By Michael Morgan

For those not acquainted with Scottish history, that is the traditional salutation between members of the MacGregor Clan of Scotland’s famous highlanders. Having the honor to be a member of that storied family, Heritage’s December 8th Arms & Armor Sale #6105
is one I am eagerly anticipating.

Eight lots consisting of seven 18th Century Basket-hilted Broadswords and a pair of steel frame percussion belt pistols go up for bidding around November 19, 2013.

The basket hilted broadsword was a stereotypical weapon on the Scots during the 17th and 18th centuries. Most people would recognize it as the sword Liam Neeson uses in the final duel with Tim Roth in the 1995 film “Rob Roy”.

31 3/4-inch straight blade, etched with floral scrolls and having two narrow fullers.

31 3/4-inch straight blade, etched with floral scrolls and having two narrow fullers.

This style of sword is often called a “Claymore”. This is a misnomer, and is so commonly used, it even appeared in the original Star Trek series episode “Day of the Dove” when actor James Doohan (aka Scotty) selects a “claymore” from a rack of swords. In reality the term claymore is more appropriately applied to the massive cross-hilt two-handed sword used by Mel Gibson in the 1995 file “Braveheart”.  The basket-hilted swords are more properly referred to as simply “broadswords” or sometimes “backswords” from the custom of carrying them slung behind the shoulder instead of at the hip.

Regardless of what it is called, this broadsword was a fearsome weapon quite capable of cutting an unarmored man from shoulder to pelvis. They consist of a heavy, straight, single or double edged blade approximately 35 inches long topped with a metal cage or “basket” around the handle. This basket hilt provides excellent protection to the hand, and was often gilt and finely decorated.

The cased pistols are good samples of the highland style of steel frame pistols. Even though the percussion locks put their origin in the late 18th or early 19th century, they sport traditional Scottish motifs.

Now I just have to talk to Santa Clause.

“While there’s leaves in the forest, and foam on the river, MacGregor, despite them, shall flourish forever!”
~ MacGregor’s Gathering by Andy M. Stewart



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