COLLECTION: Mechanical Arts & Arms

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Short sword or hanger

1770-1790
Origin: America
OL: 28 13/16"; Blade: 24 1/16" x 1 1/8"
Iron/steel, cast brass & wood
Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund
Acc. No. 2003-15
Infantry hanger with brass hilt composed of plain stirrup guard and hollow brass grip (two identical castings brazed together along the sides, enclosing a wooden core). Pommel cast integrally with the grip and delineated from it with an incised line. Grip embellished on each side with 3 pairs of dianonally incised lines, which also likely serve to improve one's grip on the weapon.

The European blade is slightly curved with a single edge and no fillers. Additionally there is a slight ricasso & false edge, and an iron-steel join is visible at the forte.
Label:Few infantry swords were made in America during the Revolutionary period since the carrying of infantry hangers was waning rapidly. Its crude cast brass hilt is mounted on a European-made blade, and is the sort of weapon most likely intended for militia use, perhaps by a non-commissioned officer.
Provenance:Purchased at the Baltimore Gun Show on March 15, 2003 by Erik J. Goldstein for the CWF collection.

Formerly in the collection of Thomas Wnuck of Rochester, NY (d.2002), whose collection number "EW 268" is inked on the inboard blade ricasso.