COLLECTION: Mechanical Arts & Arms

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Basket Hilted Cavalry Backsword

c. 1740-1750
Origin: England
Overall: 40" Hilt: 6" Blade: 34"
Iron, steel, wood, shagreen and leather.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2005-315
Hilt: Of classic British/Scottish form, with a basket composed of panels (pierced with circles and hearts) and bars, a conical pommel, a scrolling wrist guard and a shagreen covered wooden grip.

Blade: Single edged and straight, with a narrow fuller running along the spine.
Label:Although we don’t know anything about the 264 swords on the walls of the Palace in 1750, it can be assumed that a significant portion were for the same dragoons who carried the pistols and carbines displayed there. Later inventories bear this point out. With a full “basket” guard, this sword offers just the sort of hand-protection needed by the mid-18th c. dragoon, and is typical of what would have been carried at the time Virginia was equipping its horse soldiers.
Mark(s):Both faces of the blade struck with a large mark resembling an anchor.