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Infantry Hanger

ca.1740-1760
Origin: England, Birmingham
Overall: 32 3/8" Blade: 26 1/2" x 1 1/8" Hilt: 6 1/8"
Steel, iron, brass and wood
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1951-612
Cast brass hilt composed of a heart-shaped guard with reinforced edges, a plain knucklebow, a bulbous quillon and an ovoid pommel with a capstan. Wooden grip is now missing its twisted brass wire wrap, but the bottom ferrule remains. The blade is slightly curved, single-edged and has fullers running down the spine for most of its length.
Label:Commonly referred to as the "Model 1742" infantry hanger, this pattern is one of the most misunderstood 18th c. British military swords. Its nickname is based on the erroneous interpretation of the brass-hilted swords depicted in an illustrated book of British Army uniforms known as the "Clothing Book of 1742." None of the swords worn by the soldiers in its plates match this weapon.

Rather, it is a pattern sword procured during the last half of the 18th c. for issue to those units which were entitled to receive swords from the Board of Ordnance. This included the Marines, the Royal Artillery and the various county Militias. Most examples carry an Ordnance stamp struck into the base of the blade in the form of a crowned numeral, or less often a "Crowned Broad Arrow." Many, like this hanger, carry the engraved names of the County Militias they were issued to, suggesting the pattern was primarily intended for home guard units.
Mark(s):Guard engraved "M.GLOUCESTERSHIRE" and "9." Blade struck on both sides with "SH" within a "running fox." A crowned Ordnance mark is partly visible on the ricasso, but is obscured by the counterguard.