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Old 4th October 2020, 04:40 AM   #1
Jim McDougall
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Default British lionhead dragoon officer 4 slot hilt

This ivory grip lion head officers sword appears to be for light dragoons officer of c.1770. The four slot guard was well established at this time with its apparent advent in c. 1760s, and light dragoon troopers had this type guard with some having two branches, iron, and tall olive pommel.

There are no markings on the montmorency type cavalry blade, similar to other blades of light dragoon swords of this period.
The only visible marking is deeply stamped READ on the hilt.
Read may apply to several cutler/outfitters in Dublin around 1770.

The most likely would be John Read, at 4 Parliament St. Dublin whose brother Edward was apprentice there as well . (as per Annis & May, 1970. p.331).

These lion head pommels were well known around this time and are known also on other hangers etc.
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Old 4th October 2020, 05:02 PM   #2
Will M
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Jim that's a wonderful sword, can you post more photos?
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Old 4th October 2020, 09:41 PM   #3
Bryce
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G'day Jim,
Is that something inscribed on the blade?
Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 5th October 2020, 06:09 AM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Thanks guys!
Yes, it is a capital F near the edge.........a 3 near the back. ??????
The blade is 37 3/4 "
I will get pics and more tomorrow.
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Old 6th October 2020, 01:59 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Here are more photos of this British officers lionhead dragoon sword, which appears to have been retailed by Read, a cutler in Dublin c. 1770.
I have added another light dragoon sword of the four slot category but with two guard branches, also of c. 1770 for comparison.

I have added photo of the F and 3 which are seen on the blade parallel near back and edge.

The light dragoon is unmarked and with a German montmorency section blade of 35.5", and iron hilt.

The illustration from "London Silver Hilted Swords" (Leslie Southwick, 2001, plate 8) is of of a similar hilt style, lionhead c.1775 by Willian Kinman and the blade from Drury (Birmingham cutler). This illustrates the lionhead pommel style hilts popular in 1770s.
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Old 6th October 2020, 08:09 PM   #6
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Jim those are two very good swords having style and function.
Two similar swords of mine pictured.
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Old 7th October 2020, 02:46 PM   #7
E.B. Erickson
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NO WAY!!! Jim, I used to own that sword back in the mid 1970s before you and I met. I purchased it from Flayderman's, held on to it for a few years, then traded it back to Flayderman for something I found more attractive. My main reason I did not keep that sword is that I suspect strongly that this hilt originally had a hanger blade. Look at how small the hilt is compared to the length of the blade. And it's obviously been taken apart -- where's the capstan?

However, still a nice sword, and I kind of wish I still owned it!

--ElJay
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Old 7th October 2020, 05:57 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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Ahah! Now it comes back!!! Its been a LONG time Eljay and great memories.
I could not recall the details of that 'switcheroo' but now I remember. It was that you and I bought the same brass hilt dragoon sword at the same time inadvertently and Flayderman was totally embarrasssd (I had been making payments on it when it had already been sold to you).
The BEST thing out of the whole mess was I got to meet you! and we began the collaboration in collecting British patterns.

In the ensuing dealing I bought this lion head and I think two other swords from him.

I see what you mean about probable remount and in Neumann, they show these lion heads on some hangers of the period. I now recall that you had traded it back to Flayderman and I ended up buying it from him. There was a LOT of confusion in that series of deals.

Will, beautiful examples!!!! Thank you for sharing them and really helping with the perspective here.

I am puzzled by why it would be remounted with this very long blade. The dragoon blades of this time were quite long (I had one with a 40" blade). Would READ have been the cutler who remounted it? or perhaps the hilt (as a hanger?) was his. Lots of questions in the working life of these.
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