Vince Evans Basket-hilted Saber
The sword featured here has a fully developed basket-hilt of Highland type with heavily fluted bars and cusped file-worked edges. The outer and inner shields each possess pierced designs of stylized hearts formed from conjoined circles and rectangles. The grip is ray skin, spirally fluted and bound with a double strand of twisted wire. The side-guards are pierced similarly to the hilt’s shields and terminate in prominent ram’s horns.
There are some notable differences between the Boughton House hilt and the modern inspired creation. The pommel is of a more conical shape than the flattened bun-shape found on the original and the forward guards are of the same fluted ribbon shape as the side knuckle-guards. A small wrist-guard has been added here but the leather liner of the antique has not been recreated.
The single-edged blade is curved and has two wide fullers extending its entire length. The last 19 inches of the spine have been ground down to create a semi-sharpened false edge. A Passau running wolf is present alongside a maker’s mark within the fuller on one side. There is no etching or gilding as found on the antique sword.
Scottish basket-hilted swords with curved saber blades are much less commonly found than those of the broadsword or backsword variant. The portrait of Alastair Mhor Grant, Champion of Clan Grant, painted in 1714 by Richard Wait depicts such a sword.
Basket-hilts with curved blades are often described as being in the Turkish style or more specifically are called a Turk or Turcael. The scabbard is leather-covered hardwood with nickel silver mounts and includes a belt-hook.