The basket or “basket hilt” is an evolution of the earlier medieval swords where the quillons or crossguard were the primary protection for the wielders hands. The basket was found on the basket-hilt sword or early modern era broadsword. The basket shaped guard offered superior protection to the wielder by almost completely surrounding the users hand. These started out in very simple weave patterns and grew into some very ornate and elaborate designs. They were developed and continued to rise in popularity from the 16th to 18th century where they became favored by heavy Calvary up to the Napoleonic era.
The rapier had much finer blade than the broadswords and back-swords but shared similar qualities with elaborate wire “basket like” hilts that offer the same protection. The rapier would further evolve into full “cup hilts” where the weaved baskets became solid metal cups that covered the wielders hand and were impregnable by the thrust of an opponent.
These are some photo's of several different Basket-Hilt found on the European swords that we offer.
Oliver Cromwell (1599 1658) was a powerful figure in English history duri... more
The basket hilt sword was quite popular in Britain from mid-sixteenth century th... more
The Practical Basket-Hilt Broadsword is built for the re-enactor. The basket is ... more
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