French Hanger
(circa 1790)



This French hanger is similar to plate 63.S in George G. Neumann's book Swords & Blades of the American Revolution. The blade has a single fuller cut along the back. This design feature appears on most European swords of the late 1700s. The ribbed wooden grip was once covered with leather. By 1790, several changes began to appear in the French hanger design. The knuckle bow sloped slightly in toward the blade as it approached the guard (earlier ones sloped outwards), the langet on the guard disappeared, and the hilt was often cast in one instead of two pieces.

Interesting Story

William Dorrell was a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. He was captured when General John Burgoyne's army was defeated in 1777 at the Battle of Saratoga. After the war, he remained in the United States and settled in Massachusetts. After he died in 1846, an old sword was found in his home in Leyden, Massachusetts. Although the sword is in relic condition, it stills bears a strong resemblence to the sword in my collection.
 

Dorrell's sword (top) compared to my sword (bottom).