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English Silver Inlaid Sabre "Hounslow Hanger", ca. 1640
The Hounslow Hanger is a uniquely British sword that was made for a relatively short period of time and carried by many officers during the English Civil War. Generally following the style of 17th C hunting swords, this distinct hilt style came from the sword mill in Hounslow (near London) in the 1630's. The Hounslow mill was set up by German blade makers enticed to emigrate to England by King Charles I. Prior to this there was no established blade making industry in the British Isles and blades had to be imported from the Continent. The feature that defines the "Hounslow Hanger" is its distinctive capstan pommel with scroll cap which is attached to the knuckle bow by a screw. This example features an iron hilt with single down-turned bilobate shell guard, reverse acorn-shaped quillon, and flattened knucklebow attached to the capstan pommel by a screw in the typical fashion. The iron parts are profusely inlaid with solid silver in a latticework pattern filled with dots, all set against a blackened background. Stag horn grip with longitudinal iron strap and double ferrules at the base (the lower plain ferrule likely later). Curved single edged 21" blade with scroll pattern made from a series of tiny punched dots on the ricasso and the remains of a date "16xx" (last two digits indistinct). Much better condition than usually found, retaining nearly all of its original silver inlay and only minimal wear to the iron. The iron hilts of English swords of this period were generally poor quality and did not wear well, which is why the majority of surviving examples are not in very good condition. Blade with light salt and pepper pitting and a few shallow edge nicks. Overall length 26 ½". One of the best examples of this type sword on the market today.
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