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French and Indian or Rev War British Infantry Hanger
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French and Indian War or Revolutionary War British infantry hanger. Iron pommel and guard. Brass grip, oval in cross-section, with raised ridges in the form of a spiral rope coil, a form often used with dog head or monster head brass pommels and guards. About 30- inches overall, with a 24-3/8 inch blade that is gently curved and single edged, with a narrow fuller along the back edge from the guard to within six inches of the tip.

Patterns of infantry swords varied by regiment. A few of this pattern, iron-hilted with brass grip, are known, but apparently none bear any regimental markings to narrow down which regiments might have carried them. I see no markings on this one. They might also have been swords supplied to provincial regiments during the French and Indian War.

After the withdrawal of hangers from battalion company privates of infantry in the 1760s they remained in the hands of the grenadiers, battalion company sergeants, and musicians. This one was likely fell in American hands at some point: an outer branch on the right was removed and the counterguard slimmed down to an oval. The original form was likely heart-shaped. The quillon was retained. The base of side branch is evident in the slightly thicker knuckleguard at a point two inches from the pommel.On the obverse the guard now extends 3/4 inch at it widest from the blade. On the obverse it is about 1/2 inch.

The blade is brown metal with some gray peeking through, with shallow pitting overall. The tip is rounded. There are no appreciable edge nicks. The iron-to-steel join, where the soft iron blade tang was welded to the steel of the blade, is visible one-inch from the guard on either side, where the two sections are overlapped for two inches. One of my photos is a composite view of the obverse, top, and reverse of the blade at this point. The softer iron near the hilt shows more pitting than the rest of the blade.

There is no sign of the sword ever having been apart. I see no markings, though a museum or collection number in white paint is faintly visible on the obverse blade just below the guard. Several parallels for this hanger are known. There are also examples with the iron hilt and (originally) wire-wrapped wood grips. The only provenance available for this one is that it came out of Massachusetts. The side branch was certainly removed during its working life, either by a provincial soldier in the French and Indian War or an American in during the Revolution, who likely found the larger guard and branch inconvenient. Even some of the Revolutionary War Lafayette light infantry swords are known to have had their side branches knocked off in Continental Army camps.

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