This Scottish military sword is a great example of an 1828 pattern Highland infantry basket hilted broadsword. The sword was retailed by Charles Cattanach, an Aberdeen based outfitter, and was made between 1830 and 1840. The baskets’ quillon is engraved with a regimental mark, suggesting that this sword was issued to a sergeant.
The 810mm double-edged (broadsword) blade is 27mm wide at the ricasso. The blade has a long central fuller and terminates in a spear point. Only the first 280mm of the forward edge was service sharpened.
The blade is etched on the lower third with arches, foliate scrollwork and thistles. The obverse is similarly etched. The ricasso bears a Damascus star, indicating that the blade meets the required standard for a military sword. When the proof disk was invented by Wilkinson in 1845, an etched Damascus star was still used as an accompaniment to the brass disk. The obverse ricasso is etched with the cutler’s details, Cattamach & Co., Aberdeen. In 1830, Charles Cattanach was a tailor/military outfitter with a premises at 2 Ragg’s Lane, Aberdeen, Scotland.
The regulation iron basket-hilt is composed of rounded bars united by heart-pierced junction plates. The shagreen wrapped grip is in good condition and the twisted copper wire is intact and tight. The blade is firm in the hilt. The front of the quillon is engraved with a letter B over the numeral, 2, suggesting that the sword was an issued weapon instead of an officer’s private purchase.
The sword is complete with its black leather scabbard with iron fittings. The frog stud was removed from the locket leaving just the suspension ring. Originally, the locket had both a stud and ring to give the option of wearing the sword in a frog or with slings. The leather is in good condition for its age. The stitched seam is mostly intact. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is an excellent example of a scarce, early production 1828 pattern basket hilted broadsword.
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