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Title Hunting hanger with tortoiseshell grip
Nationality German
Period c 1710
Price £550.00
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

The hilt could be Dutch or French, the use of tortoiseshell having been introduced to Europe in the late 17th century, probably through Dutch colonial connections. The mid 18th-century German blade (26" long) would have replaced an earlier, shorter, straight, double-edged blade (broken?), probably to enable the weapon's use as a naval hanger.

As far as I can judge, the blade replacement was more than likely to have been done in its service life.

With regard to the hilt, there are two indicators as to its age: 1) there is a bold female caryatid in the centre of the knucklebow, identical to that in use on a French smallsword with an ormulu hilt in the V&A, dated 1700; 2) the use of a mastiff's head with its tongue hanging out as a quillon is, again, an early feature not found on later 18th-century hilts.

The tortoiseshell grip is tortoiseshell veneer on a wood base. There is a small split on the obverse side and there would appear to be silver or gold foil backing behind the tortoiseshell, as one would expect. The veneer is exceptionally thick, close to 1/10" (2 mm) depth visible at split. The brass fittings have lost virtually all their original gilt finish, but are still in quite good shape for the age of the piece.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Swords : German : 18th Century]


Hi Chris, just to let you know it arrived safely and I am very happy with it, also the condition. I have been looking for a while for that particular style and maker.. Thanks again for everything and I shall now be keeping an eye on your web page.

C A, UK, 28.09.2010

The pommel arrived safely today... It's a nice little object and really quite tactile... As usual, it was a pleasure to do business with you and I look forward to finding something else in your stock to tempt me.

J M, UK, 09.05.2009