brass bands and carry rings, Brass cross guard with fluted decoration and brass rosettes securing the ivory grips. Original sword knot very worn.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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_UK-Mameluke c1700 Heavy Cavalry Officer's.jpg
aDSC_1960.jpg
aDSC_1960.jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby mikeroyle45 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:04 am

To follow on with Cathey & Rex's original post on this subject I attach two Quill point swords from my collection. The first one has some blue & gilt
remaining however does not appear to be of military markings. The hilt however is unusual all in steel with a fancy langet. The knuckle guard has
a crown over G111 which to me does not quite feel right but again, it is as bought.
The second sword is of a shorter length and has a D hilt albeit with rounded langets
Both swords have pipe back blades and matching scabbards which fit perfectly the swords in question.
Alas no makers names but any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Quill point swords.jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:13 am

G'day Mike,

What are the blade lengths of your swords? Can you post any pictures of the blade decoration on the B&G sword?

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:34 pm

G'day Mike,

I opened up your photo, so I could see more detail of your swords. Is the hilt of your B&G sword silver? The guard is very elaborate.

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby mikeroyle45 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:22 am

Quill Point Sword 2-page-001.jpg
Hi Bryce,
Finally was able to provide details for you as requested. The hilt is of polished steel as per my earlier posting.
I'm still skeptical about the G111R part of the knuckle which appears to have been added a long time back.
It is almost like the crown part of the 1803 style swords that in some cases I have seen missing due to breakage etc however
it is as I purchased it and is still an interesting piece.
Regards Mike Royle
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Quill Point sword-page-001.jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby mikeroyle45 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:38 am

Hi Bryce, You asked about sword blade length - the detail as follows.
The fancy sword is 840mm or 33". The hilt is 118mm or approx. 4"+ 5/8"
The shorter one is 760mm or 33" The Hilt is 110mm or 4 & 5/16"
Mike.
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:28 am

G'day Mike,

Thanks for posting the extra photos of your sword. It is a nice sword. That is an unusual hilt. Because of the polish and how elaborate it is, I thought the hilt may have been silver. I don't see why the GR III engraving on the guard isn't original. Every thing else about the sword is of this period. Do you think the grip is original or has it been restored?

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby sword335 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:25 am

An interesting and unusual sword but I'm afraid that I agree that the central part of the knuckle-guard has been restored. The G.R. cypher is much too crude compared with the rest of the hilt which is of excellent quality.
I never ceased to be amazed by the number of variations based on the 1796 pattern especially when you bear in mind how little protection a stirrup hilt gives to the hand.

Chris.
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby mikeroyle45 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:35 am

Hi Bryce, The grip is as I purchased the sword, however I would say that it could of been replaced as the current condition certainly has that look about it.
None the less I am still happy with the sword in my collection.
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby mikeroyle45 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:58 am

Hi Chris, Thanks for your comment re the G111R restored part of the knuckle guard, which would of been in one piece when first made. The oval section has been added in at some time in its life and the engraving gives away the alteration I believe. For whatever reason this was done we will never know but someone has tried perhaps to make it look as though it should be there as the oval is finely braised in place. I still liken it to say the 1803 brass hilted swords I commented on in a earlier post. However the sword is as is and is still a nice part of the collection.
Regards Mike.
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Brimage » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:07 am

Hi Mike,

Don't think you had this sword last time we visited. Great sword which we would be happy to give a new home to if you can't live with the minor hilt changes. I am looking through my swords for Quill points but apart from the one I used to launch this thread are all rather sad when compared by some of the more extreme examples posted. I think I am developing Quill Point envy.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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British Quill Point Swords

Postby Brimage » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:19 am

Another very slight Quill point

1796 Variation Officer’s Stirrup Hilt Pipe Back
Nationality: British
Overall Length: 36 1/16” 91.7 cm
Blade length: 31 ¼” 79.3 cm
Blade widest point: 1 1/8” 2.8 cm
Hilt widest point: 5” 12.6 cm
Inside grip length: 3 ¾” 9.5 cm

Description
British Napoleonic Cavalry Officer's Sword with extensive etched decoration to the blade including spine. This is a unusual example and includes a 1796 Pattern stirrup-type hilt of typical neo-classical style, particularly with regard to the squared quillon finial. The grip is covered in fishskin and bound with copper twist wire - all the original twist wire remains - small piece missing from fishskin near pommel. With shield-shaped hilt langet. The blade is of curved, pipe back and quill point form and is very much indicative of a late-Georgian military sword when the introduction of this type of fighting blade became popular with British military officers and was a standard blade type for many years afterward, both in the infantry and cavalry. It is decorated with a mixture of designs and motifs, including royal coat of arms, stands of trophies, victory laurels and scrolling foliage. The quality of the blade etching is excellent and still extremely crisp. No scabbard.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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20161227 1-44 pm UK-Cavalry c1796-Officer's-Stirrup Hilt Pipe Back No Scabbard.jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:34 am

G'day Cathey and Rex,

I really like that Mameluke you posted earlier. To me this is the logical way to design a pipe-backed blade. It has a useful false edge and a symmetrical point. I am still not sure what Prosser was thinking when he designed his quill-point.

