Object Title




about 1720

Object Number



purchased from Arbour Antiques (Stratford on Avon) August 1982.

Physical Description

Hilt: silver, undecorated, of conventional form (Norman, type 87) comprising pommel, knuckle guard with integral sleeve, quillon and arms of the hilt, shell guards and grip.

Pommel: of inverted truncated pear-shape with a pronounced stand and a top resembling a knopped lid.

Knuckle guard: being smoothly curved over its entire length with a slight central swelling. The single quillon has a tear shaped globular finial slightly downturned. The almost three-quarter circle arms are linked to quillon and knuckle guard by small bridging pieces.

Grip: barrel shaped bound with two strands of twin silver wires twisted in opposite directions.

Blade: hollow ground triangular section, except for the inner face which for the first 3.5 inches is flat.


Dimensions: Overall length: 921 mm (36.25 in), blade length: 752 mm (29.625 in), blade width: 27 mm (1.062 in) Weight: 13 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

Tang button: stamped with makers mark 'GW' in an oval cartouche.Forward arm: on the inner face, the following four marks1. makers mark as on the tang button.2. lion passant3. an illegible mark4. date letter 'E' for London 1720/1.


Bibliographic References

L Southwick, London silver-hilted swords, their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory, Leeds, Royal Armouries, 2001: 279, pl. 29 (hilt and base of blade only)- 'maker's mark of George Wilcocks'. INF. ON MAKER NOT YET FULLY EXTRACTED.

L Southwick, 'Some silver-hilted swords by London makers in the Royal Armouries', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 6, 2001, pp. 32-54, at p. 39, fig. 9. NOT FULLY YET EXTRACTED


For small-sword hilts of this fashion see Norman and Barne, 1980, pp 205-6.
The makers mark is not listed in Grimwade. INF. FROM SOUTHWICK 2001 A & B TO BE EXTRACTED.
For another silver hilted small-sword with the same maker's mark see V & A, Reg No M199-1928, London hallmark and date letter for 1720/21 (MORE INFFORMATION on this sword and two other swords are mentioned in the Typed Inventory - to be extracted).
The blade was affected by rust after flooding of the display case in 18/19th Century Gallery (Tower of London) in June 1990.
NOTE (to be deleted when checked). This entry, following the Typed Inventory, formerly had the date letter as P (1730/31). On the basis of Southwark 2001b it was changed to E (1720-21),which is more likely, but this should be CHECKED.