BCarp

New Cutlass

7 posts in this topic

Recently received my new blade from Mike MacRae of "Scotia Metalwork" in NC. He mostly does Scottish stuff, but will do custom work as well.

CarpenterCutlass2_zps9a668585.jpg

I think he did a great job working from some photos of originals I sent, especially this one:

2708p_zpsc898ad4b.jpg

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That blade has a very historic look about it!

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A closer look at the hilt with polished bone grip. Rather simple (not to say crude!), but a lot of them were...

CarpenterCutlass_zpsc013b52c.jpg

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Neat looking blade!

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It has that little hook on the top of the quillion, which I've seen on many historical cutlasses. I always wondered, is that supposed to stop the enemy's blade from slipping past the quillion and cutting you?

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Aye, it is. There are similar 'hooks' on Scottish baskethilt swords (most of them) of the period and on many other styles. The extra 'forward curl' feature was present on many military swords through the 19th century as well, in some cases more pronounced than others. See the US Field Officers Sword (1850 model) for an actual separate forward curl and the forward-curling guard of US Cavalry Sabre (1863 through Indian Wars models) for a more integrated way of providing the same function. The British models of the period were similarly equipped. The current US Army Sabre still features a separate forward curl, more a curved spur than a pure curl, that is similar to the ones from the 1700-1800s. The current US Navy Officers sword (and US Marine NCO Sword) feature similar devices, more akin to the US 1850 Field Officers Sword and US Naval Officers Sword of the same vintage, in keeping with the original design of both the Navy and Marine weapons when created in the mid-1800's.

Note: US Marine Officers carry a "Mameluke" style sword, much the same as British General Officers do, although for different reasons. The British General Officers preserve a tradition started by the Duke of Wellington, although there were some units in the British Army such as Hussars and the like) that used mamelukes prior to formal adoption as a General Officer sword in 1831. The US Marines continue a tradition that began with Lt. O'Bannon and some of their earliest operations against the Barbary Pirates in 1805.

For me, the important part is to have enough of a 'spur' to protect your arm, but not so much of a curl to actually catch and bind your two swords together - some prefer the 'catch and hold' method and certain designs reflect this, but most appear to go with a more open, 'protect and deflect' design that allows you to direct the opposing blade away from yourself and recover quickly so you can continue to engage, ideally before your opponent can.

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