Like the mortuary sword, the Hounslow Hanger is a uniquely English sword that was made
for a relatively short period of time and carried by many officers during the English Civil
War. Generally following the style of 17th C hunting swords, this distinct hilt style came
from the sword mill in Hounslow (near London) in the 1630’s. The Hounslow mill was set
up by German blade makers enticed to emigrate to England by King Charles I. Prior to this
there was no established blade making industry in the British Isles and blades had to be
imported from the Continent. The feature that defines the “Hounslow Hanger” is its
distinctive capstan pommel with scrolled cap to which the knuckle bow is attached by a
screw. This example with asymmetrical iron shell guard with reverse quillon and a pair of
S-shaped bars connecting to the shell-shaped lower knuckle guard. Extending upward
from this is a riveted flat bar which joins the pommel in the normal fashion with a screw.
This is either a unique method of construction, or an old repair. Regardless, the twin rivets
give the impression of a pair of eyes when viewed from the front. Pommel of typical
Hounslow style with conical button and spiral wood grip (2″ crack at the base). Curved 25
3/4″ single-edged blade with long fuller at the back edge and hatchet point; stamped with
an “X” inside an oval mark on both sides with traces of an engraved design at the forte.
Metal parts with light pitting and a dark gunmetal gray patina, the blade with several edge
nicks, wood grip with dark rich patina. Overall length 31 1/4″.