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British Infantry Small Sword Style Hanger ca. 1750
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A sword with the identical blade and differing only in the specific classical motifs cast in the hilt, is shown in Of Sorts for Provincials, labeled a "Small sword style English infantry hanger c. 1720-1750." Anthony Darling supports the identification: "Contemporary pictorial evidence in the paintings of artists such as William Hogarth and Thomas Sandby indicates that battalion company privates were normally issued straight-bladed swords with brass hilts of about the same configuration as that of the civilian small sword, made up of a knuckle bow and shell counterguard."

Hangers were purchased by the colonels, so the particular pattern varied by regiment. Swords were withdrawn from battalion company privates in 1768, but provincials may have kept the practice for some time longer, or followed the regulars in reserving them for sergeants, musicians and grenadiers. In any case, many likely ended up in patriot hands at the beginning of the Revolution. Mullins illustrates excavated portions from Williamsburg indicating Americans were copying the style.

35 inches overall; 28 3/4 inch blade with a short central fuller extending 5 1/2 inches from the guard. Cast into the counterguard, inside and out, are four panels showing a resting warrior. On the quillon block and the knuckleguard the warrior is standing guard with spear and shield.

I show a vignette from Hogarth's March of the Guards to Finchley, painted in 1750. Two of his high-living soldiers plainly carry this style of hanger.

Excellent condition bright blade, medium patina brass hilt. The sword was likely dropped on its pommel at some point, breaking the capstan and the blade tang was then re-peened directly on the pommel to tighten it.

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