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Purchased from Antique Arms, 25 January 1985.

Physical Description

The steel hilt has a beaked pommel-cap. Th upper surface of which is chiselled to resemble a cockleshell, with a rominent tang-button. Tne diamond-sectioned knuckle-guard, which is screwed to the pommel-cap, has a baluster moulding at its mid-point. The short rear quillon is sharply inclined towards the blade and terminates in a diamond-sectioned finial. A pair of asymmetrical shells are recurved in the plane of the blade. The shells are decorated on their convex faces. Outside the hand, the shell is chiselled to resemble a cockleshell; inside the hand, the cartouche-shaped shell is chiselled with a pair of addorsed scrolls. The horn grip has a ferrule at its mid-point and at its end towards the blade, both chiselled with a pair of annular grooves towards their edges.

The curved, single-edged blade is double-edged for the final 7 1/2 in. A broad shallow fuller towards the back edge extends for the full length. The blade is inscribed: outside the hand, 'The gift of / Mr Iohn / Kavs [Kays] / of / London / Marchente' (towards the tip) three flowerheads, and (towards the guard) one large flowerhead and the date '1663'; and, inside the hand, 'Christopher / Flower at ye / St John Ba-btiet neare / London Stone / Sonne of Ed-/ward Flow-/er of Lauim-/gton [Lavington?] in ye / County of / Wiltes' between three three flowerheads and one large flowerhead as on the outside. Traces of gilding remain in the inscription and etched decoration.


Dimensions: Overall length: 864 mm (34.0 in), blade length: 705 mm (27.75 in), blade width: 34 mm (1.3 in) Weight: 775 g (1 lb 2 oz)


Places England


For a hanger with a similar hilt, but with only one shell-guard, see Kent Sales, 31 August 1988, Lot 651 (not illus. in cat.)
An early presentation inscription is on the guard of a sliver-hilted (but unmarked) small-sword, owned by the Zeeuws Museum in Vlissingen (Eng. Flushing) which, in Dec. 1986, was on loan to the Legermuseum (Dutch Army) in Delft (Legermuseum inv. no. 7705/Ee-250). It was presented by the Admiralty Council of Zeeland to Doninicus de Virieu, probably for services to the republic in 1659. (For further details and illus. see letter from J-P. Puype on Inv. File.)