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:44 am

This is an interesting stirrup-hilted quill-point that I bid on earlier in the year. Unfortunately I missed out on it. It has a presentation inscription that reads :

" The gift of Major Brook to Sergeant Major M Barlow King's Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry 1837".

The date is interesting as I would have thought this sword was made before 1821. I suppose the inscription was added later when the sword was gifted.

Cheers,

Bryce
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quill2.jpg
Quill1.jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:32 pm

G'day Guys,

Did anyone here win the 1796 hilted quill-point at Adam Partridge last night? It was marked "Brander and Potts, Warranted to cut iron" and had a combination of etching and engraved blue and gilt decoration.

Cheers,

Bryce
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original[14].jpg
original[3].jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Richard » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:16 am

Not me Bryce, were you after it?
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:29 am

G'day Richard,
I was tempted, but didn't bid. The sword looks to have some interesting blade etching. I would like to have a closer look.
Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:43 pm

G'day Guys,

Another quill-point sold at auction last night. This is a 1796 pattern light cavalry officer's sword by Harry Gill, which belonged to Captain William Rhodes of the 19th Light Dragoons.

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Will Mathieson » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:21 am

Bryce that is a beauty. :D Did you get it?
I've been busy so I haven't had much time to search out the good ones.
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:06 am

G'day Will,

Unfortunately wasn't me. It would be nice if it was someone from here.

Cheers,

Bryce
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:42 am

Another interesting quill-point. This one is etched with a curious curling plant shoot, Greek Key and Egyptian eye design. Fredrick Ponsonby's sword on the Waterloo200 website has the exact same etching and ergonomic grip as this sword. I have seen another quill-point with this same design, though sadly it was lacking its hilt. I wonder if this sword represents a regimental sword for the 12th LD? This one has the initials RH etched in the panel. Robert Harrington joined the 12th LD as a cornet in 1819, which would fit with this sword. Has anyone come across one of these before?

On the Waterloo200 site it states that Ponsonby designed his sword himself. Does anyone know the source of this claim?

Cheers,

Bryce
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P16705[1].jpg
Quillpoint
P16721[1].jpg
Quillpoint blade
P16731[1].jpg
Quillpoint Hilt
D480-2_003[1].jpg
Ponsonby Hilt
D480-2_002[1].jpg
Ponsonby Sword
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Will Mathieson » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:15 am

Reminds me of the quill pointed 1855 Lancaster bayonet and the 1860 German Fusiliers bayonets. The swords have a very intimidating appearance.
I would tend to believe Ponsonby had designed the sword is true, it's the only sword I've seen with this hilt and yataghan blade. Just that is not reason enough though.
The sword design doesn't seem to have caught on. I would think the sword would be unwieldy?
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Bryce » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:40 am

G'day Will,

Ponsonby's sword gives you a curved cutting edge, with the point in line with the hilt. I don't think it would be unwieldy, but I don't know that it offers any real advantages over a straightish sabre.

The quill-point scabbard is marked to Odell, 17 Old Bond St, London, which dates it to 1809-17. Below is a photo of the initials on the blade. Appears to be R H, what do you think? Also below is a photo of the curious "eye" design it shares with Ponsonby's sword.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Initials.jpg
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Re: British Quill Point Swords

Postby Richard » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:50 am

Hi Bryce
Sir Frederick Ponsonby's sword is (or was) in the possession of the Ponsonby family, having been collected along with his other swords by Sir John Ponsonby (d. 1952). I managed to get access to it a few years ago and obtained a photo at that time (below) which I then used in an article on the 1796LCO sword that I wrote for Classic Arms & Militaria back in 2007 (Vol. XIV No. 2). I thought it was pretty unique at that time so interesting to see something similar (at least hilt-wise) has now come to light.

Anyway, I agree that the initials on the blade look to be RH so it could well have been the sword of Robert Harrington as you suggest. Officers in the same regiment would often share ideas and designs, the classic example being the use of the 'celtic sword' by officers of the 4th Dragoons.

I guess it was on M D Long's website but its not there now. Is it in Australia? ;)

Richard
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